Home Boxing on TV Lawrence Okolie wants unification bout after walking through mandatory contender Dilan Prasovic

Lawrence Okolie wants unification bout after walking through mandatory contender Dilan Prasovic

Lawrence Okolie (left) vs Dilan Prasovic. Photo credit: Eddie Keogh/Matchroom Boxing

Lawrence Okolie 17-0 (14) successfully defended his WBO cruiserweight championship for the first time with an impressive third-round knockout of previously unbeaten mandatory challenger Dilan Prasovic 15-1 (12) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Tottenham, England on Saturday night.

The bout took place on the undercard of the unified heavyweight title fight between champion Anthony Joshua 24-1 (22) and mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk 18-0 (13).

The 28-year-old Londoner sent Montenegrin Prasovic, 26, to the canvas with a thumping right hand in the second round. A body shot in round three put Prasovic down for the count at the 1:57 mark.

Okolie says he wants to unify the division and has IBF and Ring magazine champion Mairis Briedis 27-1 (19) in his sights.

The 36-year-old is set to defend his titles against Artur ‘Thunderman’ Mann 17-1 (9) of Germany in his native Latvia on October 16.

“I want Brieidis, because he’s ranked number one and has the most accomplishments,” Okolie said.

“Beating him would make me number one. He’s the one I’m most after, but whichever one they can get me, I’ll take.”

Undefeated Armenian-born Frenchman Arsen Goulamirian 26-0 (18) is the WBA boss while Ilunga Makabu 28-2 (25) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the WBC kingpin.

“I’m extremely happy to get a win in front of all these amazing people,” Okolie said. “I grew into the fight, it’s difficult against guys like that who come a little bit cagey.

“I need the big names to get the best out of myself, unifications and the rest.

“The better the person in front of me, the better my performance.

“The other champions would be trying to win so I could land a clinical shot to finish.”

Trainer Shane McGuigan said: “He needs the guys to test him. Out of everyone we want Mairis Briedis the most.

“Ilunga Makabu has shown limitations. The best guy is Briedis. Let’s get it at the end of the year.”

Okolie was making the first defence of the title he won experienced Pole Krzysztof Glowacki 31-3 (19) by sixth-round knockout at Wembley Arena in London last March.

Glowacki was stopped in three frames by Briedis at Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia in June 2019.

Also on the card lightweight Campbell Hatton 4-0 was fortunate to get the win against late substitute Sonny Martinez 2-5. Referee Marcus McDonnell crowned Hatton – who is the son of former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton – the winner with a score of 58-57.

Earlier in the night welterweight Florian ‘The Albanian King’ Marku 9-0-1 (6) overcame Maxim Prodan 19-1-1 (15) by ten round split decision.

The scores were 97-93 and 96-94 Marku with the third judge viewing Prodan the winner with a card of 99-91.

Unbeaten Chicago middleweight Christopher Ousley 13-0 (9) took a ten round majority decision over Khasan Baysangurov 21-2 (11) with scores of 95-95 and 97-94 twice.

In the main event, Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk 19-0 (13) dethroned WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 24-2 (22) on points.