Lawrence Okolie analyses five of the world's best cruiserweights
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 13/08/18 12:20pm
Lawrence Okolie has set himself a world title target, so we asked him to assess five of the best cruiserweights who could stand in the way of his ambitions.
The unbeaten 25-year-old plans to become a world champion by 2020 and will take another step up in class against British champion Matty Askin on the Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin bill at Wembley on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Askin-Okolie added to AJ bill
Lawrence Okolie challenges Matty Askin for British title at Wembley Stadium
Okolie analyses a crop of potential future opponents, including cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk, who is discussing a clash with Tony Bellew.
He's got all the belts. He's beaten some good fighters on his way there, so definitely he's top of the tree.
He's got good physical and mental conditioning. That's his main things. He's definitely got skills - a lot of people have skills, but as you get tired it starts to waver. He's very good at keeping his composure the whole way.
You can't take away the fact that he can punch hard. I think he will learn from losing to Usyk, closing down the ring, etc, etc.
He's a good fighter, but I think he will struggle against people who are physically fit and can outbox him.
He's a good fighter, a good technician, got a good heart.
We'll see how I get on with Askin but, with someone like him, because I'm so much taller and bigger than he would be, it would be good for me.
An orthodox Cuban, confident style.
He's shown himself to be quite flat-footed, wanting to have a fight too much, because he believes in his power. It makes him a little bit vulnerable himself.
He hasn't had a major step-up fight. I think he just needs a breakthrough fight so everyone can see how good, or how not good he is.
He's fit, fast, seems to have good power. I don't know him well, but I know who he is, so that's a fight that could happen definitely.
Stylistically, I think Andrew Tabiti and then Briedis would probably be the best ones.
Can Bellew beat Usyk?
Yes, definitely. I actually think he will do it. I watched Usyk and he's very good, but I saw him against Briedis and that was a good, close fight. It could have gone either way. That's because Briedis was being clever, picking good shots. He's a good boxer.
I think Bellew's just as good a boxer, but he's more dangerous. The way that Usyk likes to box, he could walk onto a left hook from Bellew. He's not untouchable, but what he is - he's a very fit, very good boxer, so he understands that footwork and getting behind the jab, stuff that boxers know, but don't really do.
What tactics would you expect from Bellew?
Probably trying to box with him for a bit until it gets to the later rounds, and then go and have a tear-up.
Could Bellew even stop him?
Watch Anthony Joshua defend his world heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.