Lawrence Okolie Feels Anthony Joshua Tried to Delay His World Title Fight

Published 03/23/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 13: Lawrence Okolie celebrates beating Antonio Sousa in there Cruiserweight Contest at York Hall on December 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)


Newly crowned WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie has made a surprising claim about Anthony Joshua. The undefeated fighter suggested that ‘AJ’ delayed his world title shot, even though he was ready for it earlier.

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Okolie is fresh off his victory over Krzysztof Glowacki, where he became the cruiserweight champion of the world. However, he joked that his manager, Anthony Joshua, held back the world title bout.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 06: Anthony Joshua laughs during the press conference for Andy Ruiz Jr. v Anthony Joshua 2 ‘Clash on the Dunes’ at the Hilton Syon Park on September 06, 2019 in London, England. Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr will have a Heavyweight World Title rematch fight on December 7th 2019 in the historical town of Diriyah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The 16-0 boxer spoke to iFL TV on YouTube and said, “I tried to win it [World title] in 15 but, I think AJ and chief Harvey might have something to do with the fight getting pushed back one fight. I don’t know, something’s happened there.”

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Okolie then added, “Because I was ready to go on in the fifteenth. I was ready for December. But somehow, a week before, it got canceled. But you know what, I’m happy to have won it.”

Thus, these comments showed he wanted to get the world title shot earlier. However, his team felt he was not ready. Despite this, he clarified that he was happy with winning the belt regardless of the time.

READ: Anthony Joshua’s 258 Management: What Does It Stand For?

Can Lawrence Okolie emulate Anthony Joshua?

The Londoner has shared a very close friendship with Anthony Joshua. The two have trained together frequently and have spoken highly of each other. So does Okolie have a chance at emulating the unified heavyweight champion?

‘The Sauce’ is one of the best cruiserweights in the division and has been for a while now. His intelligent ring management and boxing IQ perfectly only enhances his power and speed. As a result, he won his first world title in just his sixteenth fight. Coincidently, the same bout as Joshua.

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CARDIFF, WALES – OCTOBER 28: Lawrence Okolie celebrates his third round victory after the Cruiserweight contest against Adam Williams at Principality Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Given the lack of challengers in the cruiserweight division at the moment, Okolie has a fantastic chance of following in the footsteps of ‘AJ’ and becoming a unified champion. And although it will take hard work to get there, the Englishman has the correct backing to achieve this.

What do you make of these comments from Lawrence Okolie? Do you think he could have won the world title earlier?

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READ: Unorthodox But Effective- How WBC Champion Tyson Fury Trains

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Leonardo Carvalho

865 articles

Leonardo Carvalho is a Boxing Writer for EssentiallySports. Before working as a boxing web journalist, Leonardo dabbled in roles ranging from an SEO specialist to a Chegg expert. Alongside his current role, Leonardo runs a YouTube channel where he combines his passion for fitness with sports.

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