Defiant cruiserweight Okolie admits more work is needed

Lawrence Okolie was defiant after attracting boos during his conclusive 12 round points win over David Light in Manchester.

Okolie won a stale contest and enjoyed only sparing moments of success late on in the fight when he rocked the New Zealander on a couple of occasions and he attracted criticism on social media for a lacklustre display.

It was Okolie’s first fight in a year due to promotional issues, his first fight with Boxxer and his first under new trainer Sugar Hill.

“There’s definitely stuff I want to work on,” admitted the WBO cruiserweight champion. “In the gym, there’s stuff I’m doing that’s unbelievable. On fight night… today I did a few, moments of it but maintaining it is a different thing and I think that comes with a little bit more experience, a lot more time with Sugar, seeing what worked today and implementing it over and over. I’m ready to go for the next fight now.”

Okolie discussed three names afterwards, including Jai Opetaia, former Shane McGuigan stablemate Chris Billam-Smith and fellow Brit Richard Riakporhe. 

“There’s a lot of expectation on me as a world champion and I understand that,” Okolie said at the post-fight media huddle. “I can talk all I like, I’m ready to fight anyone. For me 19-0 very happy, very blessed and onto the next one. The most important thing is being fit, being fresh.” 

Sugar Hill said he had not been too hard on Okolie in between rounds but said they had plenty to work on. 

“He did good, he tried and I know from this experience he will push harder what we are working on to make it more solid,” Hill told ID Boxing.

The pair had only been working together since Januray, and asked whether he had read Okolie the riot act, Hill replied: “I wasn’t unhappy, I just needed to get his attention.”

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