A card with everything from heavyweight to flyweight takes place at the O2 Arena in London this Sunday night, as Lawrence Okolie makes the second defence of his WBO cruiserweight title at the head of affairs against Poland’s Michal Cieslak. The Matchroom promoted card will be televised live on DAZN.
Okolie (17-0, KO14) has matured into a solid champion since winning the vacant world title in March last year with a six round knockout of the usually durable Krzysztof Glowacki, and backed that up on the big Joshua v Usyk bill, wiping out Dilan Prasovic in three at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) September 25, 2021
Okolie has certainly shed his tag as a man caught up in snooze-tests, and looks to work towards unification against Cieslak (21-1, KO15). The 32-year-old Pole has only tasted defeat once, a points loss in a bid for the vacant WBC crown to Ilunga Makabu in January 2020, but he has won twice since, his last a May 2021 first round stoppage of Yury Kashinsky in Poland.
Prediction: Okolie is eying bigger and better things, and I can’t see Cieslak standing in the way here. Once the visitor feels the power of ’The Sauce’ he could be removed from battle within the first four frames.
Prediction: Gill will be up for this, and eager to progress as a pro. Guerfi is vulnerable early on, and Gill can hurt him, but will then settle into the contest, and gain a clear points win to become new champion.
An intriguing debutant takes to the professional stage in Tokyo Olympic champion, Galal Yafai. Much is expected of the man from Birmingham, and he begins his journey to the top with the not so usual step of taking a ten rounder for his pro bow. The flyweight challenges for the vacant WBC International title against Carlos Vado Bautista (10-4-1, KO3). The Mexican has never fought outside of his home country, and went ten rounds in defeat last time out.Prediction: Yafai will want to begin with a bang, and he can score an early win before halfway.
Yafai’s fellow Olympian, Cheavon Clarke makes his debut on the bill, and the cruiserweight should have enough to stop Croatia’s Toni Visic (20-29-2, KO5) in their contest set for six.
Anthony Fowler (15-2, KO12) makes his middleweight debut, after suffering an eighth round stoppage defeat in his last assignment at super welterweight against Liam Smith in October last year. The Scouser has a ten rounder with Łukasz Maciej (27-3-1, KO5). The Pole hasn’t been stopped in his three losses, but is limited and Fowler should impress in a stoppage win.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) October 9, 2021
Fabio Wardley (12-0, KO11) has his first outing of 2022, and the Ipswich heavyweight comes off a one round win over Nick Webb in defence of his English title in August 2021. He is in a scheduled ten rounder here against Virginia’s Daniel Martz (20-9-1, KO17), a man stopped eight times in nine defeats. Wardley should add to that tally relatively early in this one.
WARDLEY STOPS WEBB IN THE FIRST 😮 pic.twitter.com/9m3919eMLS
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) August 7, 2021
Another heavyweight hope is Australia’s Demsey McKean (20-0, KO13) and he makes a UK debut against Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (11-6, KO5). McKean debuted in the USA last time out, and now has an eight rounder with the Argentine. Bracamonte is best known for sharing an Irn Bru post-fight with Dave Allen in 2018 after a retirement defeat, and McKean should deal with him very early on in a knockout victory.
Campbell Hatton (5-0, KO1) returns after scoring a first knockout win in Spain to round off 2021, and the son of the legend should bank a points win against Joe Ducker (9-8-2, KO2) in their lightweight six rounder. John Hedges (4-0, KO0) may well notch his first stoppage win in his six round meeting against Alexsander Nagolski (2-1, KO1) at light heavyweight.