Lawrence Okolie backs Dillian Whyte to beat Alexander Povetkin in rematch, despite old sparring feud

4 weeks ago
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Lawrence Okolie has told talkSPORT that he believes Dillian Whyte will get revenge over Alexander Povetkin in their rematch next week.

First, Okolie himself is set for his vacant WBO cruiserweight world title fight against Krzysztof Glowacki on Saturday night.

Okolie has won the European, British and Commonwealth cruiserweight belts

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Okolie has won the European, British and Commonwealth cruiserweight belts

The bout is a big test for the 28-year-old to prove himself on the world stage.

If you’d had suggested two years ago that Okolie would end up securing a world title opportunity before Whyte, few would have believed you.

Back in March 2019, the pair engaged in an angry war of words over social media when Whyte called out Okolie for a fight with his friend Richard Riakporhe.

Despite being British cruiserweight champion, Okolie didn’t take kindly to being targeted by his domestic rival Riakporhe and instead declared that he would beat Whyte himself.

Whyte has the chance to avenge his loss to Povetkin

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Whyte has the chance to avenge his loss to Povetkin

The irked Brixton man then replied and told his Hackney rival that they would see each other in person to settle this issue soon enough.

After some more back and forth, Okolie opted to post a clip showing 24 seconds of old sparring footage in which he claimed he was ‘slapping about’ Whyte.

At the time, Whyte was campaigning for a shot at Deontay Wilder which never materialised.

He finally earned the mandatory position, however was KOd by Povetkin last August and they are due to rematch on March 27.

Asked about his relationship with Whyte now, Okolie told talkSPORT’s James Savundra: “It is what it is. At the moment I’m a cruiserweight and he’s a heavyweight.

“We’re under the same [promoter – Eddie Hearn], but he’s not someone that I call or chat to.

“If I see him we might exchange a little, ‘hello,’ but secretly there’s a little stare here and there. It’s minor.

“I hope he wins, that’s one thing I can say, so I must like him a little bit!

Okolie has backed Whyte to get revenge

Okolie has backed Whyte to get revenge

“I think his mindset from what we’ve seen of him, he’s a warrior.

“He was instantly straight trying to get it back within three months so you’ve gotta hand it to him.

“I think he’ll have a bit too much about him, he just won’t make certain mistakes and I expect him to win.”

Regarding whether they could meet one day, Okolie concluded: “As soon as I go up to heavyweight, anyone can get it.

“I don’t wanna sort of bank on anyone’s names because that’s what I feel like people do with me so I don’t really like to do that.

“But ultimately, if that fight presents itself, it’s not one that I’ll shy away from.”

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Boxing – talkSPORT

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