British cruiserweight champion and rising contender Lawrence Okolie has been linked to a possible fight with reinstated WBA “super world” champion Denis Lebedev, and the 26-year-old prospect has decided to go with a new trainer in Shane McGuigan.
Okolie (12-0, 9 KO) is coming off of a March 23 TKO-4 win over veteran Wadi Camacho, a fight where Okolie added the Commonwealth title — the second time he’s won the Commonwealth title, in fact. He also fought on Feb. 2, taking care of journeyman Tamas Lodi in three rounds in a tune-up outing.
In 2018, Okolie scored wins over Isaac Chamberlain, Luke Watkins, and Matty Askin, working his way through the domestic ranks.
Lebedev (32-2, 23 KO) may well be faded, but the 39-year-old Russian is still a step up on paper from those opponents. His team are hoping to host Okolie in Russia, where Lebedev is a well-known name, having fought all but six of his pro bouts in his home country.
McGuigan currently has a strong stable of fighters, featuring Josh Taylor and Luke Campbell among others, and has also worked with Carl Frampton, George Groves, and David Haye. He was named BWAA Trainer of the Year in 2016, only the second UK trainer to receive the award, after Enzo Calzaghe in 2007.