Lawrence Okolie did it again, both in terms of retaining his WBO cruiserweight title and doing so in a fashion that left the live crowd half-asleep and anyone watching on TV contemplating how much they needed to see.
Okolie beat David Light by unanimous decision in Manchester, with judges scoring the fight 116-112, 117-110, and 119-108. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 116-111 for Okolie.
Okolie (19-0, 14 KO) just wasn’t made to work all that hard in this one, and he didn’t try to force the issue much, either. Light (20-1, 12 KO) just didn’t have the tools to make Okolie uncomfortable very often, and even the rounds we scored his way weren’t exactly convincing for him, though neither were many of Okolie’s rounds.
If anyone did do any damage, it was Okolie in the latter stages of the fight, rocking Light back a bit on single right hands, but very little followed up, and that was the story of the bout overall. Single shots, nothing much after, a lot of Okolie holding and a fair amount of fouls from Light, too, notably some rabbit punching that didn’t seem to raise the ire of referee Bob Williams too much.
Williams did take a point from Okolie in round 11 for the holding.
Okolie, 30, may now look to defend against Richard Riakporhe, as both are under Boxxer deals, and Sky Sports may want something more exciting than this for their re-investment in Okolie, a questionable move given his track record with providing any entertainment value for viewers. They could also, in theory, look for a unification fight with WBC titlist Badou Jack, who will be seen as a vulnerable belt by the other titlists in the division.
Okolie vs Light highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Frazer Clarke RTD-2 Bogdan Dinu: Dinu gave this one up after two rounds, claiming injury. Not to be mean-spirited, but Brandon Glanton was in the studio for ProBox TV and basically called what was going to happen here, and it wasn’t exactly a +3000 bet, either. Dinu (20-5, 16 KO) came in on short notice to replace Rydell Booker, who reportedly fell ill, ate a few shots, didn’t seem to like it much. Is what it is. Clarke is now 6-0 (5 KO) and clearly has his sights set on Fabio Wardley and the British heavyweight title.
- Michael Gomez Jr SD-10 Levi Giles: I thought Gomez wound up pretty solidly and clearly deserving this win, which gives him the English title (which is a step below British or Commonwealth, but kinda the last step below those, too) at 130 lbs. I had it 96-94 Gomez, which is close, but I also had a couple Giles (13-1, 3 KO) rounds I thought could have gone to Gomez (19-1, 5 KO) very reasonably, so I could have seen this as wide as 98-92. Anyway, the judges who mattered had it 96-95 Giles on one card, then 97-94 and 97-93 Gomez on the other two. Gomez has his dad’s showman spirit and heart, and a good engine, but he doesn’t fight much like his pops, either, doesn’t have that sort of punching power and is taller, but also wants to be a pressure guy, isn’t trying to stick a jab in at range or anything. I don’t know how much further Gomez can go, but if he gets the opportunity to go for a British or Commonwealth, I’m sure he’ll take it.
- Karriss Artingstall PTS-6 Linzi Buczynski: Referee had this 60-55, which gives Buczynski (4-2, 0 KO) a share of one round, but a sweep of 10-9s for Artingstall (3-0, 0 KO) otherwise. I really like Artingstall, she won bronze in a very competitive division at Tokyo 2020, and has adjusted her game nicely to the pro style. She’s aggressive, she’s got a determined and focused style, she throws punches with intent. The power hasn’t shown up in terms of getting stoppages, but it’s two-minute rounds on the women’s side, and it’s clear she has a little mustard on her shots. She’s a featherweight with a real future.
- Callum Simpson TKO-3 Celso Neves: A good win for Simpson, who goes to 11-0 (9 KO) and emphatically takes out a guy in Neves (9-4-2, 2 KO) who gave Felix Cash way more problems last December than realistically he should have. But because of that Simpson’s trouncing of him looks better. Simpson is big and tall at 168, has obvious upside and potentially a really high ceiling. But he’s 26 and still raw in some ways, too, will take another couple of years, probably, for him to be ready-ready, if he’s ever gonna get to that world level. But you can see why Boxxer like the Barnsley native a lot, there’s a lot to build on with him, and he comes to do damage and has real power.