Lawrence ‘The Sauce’ Okolie has delivered a confident prediction ahead of his WBO world cruiserweight title defence against David Light on Saturday, March 25th at the AO Arena.
The date and venue has officially been switched from what was previously advertised as Liverpool and now confirmed in Manchester as part of a blockbuster BOXXER fight night which will see Jack Catterall, Frazer Clarke and Karriss Artingstall all in action.
After BOXXER successfully agreed the purse bid, Okolie will make his long-anticipated return having last fought 12 months ago.
And the undefeated Brit believes he will extend his perfect 18-0 (14 KOs) professional record when he defends his WBO championship against unbeaten New Zealand rival Light (20-0, 12 KOs).
“I’ll make ‘light’ work of him,” said Okolie, who returns to fighting live and exclusively in the UK & Republic of Ireland on Sky Sports.
Okolie’s first professional victory was in Manchester, in May 2017 – less than a year after he competed for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics – when he sensationally stopped Geoffrey Cave in just 20 seconds.
Whilst confident he will retain his world title in what will be his third defence since he captured the belt back in March 2021 following a scintillating sixth round stoppage over Krzysztof Glowacki, Okolie knows he needs to deliver the goods against his Kiwi nemesis.
Speaking to Boxxer.com, Okolie added, “I know that Sky and BOXXER are going to deliver as long as I deliver in the ring. I’ve got to make sure I beat David Light and then beat whoever is next.
“It’s good to be back and I’m looking forward to the first step in the journey towards unifications and more world titles.”
BOXXER CEO & Founder, Ben Shalom, said: “We’re heading back to our spiritual home of Manchester and we’re bringing The Sauce.
“Lawrence Okolie’s wait to get back inside a ring has been well documented. But I’m delighted to see a proper British elite fighter defending his world title on home soil.
“The cruiserweight division is arguably the most exciting weight class in the sport right now and it is full of domestic stars who are clamouring to be crowned king. Lawrence sits at the top of that mountain – and he’s planning on keeping it that way when he takes on a very dangerous challenger in David Light, who impressively best Brandon Glanton last time out.”
The North-West’s own Jack Catterall (26-1-0, 13 KOs) will be keen to remind the world that he should be an undisputed champion himself.
Controversially denied a victory against Josh Taylor last February, the Chorley fighter had hoped to avenge that night in Glasgow in a rematch with the WBO and Ring Magazine super-lightweight champion.
But with the Scot sidelined through injury, Catterall must instead turn his attention to a new opponent who will be named in due course.
Shalom said: “It was a travesty what happened to Jack a year ago. He should be fighting now as a world champion. I believe his time will come – but for now, he needs to remind us all what he can do and get out there and fight again.”
‘The People’s Champion’ Frazer Clarke (5-0, 4 KOs) will return to what has been a very happy hunting ground in Manchester when he takes on experienced American heavyweight, Rydell Booker.
Towering 6ft 6in Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medal hero Clarke has won back-to-back fights at the AO Arena and will be looking to make it a hat-trick when he returns next month.
But in Michigan native Booker (27-7-1, 14 KOs), Clarke faces the former No.1 ranked American heavyweight, who has stood toe-to-toe with the likes of Jermaine Franklin, Kubrat Pulev, Filip Hrgovic and Otto Wallin.
Booker knocked out Norman Neely last December and will hope to continue his renaissance against the highly-rated ‘Big Fraze’.
Clarke’s fellow 2020 bronze medalist Karriss Artingstall (2-0) is back too.
The 28-year-old southpaw has made an impeccable start to life as a professional with two wins from two – including her impressive points victory against Marina Sakharov on what was a historic all-female night of Boxing at The O2 in London last October.
An opponent for the featherweight prospect will be announced in due course.
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