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27th Nov 2021

Lawrence Okolie claims he wouldn’t fight himself if he was Canelo

Callum Boyle

Canelo has recently made the decision to move up to the cruiserweight division

Lawrence Okolie has questioned Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s decision to move up to the cruiserweight division and doesn’t believe he would be willing to fight Okolie in the future.

Following the Mexican’s dominance at super-middleweight level, Canelo made the decision to move up to cruiserweight after his crushing knockout win against Caleb Plant at the beginning of November, which unified  the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super-middleweight titles.

The 31-year-old will now test himself to see if he can become a champion in five separate weight categories when he takes on WBC cruiserweight champion, Ilunga Makabu, early next year.

But Okolie feels that Canelo may find the new level more difficult than he thinks – and even if successful against Makabu, won’t be considering the 28-year-old as his next opponent.

Speaking exclusively to JOE in the third instalment of Boxing show, From the Corner, in partnership with DAZN, he said:

“Even if he [Canelo Alvarez] beats [Ilunga] Makabu I couldn’t see him staying around saying “I want Okolie next”.

“I’m not even going to call him out because I wouldn’t fight me if I was him.”

“Listen [he’s] a great fighter but there’s weight classes.”

London-born Okolie was then asked if he himself would take up the chance to fight Canelo and whilst highlighting the financial gain he would get from it, he also seemed confident about his chances if he and the Mexican did cross paths.

He said: “Payday,” he joked originally.

“Me as a boxer I understand I would be a lot taller, stronger and also as much as he’s hard to hit all it takes is one at this weight from someone like myself.”

Okolie did reserve some praise for Canelo, insisting he is a huge fan of the fighter, but should they go head-to-head in the ring, admiration would go out the window.

“I think Canelo is amazing,” he said.

“He’s one of my favourite fighters and as I said, I’m a fan of boxing.

“If he did want a fight, no longer a fan. I’m going to get a body, I’m going to get him.”