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Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Lawrence Okolie possible for Golovkin vs. Szeremeta card on March 28

Gennady Golovkin

By Charles Brun: Krzysztof Glowacki (31-2, 19 KOs) could be facing Lawrence Okolie (14-0, 11 KOs) for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title on the Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Kamil Szeremeta card on March 28 in Chicago, according to Eddie Hearn.

The Chicago fans might not like watching 12 rounds of nonstop clinching by Okolie, so hopefully Hearn has a talk with him before the fight to tone down his holding. It could spoil the fight card if Okolie is booed out of the ring for excessive holding against Glowacki.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn likes the idea of adding the Glowacki vs. Okolie fight as the co-main event for the Golovkin-Szeremeta card. The two will be fighting for the recently vacated World Boxing Organization 175-lb title that Canelo Alvarez relinquished.

Chicago had a large Polish community, and he believes that Glowacki, who is Polish, is a great addition to the card.

Hearn is mindful of all the stick that #1 WBO Okolie has been receiving from the boxing fans due to his habit of clinching constantly, and making his fights ugly at times. Eddie doesn’t mind. His philosophy is to just win no matter how you look.

Holding has become a problem in Okolie’s fights

Okolie doesn’t seem to like the give and take aspect about boxing. So one way for him to keep from getting hit is to dive in, and grab his opponents in a bearhug to keep them from throwing punches.

The hard-hitting Glowacki isn’t the type that is easy to grab, as he likes to jump and out with his attacks. If Okolie comes at Glowacki looking to wrap him up in a clinch, he be vulnerable to one of his straight lefts.

Okolie vs. Glowacki in play for March 28 in Chicago

“He’s gone Commonwealth, British, WBA International, European champion, and now you’re fighting for a world title,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Okolie’s accomplishments. “The possibility of Chicago,” Hearn said when asked about when Okolie will fight Glowacki for a world title. “If Golovkin fights [Kamil] Szeremeta, that’s the perfect fight for a co-main event.

“Szeremeta is Polish, and Glowacki is also Polish,” said Hearn. “Everything is being worked out at the moment, but that’ll be Lawrence’s next fight for a world title. You don’t have to love watching him, but give him the credit and respect. ‘You’re moving fast, much faster than you should be moving. So well done.’ I think as he develops, I think he’s going to get more and more exciting, but you can’t take away what makes him so effective, which is his size.

“He’ll sometimes smother you on the inside,” Hearn said about Okolie. “When Andre Ward did it for years. Yeah, he did [get criticized], but look at what he walked away with. Hardly a scratch on his face, and a lovely bank account. So let Okolie do his thing, and I believe he’ll win a world title in his next fight,” Hearn said.

The 2016 Olympian Okolie has the punching power to beat the southpaw Glowacki, but not the experience. Although Okolie fought in the 2016 Olympics for the UK, he was eliminated by Cuban Olympian Erislandy Savon in his second contest in the competition. Savon was world’s better than Okolie at the time. As a professional, the 6’5″ Okolie has showed excellent punching, but an inability to resist holding at every opportunity.

Hearn: fans have a love-hate thing for Okolie 

“Lawrence Okolie is a love-hate thing not with me but with the fans,” said Hearn. “He’s had a couple of performances where he was a little bit out of his depth, and just had to do what he had to do to win.

“I’m mainly talking about the Matt Askin fight,” said Hearn about Okolie’s lackluster performances. “But on the back of those two fights, which were Isaac Chamberlain and Matty Askin, I wouldn’t say poor performances. They were 2 slightly boring performances. I feel like he gets such a hard time from fans now. You go into the first round, boom-boom, clinch. ‘Oh, f—- Okolie, he’s terrible to watch. BOO.’ That’s what happens. So he’s kind of got that reputation now.

“Even in his last fight for the European title, I thought he boxed well,” Hearn continued on Okolie. “He just beaten an undefeated world ranked European champion [Yves Ngabu], who didn’t win a second of one round, and he sparked him out. But still it, ‘Oh, he’s boring.’

“He’s never going to be Arturo Gatti to watch, but if you want these fighters to move quickly, and you want them to take chances, don’t moan if they’re not quite ready for that occasion, and need to find a way to win,” Hearn said about Okolie.

It painful to watch Okolie’s fight against Isaac Chamberlain and Matt Askins, because he was not going to let either of those guys get their shots. You can argue that Okolie should have had points deducted numerous times in both fights for holding.

Hearn wants Okolie to win – that’s all that matters

“Yeah, kind of light Joshua,” Hearn said about Okolie fighting guys he wasn’t ready for. “Okolie has a very exciting style, but sometimes he’s going to lock you up on the inside. But that’s one of his attributes. You can’t say to Lawrence Okolie, ‘Mate, can you stop locking people up on the inside, and just have a tear up.’ So what, you can get knocked out for someone’s entertainment. No thanks, we want to win. That’s what matters.

“I want Lawrence Okolie to win a world title, and I believe in his next fight, he’ll win a world title,” Hearn said about Okolie. “He’ll fight [Krzysztof] Glowacki for the [vacant] WBO world title in his next fight. Give him the credit. What has he had? 14 fights? He ain’t ready for Glowacki, but he can beat Glowacki. Give him the credit,” said Hearn in predicting a win for Okolie.

Thus far, Okolie has gotten away with all the clinching he does. The lenient referees that have worked Okolie’s fights have let him clinch as often without docking points from him. However, he’s going to need to change how he fights in the future.  When fighting at the upper level, the referees are less forgiving with fighters that game the system by clinching nonstop the way Okolie does.

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