Predictions for Matty Askin vs Lawrence Okolie

Predictions for Matty Askin vs Lawrence Okolie

Published On Tuesday, August 7, 2018By British Boxing News

BBN ask the panel for their expert predictions on the Matty Askin vs Lawrence Okolie British cruiserweight contest

Matty Askin (23-3-1) will defend his British Cruiserweight title against Lawrence Okolie (9-0) at Wembley Stadium on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office. 

Askin halted Welshman Craig Kennedy (16-0) in six to claim the coveted Lonsdale belt at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff in May 2017 before stopping Scotland's Stephen Simmons (18-2) inside two rounds in his first defence at York Hall in March.

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> And now the former English Cruiserweight Champion is up against yet another 9-0 fighter in former Team GB Olympian Okolie when the rivals collide at England's national stadium next month. Blackpool’s Askin defeated Neil Dawson (9-0) in six-rounds to win the Central Area title in his 10th bout, and Tommy McCarthy (9-0) on points in the final British title final eliminator in 2016.
Undefeated Okolie has also ruined a few records in his short time as a pro, three to be exact, which is a third of his opponents faced.

The 25-year-old from Hackney landed the WBA Continental Cruiserweight title in his grudge match with Isaac Chamberlain (9-0) in front of a huge crowd at The O2 in February, flooring the Brixton man twice in his first title fight.

He then added the Commonwealth belt to his collection in just his ninth pro outing when he delivered a devastating third round knockout of the previously undefeated Luke Watkins (13-0) at London's York Hall and is looking to make it three titles in three fights in this next contest.

It’s another tantalising 50-50 fight to entice fight fans, so BBN called upon their trusted panel of experts to help pick a winner:

Robbie Davies Jr WBA Continental super-lightweight champion

“I think that if Askin can get through the early rounds and get inside on Okolie to rough him up then it could be a real fight in Askin's favour. But I think Okolie is just too big and powerful and will win by KO within four rounds.”

Dave Allen Commonwealth heavyweight title contender

“I've sparred Askin and he is the first man who will physically be as strong as Okolie and he's a big tougher fucker as well; Okolie is awkward and I think he's very good but he will have to be, it's a great fight, he ain't messing about!”

Eddie Hearn Promoter

“Lawrence is continuously surprising me with his desire to step up, but this is by far his biggest jump yet. I rate Askin very highly and he has shown much improvement in his last couple of fights. This is another genuine 50-50 fight for the undercard and should be an absolute banger.”

Steve Wood Promoter

"I think Matchroom have picked the wrong route here and see a Matty Askin win.

A few close early rounds but once Askin gets the range right then he will stop him. Expect rounds 7-8 to be the end."

Mark Tibbs Boxing Trainer

"The most experienced to date for Lawrence Okolie in Matty Askin and I look forward to this, myself. Okolie will be too fresh, too rangy, too awkward; Lawrence is gonna' learn, but he’s gonna' win...good fight!"

Frank Greaves Boxing Trainer

"Personally, I fancy Okolie, I feel there is possibly something lacking with Askin, as good as he looked against Simmons and Watkins, maybe it’s a bit of self-belief at the top level. He certainly has all of the necessary tools but appears to have faltered mentally when stepping to ‘beyond’ British level.

Askin is, however, a big cruiser and it will be interesting to see how Okolie deals with someone that he doesn’t have a massive size advantage over and probably cannot ‘bully’ in the manner that he did vs Chamberlain and others."

Miles Shinkwin British and English title contender

"It’s a great fight for both on a huge stage. I sparred Okolie a little while back and he’s so big and awkward. I think that Askin can ask a lot of questions and if Okolie can answer them it will be a great fight with Lawrence coming out on top, probably on points."

Paul Speak Matty Askin's Manager

"Credit to him but I think that Okolie has taken this fight too soon. It’s a great domestic clash. Matty is the more experienced and on a roll having defeated all his previous unbeaten challengers. I see this no different and I see Matty winning by stoppage."

Sam Jones Boxing Agent

"Lawrence to win inside three."

Kevin Campion Boxing Agent and Matchmaker

"I would have to go with Askin, I think he’s underrated and I have seen him up close a couple of times. Okolie has power and range but Askin can box. Askin has power as well and works the body really well. I think he will chop Okolie to the body, break him down and get a late stoppage."

Anish Parekh BBN Writer

"Askin is a step up in opposition for the hard-punching Okolie. The former Olympian has shown good temperament, has made improvements and his power appears real. However, Matty Askin presents a stern challenge. He is experienced and has fought, albeit lost to top-level opposition such as Ovill Mckenzie and Krzysztof Glowacki. 

With just nine professional fights to his name and a brief amateur career, I expect Okolie to come unstuck. 

However, if the man they call 'The Sauce' does lose, don't write him off just yet as a fight with Askin could teach him valuable lessons for what could still be a bright future."

Peter Sims Boxing trainer

"Think this is a hard fight to call. Okolie being tall and awkward and a puncher gives him advantages but I personally think Matty Askin's experience and also his own power will prevail and he’ll stop Okolie mid to late fight."

Joe Neale Boxing Agent and Matchmaker 

"Okolie is moving at a rapid pace and has been looking great. However, Askin is very experienced and in the best form of his career. I’d be very shocked if either fighter won this clearly. I’m just edging towards Askin on points in a really fun fight."

Tim Rickson Sports Agent

“Great fight and I’ve been looking forward to it being made for a while.

Askin is on a good roll, he has beaten Stephen Simmons in devastating fashion and also ruined three unbeaten records recently; his last four opponents were 51-2 combined.

Undefeated Okolie will also have the same momentum going into this bout, having ruined two perfect records and claimed two titles in his last two bouts, both in this year.

It’s a 50-50 fight, in my opinion, despite Okolie likely to be the favourite, but I’m going to favour Askin to win this one.”

Daniel Smith BBN Writer

"Matty Askin has the capabilities to switch between boxer and brawler; deploying crisp, clean combinations, targeting the body with creasing shots and breaking down opponents defences, brick by brick, as well letting rip his smashing uppercuts. However, "the Assassin" can equally hold his own in a bulky trade of hefty, beefy punches, too.

Askin should impose his size, strength, power and not be bullied by Okolie and look to snatch some wind from the Olympian's sails; dismantling and chopping away at the flank, slowing down the challenger before finding some range.

Lawrence Okolie is extremely confident and hungry to climb the cruiserweight ladder. The former GB Olympian is a big-awkward handful and will be raring to see off Askin. But, I'm not entirely sure he beats Askin - even as the bookies favourite.

I'm looking forward to a good British square-off."