Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain will settle their feud on Saturday February 3 at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports, promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in association with Anthony Joshua’s AJ BXNG. Photos by Lawrence Lustig.
The London Cruiserweights pair have bit up a fierce rivalry on social media and in bitter public confrontations as they build the foundations for impressive beginnings to their respective careers, and now they get their hands on each other in the 2018 curtain-raiser.
Team GB Rio Olympian Okolie picked up a sixth KO win in his seventh pro fight at York Hall last week to draw his debut year to an emphatic close, while 9-0 Chamberlain is on a streak of three stoppage wins in in his first action following his brave win over Wadi Camacho last September where he picked up the Southern Area strap despite dislocating his shoulder in the third round.
“I’m very excited the fight is finally on,” said Okolie. “I said when I first turned professional I’m not here to mess about, I want to take risks and push on. Chamberlain has done a lot of talking and on February 3 we’ll see if he can back up his words.
“I think it’s going to be a bloody, brutal fight. It’s one for the fans in a thriving domestic division. People will finally see me come out of the cage.”
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Chamberlain. “I’m pleased we have finished and signed off on all the negotiations, now that is done we can focus on the fight. It’s a great fight for British boxing fans.
“Nothing has been given to me and I still have that underdog mentality - everything I want I have to go and get it, I’ve earnt my stripes. That’s made me a lot stronger fighter and that’s going to show on February 3. I want to knock him out. I'm going to knock him out. I’m going to train so hard, I'm going to knock him out cold.”
The pick of Britain’s young talent are in action and it’s a case of keeping up with the Joneses for two unbeaten Matchroom stars. Watford’s Reece Bellotti puts his Commonwealth Featherweight title on the line for the first time against Crawley’s Ben Jones. Rising Essex force Ted Cheeseman faces a real step-up in international class against a familiar face in Carson Jones, the Oklahoma man who twice met former Welterweight Word ruler Kell Brook and Brian Rose, and won on his most recent visit, stopping Ben Hall last November and comes into the fight after facing modern great Antonio Margarito in September.
Hackney’s big punching Super-Lightweight Ohara Davies will be looking to record a sixth KO win in Greenwich as he continues his hunt for more title shots, Team GB Rio Olympian Joshua Buatsi laces them up for a fourth time in the paid ranks and Felix Cash is full of confidence after moving to 7-0 with a second successive first round KO win last week and is looking to land a first title shot at Middleweight in 2018.