By Elliot Foster, photos by Lawrence Lustig
Lawrence Okolie added a third belt to his collection in a rather forgettable affair.
The Hackney cruiserweight outpointed Blackpool’s Matty Askin to claim the British title at Wembley Stadium in London.
Okolie was the victor over the 12 rounds, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in the States, but he will be the first to admit that this was his worst performance in the paid code to date, as part of the supporting cast to Anthony Joshua’s bid to retain his WBA Super, IBO, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.
‘The Sauce’, who is now 10-0 and a former Commonwealth champion and also has the WBA Continental belt, was docked a point in the fifth round for excessive use of the head after Askin developed a swelling to the right side of his head.
But Okolie, who was then deducted a further two points in the eighth and in the penultimate stanza, came out on top by margins of 116-110, 114-112 and 114-113 against a man in Askin who has completed 12 rounds on only two previous occasions but didn’t let his hands go during the fight and wanted to get close before unleashing on Okolie.
Busy referee Victor Loughlin will need a lie down in a dark room after the action.
However, Okolie will be looking to keep hold of the prestigious Lonsdale belt for some time to come, having picked it up at just 25 years old.