“The Sauce” Lawrence Okolie is set to make his sixth professional fight this weekend on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam, in Cardiff, on Saturday night, and has made it his goal to clear up domestically on the British scene before looking at world honors.
The 2016 Olympian who turned pro at the start of the year has stopped four of his five opponents in the paid ranks, having gone the distance with Blaise Mendouo last time out on the JD NXTGEN card, and the man from Hackney admits that it was a learning curve.
Speaking on the fight the 24-year-old Cruiserweight has been quoted as saying “Going the rounds was just another chapter, it was all good,”
“I am not going to get into a Twitter row or put my case out online, saying ‘the bloke was really tough’ or whatever, I just spoke with my team and worked on things.
“It was over a year since I’d been over a round and it made me remember what it was like in Team GB when you’re getting hit, you’ve got to fight back and you’ve also got to deal with mental things within yourself.
“We looked back on it and just worked on things like not being over exertive to try and get a knockout in the first or second round.
“A title is the next aim for me, even if it’s another one-round knockout! I am training so hard I need to test myself against other pressures, like someone with a title.”
The East Londoner is eager to start mixing it up with his domestic rivals, pointing at Commonwealth champion Luke Watkins, English titlist Arfan Iqbal and most notably South London foe, Isaac Chamberlain.
“If I look at the landscape at the moment, two things come to mind.
“One is, a lot of the fighters in the division are prospects, and have been around for two and three years but haven’t boxed each other. They seem to just be fighting journeymen,” Okolie continued.
“If any one of us are going to progress and do better things we have to do it within our homes first.
“When you look at Mexico and other countries, their boxers have to battle it out in their own countries before they can challenge the rest of the world. I feel we don’t really do that but I know I am still learning and I want those tests – and they are tests I need.
“It’s about stepping up and improving. I feel like Iqbal, Watkins and Chamberlain are definitely on my radar.
“Someone like British champ Matty Askins, you have to give him respect, but he is experienced and battle-hardened and I can’t rush to face him, I have to be prepared for a gruelling 12 rounds.
“Those other few guys have also had eight or 10 rounders, so we can help each other. I want to use the other prospects to build up my engine, everything, then I will be ready to move on.”
Watch Lawrence Okolie along with Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam, from the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.