"He's getting a reputation as a big, big puncher," Mikael Lawal has emerged as an exciting cruiserweight contender who is edging closer to an explosive British battle, says Sky Sports expert Matthew Macklin
Monday 22 November 2021 17:27, UK
Mikael Lawal delivered "a devastating knockout", but Sky Sports expert Matthew Macklin has questioned whether the dangerous puncher is ready for a risky shootout.
The cruiserweight contender produced a thunderous one-punch stoppage of Leonardo Damian Bruzzese on Saturday night, which kept him on course for a British title fight.
With Chris Billam-Smith holding the European and British belts, Macklin has advised Lawal to prime his punches against a higher class of opponent before risking his unbeaten record.
Macklin told Sky Sports: "That was another big knockout win off the back of the last one he had, Lawal.
"He's getting a reputation as a big, big puncher.
"A welcome addition to the domestic cruiserweight division.
"Billam-Smith, obviously more experienced, a European champion now, so that's a big step up for him.
"Even though tonight was a devastating knockout performance in the end, we've got to keep things in perspective.
"Bruzzese was there as very much an opponent. Been knocked out before on a lesser level as well.
"Maybe the jump for Lawal right into Billam-Smith, I'm not sure he's quite ready for that.
"I think he probably needs a couple of fights in between first."
Lawal was satisfied after unloading a fight-ending right hand on Bruzzese in the fifth round at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
The 26-year-old Londoner, who has nine knockouts in 15 wins, hopes Billam-Smith will be ordered to make a title defence against him.
"I was trying to time it. I finally found it," Lawal told Sky Sports.
"I was rushing a bit at first, got a bit comfortable.
"He [Bruzzese] has got a lot of experience over me.
"For me to take him out - and he's European level as well - so getting him out of there, I'm happy with that.
"At first, my coaches weren't too happy with what I was doing. I was trying to force it and obviously I had to time it right.
"I've got my own path to go down. I'm just waiting to be made mandatory for the British title."