Lawrence Okolie says Jake Paul believes he will be a world champion
‘He looked me in my eyes and said he’s going to be a world champion’: Cruiserweight star Lawrence Okolie says Jake Paul’s boxing ambitions are ‘INSANE’… and insists the YouTube star ‘100% believes’ he will get to the top of the sport
- Cruiserweight world champion Lawrence Okolie recently trained with Jake Paul
- Okolie has said that Paul told him he will become a world champion boxer
- Okolie has admitted that Paul’s lofty ambitions appear ‘insane’ to him
- However, he thinks Paul ‘100% believes’ he can win a world title in boxing
Cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie has revealed that Jake Paul is deadly serious about winning a boxing world title.
Paul made his name on YouTube, but started his boxing career in January 2020, and has since moved to 6-0, picking up wins against MMA stars Anderson Silva, Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren.
The 25-year-old has talked about fighting Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez in the future as he looks to get to the top of the sport.
Lawrence Okolie thinks Jake Paul ‘100% believes’ he will become a world champion
However, Paul has received criticism for his quality of opposition to date, with some fans claiming that he is yet to fight a legitimate boxer.
That could change in the coming months after he revealed that he has agreed to fight Tommy Fury in February in the UK. The duo have previously been scheduled to face each other on two occasions, only for the fight to fall through both times.
A victory over Fury could prove that Paul is the real deal, and Okolie has been impressed by the YouTuber-turned-boxer after training with him recently.
He has admitted that he is unsure whether Paul would be able to get past Fury, and has suggested that his ambitions may seem far-fetched, but he cannot fault Paul’s confidence.
‘It’s tough to say,’ Okolie said in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail when asked whether Paul would beat Fury if they meet.
Okolie is unsure whether Paul will beat Tommy Fury if the pair fight each other next year
‘Fury looks like a more polished boxer from what I watched the other day. He comes from a fighting background. However, I think Jake Paul is extremely game, confident. It will be interesting. It’s one that I would tune in to see.
‘Jake Paul’s had some good fights against Anderson Silva and these type of guys, and he’s come out on top and he’s got good power. However, Jake’s fights have been against journeymen, so it’s tough to see what he’s like when someone’s really coming to knock him out.
‘I think he has transcended YouTube boxing because he’s actually turned to 10oz gloves, boxing record on BoxRec, having real boxing matches. So speaking to him, his ambitions are, I would say insane. But people who come up with insane stuff, some of them end up achieving it.
‘Obviously he picked up boxing late, so I always think it’s difficult when you start a sport late to really get to the top of it. However, it will be interesting to see how far he really does take the journey. But he looked me in my eyes and said he’s going to be a world champion. And whether or not it happens, I can tell you that he 100% believes it.’
Okolie has endured a difficult 2022 himself, having not fought since February. The 2016 Olympian became a world champion in March 2021 when he knocked out Krzysztof Glowacki, and he has since defended his WBO belt twice.
Staying active has been an issue for him, though, and he is currently weighing up his options, with a move to heavyweight potentially on the cards.
Okolie has previously talked up his chances of beating fellow Brit Dillian Whyte, who returns to action against Jermaine Franklin at Wembley Arena later this month.
Okolie wants to fight fellow Brit Dillian Whyte when he moves up to the heavyweight division
Okolie expects Whyte to come through that, and has claimed that he would accept a clash with his domestic rival ‘at the drop of a hat’ as soon as he steps up to boxing’s blue-riband division.
‘I think that Dillian will win the fight (against Franklin). I’ve watched a bit of Franklin. I think stylistically he’s not going to be able to deal with the firepower and experience that Dillian’s got,’ Okolie said.
‘That’s definitely a fight that I want (against Whyte) as soon as I go up to heavyweight. It could be my first fight at heavyweight, second fight, whenever. If that fight can be made, that’s one I’ll take at the drop of a hat.’
Okolie’s time away from the ring has allowed him to give back to his community, with the 29-year-old teaming up with McDonald’s to play his part in their Children in Need campaign to improve the lives of young people.
Okolie is a former McDonald’s employee, and watching Anthony Joshua win Olympic gold at the 2012 Olympics inspired him to take up boxing and begin his journey towards becoming a world champion.
Okolie has teamed up with McDonald’s for their campaign with Children in Need to help improve young people’s lives
The world champion went to Carneys Community boxing gym to try to help young people achieve their potential
He remains grateful to the fast-food chain for instilling discipline into him in his younger days, and was only too happy to partner up with the company.
Okolie recently visited Carneys Community boxing gym to train young people in the area, and has spoken about how having positive role models can provide the ‘spark’ for children to achieve their full potential.
‘First and foremost, I used to work at McDonald’s, and that’s where I watched the Olympics and it kind of sparked that flame that took me down the boxing journey full-time. So I’ll always have a deeply emotional and spiritual connection with the company,’ Okolie added.
Okolie feels having positive role models can help change young people’s lives for the better
And when it comes to their campaign along with Children in Need, it allowed me to connect through them with youth clubs that I might not have had the same access to, and individuals get highlighted in it that are pillars in their community. I started off boxing at a community gym in Hoxton, Hackney, so I understand how important those sort of schemes are.
‘It changed my life. Will someone go on and become a world champion boxer? Hopefully, but if not, they do something else and become the person that cures a disease or changes the world in some sort of way.
‘We say that stuff as if it’s imaginary and can’t happen, but crazier, stranger things have happened, and I think that once you’ve got good role models, good references, whether it’s me or someone else, it can be the spark that changes people’s lives.’
World Champion boxer Lawrence Okolie has teamed up with McDonald’s to support their appeal for this year’s BBC Children in Need which aims to improve the life chances for over one million young people. To find out more, visit https://www.mcdonalds.com/gb/en-gb/good-to-know/bbcchildren-in-need.html
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