Lawrence Okolie and Michal Cieslak
Eddie Hearn, President of Matchroom Sport:
When signing with Galal Yafai –
“This young man is an exceptional talent. Galal is the standout British boxer at the Olympics and we have a long relationship with his brethren, so I personally have to get the job done. Galal would do things very differently; for his professional debut at The O2, we are looking for him to challenge for his first professional title and from there move quickly to the World Title, which we expect him to be. he will win through many tournaments. ”
(Image source: Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing)
On the card Okolie v. Cieslak –
“Welcome back to everyone at Trinity House in Trinity Square, London, before a big press conference, and as you can see from this top panel – we crashed into everyone. We had an epic boxing night at The O2 on Sunday, February 27th, live on DAZN. Lawrence Okolie will defend his WBO Cruiser World Title for the second time against Michal Cieslak. It was a hell of a fight, two absolute First Class Cruisers fighting for glory on Sunday night – something completely different at The O2, which for me is the best boxing arena in the world. country. It will be a great night. Cards are stacked with talents in so many different ways. So a lot of different boxers at different stages in their careers. ”
“I believe on paper this could be one of the most brutal fights. Until you get in the ring, you never know what someone got. Watch Cieslak’s fights, he’s an excellent technical boxer. He has some good power and speed. Overall, it turned out to be a great, challenging fight.
“I believe I will continue to unify the division. One of the main things we focus on and try to stay in shape is mindset. So I make sure we exercise our mind, exercise our body, put ourselves in interesting situations and hold ourselves accountable. This is a stage that I was created for. This is a fight that I have been making. I am ready for this.
“The main thing for me is that boxing is my true love. That’s my rocket fuel. If I hadn’t performed in the ring, this wouldn’t have happened. So for me, I find the motivation to do a rap song and collaborate with companies that I admire or support.
“Where am I from, don’t make it a sob story, where I am now, that’s a blessing. And I want to keep that. My opponent here is to make amends, but I have to make sure that my journey continues in the direction it is going and that we don’t have any hiccups.
“As soon as a fight is done, Cieslak is the only thing I think about. I have a picture of him in my room. I watched all of his interviews. I don’t understand any of them, but I love to see how he behaves. I watched all of his matches. I know him, and that’s what I focus on. Michael Cieslak. Then we can talk about the others”.
“Without a doubt, it was a big fight for Polish boxing, and I can’t wait to be in the fight. I’m training really hard, and I can’t wait to fight.
“He’s a tough fighter, and he punches with both hands. He is physically strong. I have to do my job, all the training I’ve done with my coach, that’s what I’m going to bring to the ring.
“If I wasn’t sure I would win, I wouldn’t be here and I’ve been training since I was 13, so I’m ready to win the WBO Title.”
“Finally, now I’m here in and out of pro boxing. But now I’m very excited. It’s been 4-5 years, waiting for the Olympic Games. Last year before the Olympics, I thought, ‘Maybe I’m doing it wrong here. I had a lot of pressure to go to the Olympics and make sure I did well. I brought home a gold medal, and here I am, ready to fight.
“That gold medal was life changing. That’s what I intended to do in the first place. It didn’t work out for me in Rio. I’ve seen all the boys go pro, Lawrence and Fowler, and I thought I’d give it another crack. And again, that extra year killed me. I thought, ‘I’ll have to wait another year. Like I said earlier, I’m asking if I did the right thing. And now I have a gold medal, and I understand that since the Olympics, I see myself as a better boxer.
“I don’t mess around. I want to start, and I want to go fast. That’s right, I have to be careful not being able to fight the killers in every show. But I want to get there sooner rather than later. I want to be the world champion. We all have aspirations, and I think every fighter wants to be a World Champion, hopefully a World Weight Champion. I will start light first and hopefully, I can become a World Champion.
“Like I said, I don’t want to start too slow, but I don’t want to go late or deeper than usual. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m sure I’ll win. And most importantly, I also want to look good while doing it. Then I could sit back and watch my good friend Lawrence defend his World Title.
“My brother is a world champion at Super-Fly. He lost to Chocolatito, a legend. I am a huge fan of him. I think Chocolatito beat Martinez. I think Martinez is a great boxer, someone I could look to fight down the street if he was still at my weight.”
“I look forward to going back there. It’s not great for any athlete to have a minor injury and have to take a break from the sport you love. You have to take care of yourself. But sometimes, prevention is better than cure.
“I plan to have a great year this year. I wanted to refresh and make sure everything was in order, all checked and done. And I can be hooked to having a big, impactful year this year. And hopefully, raise some more belts.
“I flew over most of my opponents. So far, I’ve cleaned everyone up pretty quickly. I need to find a place where I can almost take a second and stop for a while. We need to keep pushing and keep raising that bar. Keep moving to higher levels until we get to a point where I find an opponent that is in front of me and won’t advance in the first round.
“Towards the end of the wound, I was examining my body. I played against Chisora a couple of rounds, and we played some great matches. In the most recent weeks, I’ve been with Johnny Fisher and a few other guys. The little bump on my lip wasn’t from Johnny, but I did have a few bruises. “
“I feel like a different fighter, showing patience and composure where I used to push everything and do too much.
“There is no pressure and Bilbao. But obviously, we don’t want it to be like that. It’s very beneficial for me to do shows like this. Now nothing goes backwards.
“He has a winning record, and he is a good opponent. That would be a good test for me, but I think where I’ve forced things and tried to do too much in the past, I think encountering a slightly more ambitious opponent will put me off. have to think more. It will keep me focused and not rush things. ”
“You know, Eddie, it was crazy for me to sign you. I signed the contract when I was 18 years old and now I am only 19 years old. I had a great year. I think the performances are only getting better and better, so now I can’t wait to return to The O2 Arena with a huge background and business back in better style.
“I was in the gym, and Johnny Fisher worked with me, and we pushed each other. Honestly, Eddie, I looked at Lawrence, and I thought I would be a similar build. I can’t see myself as a vast fighter. So I thought I would be a Cruiserweight. I will fill it in, and I have a lot of energy left to work on. The main thing is not to rush it. I will give my body the time it needs to grow and fill it in naturally. And when the time comes, I will move on.”
“It was a great split. I think a lot of people are being entertained right now. Well, I’m looking to move as fast as you’re ready to move me. “
“I am very happy to show my new self. I traveled a lot, tried to be a father and became a professional boxer. Now I am eating five meals a day. I have to be strict.
“Like I said, my life is boxed, and I want more real matches. I don’t want any wars to bring me wars because I am better now, and I will show it. I want to make sure every fight is at a high level.”
“Yeah, this one is pretty big too, you know. I’m making my UK debut, so I have to make sure I’m going out there, wearing a big clinic and getting a good knockout.
“It has been four months since I left Australia and lived in Essex. I was with Anthony Joshua and then in Portugal with Dillian Whyte.
“It’s good to go back and meet someone with Tony Sims, you know. Before the flight to America, I stayed with him for about two weeks, and I was done with everything. I went through about four or five different coaches through training camps. I think I’ve been with Tony for about six weeks straight, and progress is starting to show.
“This is going to be a busy year for me. 2022 is about staying active and getting that experience in my opinion. 2023 is where I can see the fight for the World Title coming up. As long as I keep winning and keep working hard, that’s all I can see.
“We negotiated a while ago when Australia and New Zealand were at a terrible stalemate. Because we’re in the bubble out there, it never really happened. Joseph Parker and I talked for a bit. Currently, the Heavyweight division is being maintained. I’m the fighter that probably makes sense to him at the moment even though he’s a bit higher in rank than me.”