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Okolie wants New York world title shot with Lebedev after fine stoppage win over Wadi

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 March 2019

Lawrence Okolie is ushered away from Wadi Camacho (pic Natalie Mayhew, Butterfly Boxing)

Lawrence Okolie is ushered away from Wadi Camacho (pic Natalie Mayhew, Butterfly Boxing)

Archant

Lawrence Okolie has his eyes on a trip to New York City in the summer to fight for a world title after his win over Wadi Camacho on Saturday.

Lawrence Okolie celebrates his win over Wadi Camacho (pic Natalie Mayhew, Butterfly Boxing)Lawrence Okolie celebrates his win over Wadi Camacho (pic Natalie Mayhew, Butterfly Boxing)

Fresh off his fourth-round TKO victory for the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight belts at the Copper Box Arena, Okolie called on promoter Eddie Hearn to ink a deal for ‘The Sauce’ to fight for a world championship on the other side of the Atlantic.

The 26-year-old (12-0) hopes to fight Denis Lebedev (32-2) for the WBA crown in what would be just his 13th fight on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight clash with Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at Madison Square Garden in The Big Apple.

And Okolie believes he has the tools to beat the Russian.

He said: “Why not go for a world title? I can box at European level against the same kind of fighters or I can just push myself to world level.

“I have got the power, strength and boxing IQ to compete but I obviously need to work on a few things. There are mistakes I make which I can’t make at world level, like reaching with my right hand and being too eager.”

Okolie has been maligned for his recent performances, but he delivered a clinical finish on Saturday – and he showed toughness to shake off a big left hand from Camacho which could have ruined his world title plans.

He added: “My performance was up and down. I felt like I was getting stronger as the rounds went on and I was relaxing.

“I wanted to get a knockout in the first two rounds. I think because of that I fumbled a bit but once I relaxed I got him out of there with precision.

“He was spoiling so I had to work off the clinch, but once I did that I got him out of there.

“I am under pressure to perform because I have set myself such high targets. I need to look good for myself to know that I can achieve these things.

“It was good to get caught with a shot because it showed me I can take it and keep going. It shows I can keep my composure and I know I’m going to get rid of my opponents later in the fight.”

Okolie paid tribute to Camacho after the fight, but admitted he is happy to move on to bigger things, adding: “Wadi has had a good career and he is a good fighter. It’s another London derby win but I think that’s the last one I will have for a while because it’s getting boring for me.”

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