Okolie stops Lodi to retain WBA title
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
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Stoke Newington cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie successfully defended his WBA continental title with a third-round stoppage of Tamas Lodi at The O2.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a height and reach advantage over his Hungarian rival which allowed Okolie to force the action from the start.
The 2016 Olympian displayed faster hand speed and also carried the harder punch, landing some powerful blows in the first round.
Okolie twice had Lodi down in the second round, before completing the job in the third with a left jab followed by a devastating right hook to the head.
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That combination dropped the Hungarian to the floor and left referee Howard Foster with little choice but to intervene and bring the contest to an end.
After securing his 11th win as a pro, Okolie said: “I’d practiced different moves in the gym and was able to put them into practice in the ring.”
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The British cruiserweight champ has already been booked in for his next fight which will be against fellow Brit Wadi Camacho at the Copper Box on March 23.
‘Machoman’ Camacho holds the Commonwealth strap that Okolie won from Luke Watkins in June last year, before relinquishing it.
And it is a belt that Okolie is sure to want back as he looks to maintain his unbeaten record in the paid ranks.
“Well done to Wadi for taking the fight, but he will be beaten like the rest,” added Okolie.
Camacho will certainly be an experienced foe for Okolie, having won 21 of his 28 bouts since turning professional in January 2012.
The 33-year-old has won his last four bouts, including a seventh-round stoppage of Arfan Iqbal in November to claim that Commonwealth title.
And though he will head into March’s fight against Okolie as the underdog, Camacho believes he can extend that winning run.
“I have upset favourites before and Lawrence will be shocked when we clash at the Copper Box,” said the Canning Town bruiser.