Boxing Tips: Okolie v Glowacki preview – PLUS the rest of Saturday’s best bets

Lawrence Okolie can land a world title against Krzysztof Glowacki on Saturday night.


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

World titles are thrown about like confetti at a wedding these days but Lawrence Okolie can get his gloves on a bonafide belt by beating Polish powerhouse Krzysztof Glowacki this Saturday at Wembley. With a decent undercard and a few international fights worth a flutter, let’s steam into the action.


British world champions have taken a shellacking in the last few months but Okolie can get one back for the UK this weekend. Mairis Briedis is the ‘numero uno’ in the cruiserweight division but Okolie and Glowacki could easily be the number two and three – this is a well-matched scrap and definitely worthy of a belt.

The former McDonald’s employee from Hackney is only 15 fights deep into his professional career but he’s already taken home the British, Commonwealth and European straps, and he’s defeated the mental pressures of facing domestic rivals and headlining bills in his home city. ‘The Sauce’ is coming hot off five straight KOs and it’s the right time for him to step up to world level.

Glowacki might not be the absolute best in the division but he’s an ex-champ who’s been around the world to trade leather with the leading cruiserweights of this era. The Pole had the power to put away 19 of his 33 opponents and his skills are doubly difficult to handle because they come from the southpaw stance.

The man from Walcz has lost twice in 12 years: In 2016, Glowacki went toe-to-toe with pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk but was comprehensively beaten over 12 rounds, and then in 2019, ‘Glowka’ was stopped in three rounds when Briedis got away with rough tactics and dodgy timekeeping.

Lawrence Okolie

The thing with Okolie is that he’s so hard to get the better of: he’s 6’5’’ with a huge wingspan, so boxing from the outside is almost always a losing strategy, but if you want to get on the inside he’ll man-handle you and make it ugly until the referee calls “break”.

2016 Olympian Okolie was stopped once in the amateurs but since then he’s been a regular sparring partner for his old Team GB pal Anthony Joshua. There aren’t many concerns about Lawrie’s chin, and if Glowacki is going to win it will surely be by decision with quick-fire, points-scoring attacks.

If you’re a fan of ‘The Sauce’ you may be concerned about him living it up in Dubai, publishing a motivational book and realising a grime track, but don’t worry – he’s been back at McGuigan’s gym with it’s world class coaching, top sparring and elite gym mates, and I’m confident that on Saturday we’ll see the best version of Okolie yet.

Glowacki has been dropped a few times in his career and, although he’s always going to have the heart, his 34-year-old’s body might let him down. Okolie could hurt the away fighter early but I think he’ll get the job done in the mid-to-late rounds. My best bet of the bout is Okolie in rounds 7-9.


On the undercard in London, rising cruiserweight contender Chris Billam-Smith takes on tough ex-kickboxer Vasil Ducar (9:30pm). Ducar is big and awkward but ‘CBS’ has all the attributes needed to take the win on Saturday – back Billam-Smith to win on points.

Anthony Fowler is also in action on the weekend and he faces Spain’s Jorge Fortea (8:30pm). Fowler has put his only professional loss in 2019 way behind him now and the Scouser is destined for bigger things than Fortea – look for Fowler to win in rounds 5-6.

Looking east, unified light heavyweight king Artur Beterbiev defends his titles against Adam Deines in Russia (8pm). Deines is a technically solid southpaw but he’s out of his depth against one of the best in boxing. Beterbiev may be 36 now but he looks as good as ever, and I am eyeing up the “Power Prices” for him to Beterbiev win in rounds 1-3.

Rounding off the night over in Texas, American top prospect Vergil Ortiz takes on former titleholder Maurice Hooker (3am, Sunday). Welterweight Ortiz, 22, who has won all of his 16 bouts by KO, looks like the full package and he’s a big favourite despite his limited experience.

Hooker, who was champion at 140lbs, lost his belt inside the distance in 2019 and then moved up to 147lbs just over a year ago. The American is a great boxer at range but against a big, young puncher like Ortiz he might get flattened. I’m going to be taking Ortiz to win by KO.

This Weekend’s boxing tips

Saturday 10.30pm: Okolie V Glowacki – Okolie in rounds 7-9
Saturday 9.30pm: Billam-Smith v Ducar – Billam-Smith to win on points
Saturday 8.30pm: Fowler v Fortea – Fowler to win in rounds 5-6
Saturday 8pm: Beterbiev v Deines – Beterbiev to win in round 1-3
Sunday 3am: Ortiz Jr v Hooker – Ortiz Jr to win by KO

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change


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