England-based heavyweight boxer, Lawrence Okolie has received immense backing from Zambian-born British pugilist, Derek Chisora to win a world title soon, megasportsaena.com reports.
With Okolie having picked up a series of astonishing victories in the squared rope of recent, Chisora is of a view that the Nigerian cruiserweight could hold his own with the heavies.
With that in view, Chisora, who has failed on a number of occasions to claim the global title, says Okolie should reignite a rivalry with British icon, Dillian Whyte by challenging him to a heavyweight fight.
Undefeated Okolie’s chance to become WBO cruiserweight champion against Krzysztof Glowacki is on March 20, to be followed by Whyte’s rematch with Alexander Povetkin on March 27.
Hading into both seperate bouts, Okolie and Whyte had a war of words in 2019 that required tense peace talks in order to cool the simmering animosity, such that Chisora believes anoher face-off beween them will draw huge followership.
Okolie is managed by anoher Nigerian-born fighter, Anthony Joshua and also has a potential collision course with Richard Riakporhe, Whyte’s protégé.
The pot has been stirred by Chisora, who was twice beaten by Whyte in grudge matches that spilled over into acrimony outside of the ring too.
Chisora told Sky Sports News: “Okolie will smoke that guy then have two choices – stay at cruiserweight or come up to heavyweight. If I was him? Win that one, then go to heavyweight and challenge Dillian Whyte.
“Dillian’s power is alright. Power? I haven’t found anybody in boxing who has hit me so hard that I wanted to come out of the ring. Some old-school guys could hit you with a jab and it would be a long night.”
Incidentally, Okolie started a rivalry with Whyte out of the blue two years ago, when he posted footage of a sparring session that they shared and a claim that he would win if they met in the ring.
Okolie declared back then: “Dillian spoke about me on the day that I posted. I didn’t like what was said, so that’s his opinion of my boxing, so I made my opinion on him and me boxing.
“In terms of moving up to heavyweight, I believe definitely it’s something that’s going to happen. I always believe in myself and I’ve always set targets and gone and accomplished them.
“I’m not going to single him out and say I’m gunning for Whyte. I’m doing my own career, but at the end of the day, I don’t say stuff for no reason.”
Whyte’s response at the time was: “Look, I don’t have much time for sparring stories. Sparring is sparring, but Okolie is living on another planet.
“The last boxer to make up a sparring story about me was Chisora and everyone saw how that ended. If Okolie steps up to heavyweight I would end his career.”