“I’m not overlooking this guy, I’m going straight in. I’ve seen the guy talking in interviews beforehand and I think it will be another opportunity to make a statement.”
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 17/07/19 6:47pm
Lawrence Okolie is only focused on one fight at a time ahead of his cruiserweight clash with Mariano Angel Gudino.
Okolie takes on Gudino on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s high-risk heavyweight showdown with Oscar Rivas at The O2 on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The 26-year-old Londoner was due to defend his British and Commonwealth titles against Jack Massey earlier this month but the undefeated Derbyshire cruiserweight withdrew due to an arm injury.
“Fighters get injured, fights fall through, you’ve just got to keep working in the gym and when the opportunity comes up take it,” Okolie said
“Looking at the card I was going to go as a fan but now I get to go and be part of the show. From the top of the bill right to the bottom great 50-50 fights, so I’m just happy to be on the card.”
Gudino (13-2, 8 KOs) was only confirmed for the O2 bill on Tuesday but the short notice does not bother Okolie.
He said: “For me it’s normal. I wasn’t an amateur too long ago, so you never know who you’re going to box on any one date, any tournament, depending on the draw. So that side doesn’t get to me, as long as I put in the work in training.”
Massey’s withdrawal gave Okolie another fortnight to work with new trainer Shane McGuigan.
“It’s going good. I enjoy the work we do here. He’s extremely fun, I like the guys here, I like the way the gym is set up,” added Okolie.
“I’m looking to show just subtle improvements, in terms of using my jab more, controlling the range and not thinking too much about offence, offence, just a little bit more defensively.”
Okolie has racked up 12 straight wins, nine by knockout, since turning professional just over two years ago and is close to securing mandatory status to the European title.
“As long as I can win. I’m not overlooking this guy, I’m going straight in,” he said. “I’ve seen the guy talking in interviews beforehand and I think it will be another opportunity to make a statement.
“I always love to get in there against people who are undefeated, or who people think are good, and show why I don’t lose many rounds.”
Watch Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas including David Price vs Dave Allen and Derek Chisora vs Artur Szpilka on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.