Lawrence Okolie scores unanimous decision over David Light to retain WBO cruiserweight title

Lawrence Okolie (18-0, 14KOs) made the third successful defence of his WBO world cruiserweight title, claiming a unanimous decision against mandatory challenger David Light (20-1, 12KOs) at the manchester area, Manchester. Okolie claimed scores 116-112, 119-108 & 117-110 in a scrappy affair which saw Okolie claim the first victory under new trainer Sugar Hill Steward. 

Okolie, in the opening round, did not have the space he needed to throw his shots with any intentions, with Light more than happy to close the distance, which negated Okolies sting of his punches. Okolie, at range, could occasionally tag the body of Light.

The second round saw Okolie use his jab to a much better effect. Light was kept at a distance which, unlike the opening round, allowed Okolie to utilise the one-two on multiple occasions, with one chopping overhand right late in the round.

Okolie was more effective in the third round, with Light able to re-establish himself back at close range to negate Okolies work. In the fourth, Okolie was able to establish his jab and throw it a lot more regularly, again allowed Okolie to use his natural size advantage much better and effectively.

The fifth round was more of the same for Okolie. However, he seemed much looser and, in the final minute of the round, started to offer variations to his attacks, head to the body and finishing with a left hook. Round six saw Light attempt to wrestle control and engage more with Okolie, which did make me round a scrappy affair. Okolie was still in control of proceedings working behind the jab but unable to land anything of note with his right hand.

In the seventh, Okolie became more aggressive and could land more straight rights hand to the head but was more effective to the body despite a warning by referee Bob WilliamsRound eight was ultimately a scrappy round with both fighters getting involved in clinching and becoming untidy in their work. Although despite this, Okolie was throwing the jab against Light, who didn’t throw anything of note besides an inside right in a clinch in the final minute of the round. Okolie landed more punches in the ninth as Bright became more eager to press the fight. Mainly due to need and also out of frustration

Okolie made a significant breakthrough in the tenth round following multiple right hands at the start of the round hurting Light, allowing Okolie to unload on the New Zealander. This was ultimately set up by a long right straight splitting the guard, which pushed Light on the ropes. Okolie gained confidence to stamp down on his authority on the round, with Light more focused on survival. Light did regain his senses to attempt to fight back and did land a left counter in the last ten seconds.

In the eleventh round, Lawrence Okolie was docked a point for holding down David Light. However, this put Okolie into action, who landed a huge right flush on Light

The twelfth and final round saw Okolie looking to build on his success in the eleventh round. Okolie was more adventurous, still using his jab, but ultimately, the round was scrappy, with Okolie guilty of smothering his own work.

Okolie immediately post-fight gave his performance a “five out of ten” and credited David Light for a good game plan in moving to his right, which took away his right hand. Okolie eluded that he is targeting a unification fight in the near future and urged future opponents to stop talking outside the ring and meet him inside the ring instead.