Okolie retains WBO Jr. Heavyweight World Championship in Manchester

WBO Jr. Heavyweight Champion Lawrence Okolie returned to Sky Sports to retain his World Championship in a confident unanimous decision victory over the previously-undefeated New Zealand champion and WBO #1 contender David Light at the AO Arena, Manchester.

Despite having been out of the ring for over a year, Okolie dominated the fight with scorecards of: 119-108, 117-110, and 116-112, showing class and skill under his new trainer SugarHill Steward, a relationship looking likely to bear even richer fruit in future. The North London native controlled the range of the fight very successfully with a pawing jab that stopped Light from getting into position to land any damaging shots.

When Light did get close, Okolie used effective short hooks from within the clinch. While the jab did most of the work for Okolie in the early rounds, the right hand did find its mark at an increasing frequency as the fight went on. The resulting damage accumulated to the point Light was running on fumes by the end of the fight and the scorecards remained lopsided despite a point deduction for Okolie in the 11th round.

With Okolie a proven one-shot fight-finisher, Light showed he has a genuinely world-class chin by not being knocked down in the 10th and 11th rounds, but he could do little else than try to remain standing as the fight went on.

Lawrence Okolie said to Sky Sports after the fight: “David Light was extremely tough, but there’s no excuses and we use it to get better. I hurt him in the second half of the fight, and he was dancing round the ring away from me, but he had strong defenses and was able to survive. I’ll fight anyone, if you think you’re good enough to beat me, meet me in the ring and let’s fight.”