Loser of Okolie-Light to become 'irrelevant'

Lawrence Okolie recognises the loser of his WBO cruiserweight title fight with David Light risks becoming “irrelevant”. 

Okolie’s third title defence, against his mandatory challenger, comes after 13 months of inactivity in which he also endured an acrimonious split from Eddie Hearn, and replaced his trainer Shane McGuigan with SugarHill Steward.

That the 30 year old continues to speak of a desire to eventually fight at heavyweight demonstrates his awareness of the cruiserweight division’s appeal and potential to generate life-changing purses, and as he discussed Saturday’s fight with Light, at the Manchester Arena, he said: “Saturday's going to come. One of us is going to win and the other one's going to become irrelevant. So I'm looking for to it.

“When I see him I know what he really is. I’m prepared for what he may bring and will do what I need to do. I am going to be from round one matching him and overmatching him for pressure and power.

“He’s coming to win. It sets you up for a lot of openings. 

The heavy-handed Okolie, like his fellow Rio 2016 Olympian Joshua Buatsi joined BOXXER from Matchroom, and in the undefeated Light, 31 and from New Zealand, is confronting an opponent who claims he intends on punching with him. 

“I’m not here on somebody's else’s terms – I’ve earned the shot,” Light said. “I'm coming to win. I know he’s a proud man and he’s going to defend with everything he’s got.

“I’m not reinventing the wheel. You’ve got to punch the other person more than they punch you. I’ve done the work.”

Michael Gomez Jr, the son of the Manchester fighting cult hero Michael Gomez, fights Levi Giles for the English super featherweight title on the undercard, and he said: “I’m just going to punch his face in. I’m just going to go in there, stick it on him and see how good he is.”

Frazer Clarke's sixth professional fight comes against Romania's Bogdan Dinu, a late replacement as his opponent, but he said of his domestic rival Fabio Wardley, who won the British heavyweight title in his past fight: "I've heard some absolute ludicrous statements recently. That I'm not on the same level – can't be mentioned in the same breath – as Fabio Wardley. These people need sectioning. There's no chance on this earth that I'm not at that level already.. Let me hone my skills; do the rounds. Hopefully this year [that fight] will come off."