Lawrence Okolie vs Michael Cieslak Preview Feb. 27th, 2022
Unbeaten WBO Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie takes on Michael Cieslak of Poland in the champ’s hometown of London, England this Sunday, Feb. 27th. Okolie stopped Cieslak’s fellow countryman Krzysztof Glowacki in the sixth round in March to win the vacant title and then stopped Dilan Prasovic in the third round in his first defence in September. Cieslak last fought in May when he halted Yury Kashinsky in the first round. This weekend’s tilt can be seen live on DAZN in most nations.
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Okolie vs Cieslak Betting Odds
- Michael Cieslak +475
- Lawrence Okolie -750
Okolie is 29 years old and big and lanky at 6-feet-5-inches with a perfect record of 17-0 with 14 Kos and is listed as having an 82.5-inch reach. He’s boxed 72 rounds since making his pro debut in 2017 and so far has displayed very impressive power with a current knockout ratio of 82.4 per cent. He won the vacant WBA Continental Cruiserweight Title in 2018 via a 10-round unanimous decision over Isaac Chamberlain.
Okolie then added the Commonwealth Crown a few months later by stopping Luke Watkins in the third round. He’s also beaten Matty Askin and Wadi Camacho to add the British Title and hoisted the European Cruiserweight Belt in October, 2019 with a seventh-round TKO of Yves Ngabu. He stepped up in class earlier in 2020 when he met Glowacki and passed the test with flying colours.
Before turning pro, Okolie enjoyed a fine amateur career and won the 2016 AIBA European Olympic Qualification Event. He boxed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he beat Igor Jakubowski of Poland and lost to Erislandy Savon of Cuba. Okolie also boxed in the World Series of Boxing in 2016 for the British and was beaten by Erislandy Savon again.
The 32-year-old Cieslak enters the bout with a mark of 21-1 with 15 Kos. He’s also got pretty good power in his punches with a current knockout ratio of 65.2 per cent. However, other than Ilunga Junior Makabu, his list of opponents so far doesn’t include anybody on the world level. He dropped a unanimous decision to Makabu in January, 2020 for his lone loss as a pro in a shot at the vacant WBC Cruiserweight title.
Cieslak made his pro debut in 2013 following a short amateur career and has boxed 103 rounds since. As a pro, he’s won the vacant Republic of Poland Youth International Cruiserweight Title and the vacant International Boxing Federation Baltic Cruiserweight Belt. His best wins up to now have been over Art Binkowski, Ismail Abdoul, Jarno Rosberg, Taylor Mabika, Olanrewaju Durodola, Youri Kayembre Kalenga, Ivica Bacurin and Francisco Palacios. Cieslak is 6-feet-3-inches tall with a 79-inch reach so gives up two inches in height and 3.5-inches in reach to Okolie.
Cieslak is a tough customer with a good chin and also has good size and power so it’s not going to be easy for the champion. However, he’s going to have to get inside to cause damage as Okolie likes to keep his foes at bay with a fine jab. Okolie is expected to win this fight in his hometown but I wouldn’t underestimate Cieslak if I was him. Still, I’m going with Okolie here in what could be a close call.
Okolie may have his hands full here.
Play: Okolie -750 @ BetOnline.ag
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