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Boxing: Lawrence Okolie anticipates tough test against Luke Watkins

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 May 2018

Lawrence Okolie celebrates defeating Isaac Chamberlain (pic: Adam Davy/PA)

Lawrence Okolie celebrates defeating Isaac Chamberlain (pic: Adam Davy/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Former Dagenham BC amateur looks to add Commonwealth cruiserweight strap to his WBA Continental at York Hall on June 6

Lawrence Okolie anticipates the toughest night of his pro career when he faces Luke Watkins for the Commonwealth and WBA Continental cruiserweight titles at York Hall on June 6.

Okolie, an Olympian in his days as a Dagenham BC amateur, is now an unbeaten pro trained by Brian O’Shaughnessy at Canning Town’s Peacock gym.

The 26-year-old landed the WBA belt in his grudge match with Isaac Chamberlain at The O2 in February and now looks to add a second title to his collection in just his ninth pro outing.

However he is aware that he faces a stiff task against Swindon boxer Watkins, currently unbeaten after 13 fights.

“I’ll be honest — Watkins looks good. I’ve studied him a bit recently and you have to be respectful of his unbeaten record and style,” said Okolie.

“He’s had more knockouts than I’ve had fights, we’re two unbeaten fighters putting it on the line.

“I’m very excited to be challenging for the Commonwealth title. I’ve got one belt to my name and I want to keep on collecting honours, this is the next step.

“The Commonwealth title is something I visualised winning even back as an amateur. The atmosphere at York Hall will be mad, I think it will help make it a toe to toe war as the fans are right on top of you — it should make for a great night of boxing.”

Matchroom’s JDNXTGEN show also parades rising prospects from the stable including Kazakhstan’s Olympic gold medallist Daniyar Yeleussinov, who scored a third round KO on his New York pro debut, plus Reece Bellotti, Felix Cash, Danny Dignum and Ted Cheeseman.

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