By Mark Eisner: Krzysztof Glowacki never stood a chance in getting beaten like a drum by Lawrence Okolie, getting obliterated by a sixth-round knockout to win the vacant WBO cruiserweight title on Saturday night.
Okolie landed a peach of a right hand that the former two-time WBO cruiserweight champion Glowacki never saw coming in the sixth round.
The corkscrew-like chopping right hand from Okolie (16-0, 13 KOs) drop Glowacki (31-3, 19 KOs) into the canvas.
Glowacki, 34, bravely got back to his feet, but the referee Marcus McDonnell took a long look at the condition he was in and waived it off. If not for that, Glowacki would have likely been knocked cold because he didn’t look in good shape.
Glowacki could not get in punching range the entire fight, but mostly because he was too afraid to make a quick move to close the distance. The Polish fighter Glowacki knew he would get hit with something on the way in.
Glowacki’s unwillingness to do what he had to do for him to try and win ultimately cost him the fight. Shorter fighters must take risks against their taller opponents, but Glowacki lacked the nerve to try.
In the few half-hearted attempts that the 34-year-old Glowacki did take to get in punching range, he was tied up by Okolie in a clinch, which is standard.
Okolie is known for his tendency to clinch frequently, but tonight he didn’t have to because Glowacki was gunshy, unwilling to pull the trigger on his punches.
He gave Okolie more respect than most of his less experienced past opponents, which eventually cost him the fight.
Okolie says he wants to face IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis next in a unification match with tonight’s win.
“Out of the champions, Mairis Briedis is the one I’d most like to fight,” said Okolie to Sky Sports News after the fight.
The 36-year-old Briedis (27-1, 19 KOs) is coming off a 12 round majority decision over Yunier Dorticos last September. Briedis may prove to be a tougher out for Okolie than Glowacki, though, as he’s not going to stay on the outside, fearful of trying to get in range and land punches.
Briedis will walk Okolie down and land shots. Whether he can take Okolie’s punches is another thing, but he’s got an excellent ring IQ, and he won’t fight in the same weak manner that we witnessed from Glowacki tonight.
Okolie’s goal is to capture all four cruiserweight titles to become the undisputed champion and then move up to heavyweight. For Okolie to accomplish his dream, he’ll need to beat these champions at cruiserweight:
- Mairis Briedis – IBF
- Arsen Goulamirian
- Ilunga Makabu
Briedis is viewed by many boxing fans as the best cruiserweight in the division, so it makes sense for Okolie to take him out first.
If Okolie is having problems making the 200-lb cruiserweight limit, it makes sense that he face Briedis as soon as possible. The last thing Okolie needs is to be weight drained against Briedis, who will be hard enough to beat as it is.
“Glowacki was top five in the world. Okolie has had criticism, but he’s a novice,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. “It was an absolute masterclass. That was good enough to beat any cruiserweight.
“We want to unify then move up to heavyweight. He has scary power but also has the knowledge,” said Hearn about Okolie.
We’ll see if Hearn can negotiate a fight between Briedis and Okolie next. If not, Hearn will need to look in the direction of one of the other cruiserweight champions.
The problem that Eddie has with his dreams of having Okolie become the undisputed cruiserweight champion is the fact that he’s getting older, approaching 30, and it’s going to be difficult for him to continue to make the 200-lb limit.
If Okolie is still attempting to unify the cruiserweight division a year or two, he needs to give up on the idea and move up to heavyweight, where the money is much better.
Tonight, Okolie looked massive for a cruiserweight, clearly as big as heavyweight Deontay Wilder and likely close to 230 lbs.
With that kind of size, Okolie should be fighting at heavyweight instead of using his size to fight in a division that his huge body frame is too big for.