Cieslak Huge Underdog vs. Okolie
Lawrence Okolie puts his WBO cruiserweight title on the line against worthy challenger Michal Cieslak at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday.
The 17-0 fighter has destroyed everyone standing in his way and that’s bad news for Cieslak, who is the despised outsider with the sportsbook
Cieslak is the +600 underdog to cause an upset, so the bookies are firmly in favor of the champion.
Last Fight at Cruiserweight?
It could be Okolie’s last fight as a cruiserweight, as the WBO champion eyes a move to heavyweight, where he could meet the likes of Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.
Okolie has been dominant in this division after scoring seven consecutive knockout victories. His latest came against Dilan Prasovic in the third round, so we’re not surprised he’s looking for more difficult matchups.
“I was moved fast at cruiserweight, and I expect to do the same at heavyweight,” said Okolie when speaking to DAZN News. “I’m world champion at cruiserweight and that shows the level I’m at and I don’t want to drop down just because I’m at heavyweight. I believe in my team and the people I’ve got around me and when the time comes to get to heavyweight, I want the best fights from the start.”
Okolie also knocked out Nikodem Jezewski in the second round in 2020, so he’s an explosive puncher and “The Sauce” could turn Cieslak into gravy at the O2.
The 12-round fight isn’t expected to go the distance. Okolie is -1000 with boxing betting odds, so he’s as short as they come.
His toughest fight came against Matty Askin in 2018, where he survived a deduction of three points for various fouls. Despite getting docked points, he won by unanimous decision.
The way he dispatched Prasovic with a body shot in the second round last year was incredible, so he has the significant power edge over Cieslak.
Don’t Sleep on Cieslak
They breed them tough in Poland and we would have priced Cieslak slightly shorter with betting online markets.
The 32-year-old scored a first-round KO over Yury Kashinsky last year and it was his third knockout win from his last four fights.
The only non-knockout was a loss to Ilunga Junior Makabu for the vacant WBC cruiserweight title, so he was facing the cream of the crop.
Cieslak owns wins against experienced fighters, and although facing Okolie will be his toughest test, he shouldn’t be discounted purely based on the odds.
Fighting in the UK will be a different experience for the challenger, but he has dealt with big crowds in his native Poland.
Bettors could get a handsome payout if Cieslak is to cause an upset. Stranger things have happened in boxing, and win, lose or draw, Okolie is likely to move divisions.
Look for Cieslak to come out head-hunting, but ultimately the champion should have too many weapons in his arsenal.