Boxing

Lawrence Okolie could fight for world title next after Oleksandr Usyk vacates WBA belt

Lawrence Okolie could fight for the WBA cruiserweight title in his next fight, promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed.

A showdown with Denis Lebedev in July might be on the cards for Okolie after the division’s undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk confirmed his intention to step up to heavyweight.

Usyk was ordered to defend his WBA ‘super’ title against regular champion Lebedev, but the undefeated Ukrainian has vacated and will now make his debut in the glamour division against Carlos Takam in May.

Hearn has already held talks with Lebedev’s promoters World of Boxing about a title clash with Commonwealth and British champion Okolie.

“I’ve got the green light from Lawrence who said he would be ready to fight Lebedev next,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“I’ve spoken to World of Boxing, we’ve made them an offer. Obviously, he’s got to accept that offer but from our side we are ready to go for that fight.

“July is the date I’ve got in mind for that fight and if Lebedev accepts that fight it could be next.”

Okolie stopped Wadi Camacho in four rounds to add the Commonwealth cruiserweight title to his British belt in his last fight earlier this month.

The 26-year-old Londoner has won all 12 fights, nine inside the distance since turning professional two years ago.

“I think it’s much too early for Okolie to step up,” added Hearn.

“But I do think he can win that fight and I think when you get an opportunity to fight for a world title in one that you may be a slight favourite, I think you should take it.

“He’s moved quickly as an amateur and as a professional, so why not keep going and if he can win the world championship after 13 fights, it’s a hell of an achievement.”

 

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