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Okolie wipes out Camacho to boost hopes of world title tilt

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 March 2019

Lawrence Okolie celebrates beating Wadi Camacho during their British and Commonwealth Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London.

Lawrence Okolie celebrates beating Wadi Camacho during their British and Commonwealth Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Lawrence Okolie edged closer to a world tile shot after a fourth-round stoppage win over London rival Wadi Camacho at the Copper Box Arena in Stratford on Saturday.

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)

A barrage of punches put Camacho on his back and the Canning Town man clambered to his feet only for referee Mark Lyson to wave the fight off seconds later as Hackney’s Okolie stalked forward and landed a booming straight right.

It was the 26-year-old’s first defence of his British cruiserweight belt, and the 2016 Olympian (12-0) snatched the Commonwealth title for the second time on the undercard of Charlie Edwards’ defence of his WBC world flyweight crown.

It was Camacho’s fifth loss inside the distance, and the 33-year-old is sure to be mulling his options.

Okolie – short on experience but certainly not short on power – on the other hand has his sights set firmly on bigger things, calling for a crack at a world title after having his arm raised.

Lawrence Okolie (left) in action against Wadi Camacho during their British and Commonwealth Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London.Lawrence Okolie (left) in action against Wadi Camacho during their British and Commonwealth Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London.

‘The Sauce’ has been criticised for recent performances, which have been good wins on paper but lacking in entertainment.

Okolie certainly delivered an exciting finish, but at times he was wild and clumsy.

The former Dagenham and Repton amateur, serenaded on his way to the ring by rapper and girlfriend Ms Banks, was on the front foot from the opening bell.

Okolie made use of his strength to dictate terms in the opening stanza, stinging Camacho with a big left, but the southpaw worked well in the clinch to smother the shots coming in his direction.

Lawrence Okolie (right) in action against Wadi Camacho during their British and Commonwealth Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London.Lawrence Okolie (right) in action against Wadi Camacho during their British and Commonwealth Championship bout at the Copper Box Arena, London.

In the second Okolie enjoyed more success with long hooks and straight rights, one of which hurt Camacho – who continued to tie up his rangier opponent.

Gasps were drawn from the crowd in the third as Camacho threatened an upset with a huge counter left which rattled Okolie’s chin for the first time in the pro ranks – but he showed mettle and composure to respond with hurtful chopping right hands.

Okolie, a former student at the University of East London, grew in confidence knowing he could swallow ‘Macho Man’s’ best shot, coming out in the fourth and firing a sustained assault which saw Camacho crumble to the canvass.

The Barcelona-born fighter bravely rose at the count of eight, but it took only one more punch for Okolie to secure victory as he sent a right cannoning into Camacho’s chin before Mr Lyson waved it off with a minute remaining in the round.

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