Lawrence Okolie says Dillian Whyte is on his radar as he warns: ‘new weight class, new energy, new trainer’

Lawrence Okolie promises he will be a different fighter at a new weight with new trainer Joe Gallagher; Okolie will challenge Lukasz Rozanski for the WBC bridgerweight title on May 24 live on Sky Sports; He believes victory would lead him to Chris Billam-Smith rematch and other big fights

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Lawrence Okolie says new trainer Joe Gallagher will get the best out of him and WBC bridgerweight champion Lukasz Rozanski will pay the price.

Lawrence Okolie believes he will be reinvigorated by a move into the new bridgerweight division and ultimately boxing at heavyweight.

On May 24 in Poland, live on Sky Sports, Okolie will challenge holder Lukasz Rozanski for the WBC’s new 224lb title.

Eventually he intends to campaign at heavyweight and he is targeting a fight with fellow Londoner Dillian Whyte.

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“Dillian Whyte’s now back,” Okolie told Sky Sports. “Obviously everyone knows from back when I was Commonwealth and British champion I wanted that fight so that’s definitely one on my radar. Outside of that we’ll see what the landscape looks like.

“I’ve been looking at the heavyweights and seeing how much fun they’ve been having up there. I want to have a go as well.”

Okolie has previously shared the ring with the world’s top heavyweights in sparring.

He helped Tyson Fury and Joseph Parker both prepare for their breakout performances against Deontay Wilder and he’s also sparred Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce among others.

He is convinced he can perform at the highest level and the former WBO cruiserweight world champion believes he can unlock his full potential at a new weight with new trainer Joe Gallagher.

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Chris Billam-Smith sent the hometown crowd wild as he delivered Lawrence Okolie’s first knockdown of his professional career.

“It’s come at the right time. New weight class, new energy, new trainer. I’m ready to take the bridgerweight then heavyweight scene by storm,” he declared.

Okolie has been training with Gallagher in Saudi Arabia and the Champs Camp gym in Moss Side.

“He put me through session after session after session just the worst kind. What he said to me afterwards was: ‘I just wanted to see if you really wanted it still.’ I do, so that’s good,” Okolie laughed.

The Londoner believes winning the bridgerweight belt could lead him to a rematch with Chris Billam-Smith who defeated him last May to become the WBO cruiserweight champion: “Him and Riakporhe have a fight. Obviously the winner of that, it’s a great fight [for Okolie].

“Whichever one of them wins out of that one, I’m up for,” he continued. “Obviously I’d prefer Chris to win because then we can have a rematch at bridgerweight. I’m sure they’ll be up for that.”

But first he must defeat Rozanski in Poland on May 24. “The guy’s good,” Okolie said. ” Undefeated, 90 something percent KO ratio, I’m going to his hometown.

“It’s a hard task but I’m going to go in there and smash it and smash him.”

Don’t miss Fabio Wardley vs Frazer Clarke live on Sky Sports on Sunday March 31.

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