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Lawrence Okolie retains WBO cruiserweight title with laboured win over Michal Cieslak

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awrence Okolie retained his WBO cruiserweight title by beating Michal Cieslak via unanimous decision at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday night.

In a fight dominated by grappling following a hugely entertaining undercard to have yielded wins for Jordan Gill, Campbell Hatton and Anthony Fowler, Okolie knocked his opponent down in the fifth round with a huge right hand.

From there, the vastly experienced Cieslak held on and looked to smother Okolie’s attacks in a relatively laboured performance, although the champion rarely look threatened.

Largely, the main event of the evening was the most difficult watch on a frustrating night for Okolie. Far too often were his attacks shut down by Cieslak, who simply refused to be drawn into an exchange.

Speaking to DAZN after his second title defence, Okolie once again called for a unification fight with Mairis Briedis.

“I think it is good to get that learning under my belt. He is a top competitor and pushed the pace. A good 12 rounds.

“The right hand he was tucking under it very well. I was trying to find the different angles to get it but he was coming back with left hooks. I will see what I can work on going forward.

“I thought when I dropped him in the fifth I had closed the show but he has a lot of supporters and at this level you can’t just close straight away.

“As much as I am focused it is difficult to pick myself for certain fights up when looking for unifications.”

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