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Boxing: All you need to know about Lawrence Okolie v Michal Cieslak

The boxing schedule is in full swing after its temporary lull over the Christmas and New Year period and there is a good night of action in London on Sunday to round off the weekend.

Lawrence Okolie is one of the rising stars of British boxing and returns to the ring in his home city of London to take on the Polish challenger Michal Cieslak. Both men are ranked in the top 10 cruiserweights, so it should be a competitive contest.

However, the Sauce, as Okiole is known, is the fancied runner at 1/7 to get the victory and 8/15 to do so by knockout.

Cieslak is a 9/2 chance to produce the upset and 13/2 to win by way of knockout. The fight is 9/4 to go the distance and 22/1 to be pronounced a draw.

Where and when will the fight take place?

The fight will take place on Sunday 27th February at the O2 Arena in London. The venue will be in full working order after repair work was completed following the damage from the recent Storm Eunice.

The main card will begin at roughly 17:00 GMT with the main event scheduled to take place at 21:00 GMT.

Where can you watch Okolie v Cieslak?

The entire card will be shown on DAZN, as it has a deal with Matchroom Boxing the company that promotes Okolie. A subscription to DAZN is £7.99 a month.

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What is on the line?

Lawrence Okolie is the reigning WBO cruiserweight champion after his defeat of Krzysztof Glowacki and subsequent defence against Dilan Prasovic in March and September last year, respectively.

The Hackney-born bruiser will put his belt on the line against Cieslak, who lost in his only previous world title shot to Ilunga Makabu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in January 2020.

Who is on the undercard?

Olympic hero Galal Yafai gets his professional career underway with a fight against Carlos Vado Bautista in a flyweight bout. Frenchman Karim Guerfi will defend his European featherweight title against Jordan Gill. Liverpool’s Anthony Fowler will take on Lukasz Maciec, while Ricky Hatton’s son Campbell is also in action.

What are the records of the fighters?

Lawrence Okolie has a perfect record of 17 wins and no losses, with 14 of those victories coming by way of knockout. None of his last seven fights have gone beyond the seventh round, with the Sauce getting the job done in explosive fashion more often than not.

Okolie is now WBO cruiserweight champion but has stated that he is open to a move up to heavyweight at some point in the future.

His opponent Michal Cieslak has a record of 21 wins, one loss and one no contest. The Pole beat Russian Yury Kashinsky in his most recent bout in May last year.

Okolie v Cieslak prediction

Lawrence Okolie has made his name in winning by way of knockout and can keep up that reputation with another bruising victory over Michal Cieslak.

The Polish fighter came up short in his only previous world title fight and looks unlikely to pose a major threat to the hometown hero.

Okolie has both a height and reach advantage and should be able to keep his opponent at range with his good jab in order to pick him off from distance.

The Sauce has made it clear in his recent bouts that he can get the knockout early so it may be worth siding with under 7.5 rounds at 10/11.

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