Lawrence Okolie won the WBO cruiserweight title earlier this year and now he is sharing a card with the world heavyweight champion who doubles as his manager, Anthony Joshua.
It’s quite the fairytale for both men. ‘The Sauce’ as Okolie is known, was inspired by Joshua’s Olympic journey back in 2012 and that’s what got him into boxing in the first place.
Joshua and 258 Management have guided Okolie’s career thus far and both men sit atop of their respective divisions.
Okolie, 16-0, told talkSPORT that the weight cuts are getting hard for him at cruiserweight and after attempting to unify the division, he will move to heavyweight.
“I think it’s good for now but the whole making weight stuff is quite annoying and I walk around naturally quite heavy, it just is what it is,” he said.
“It’s about picking the right time. It’s a different sport at heavyweight than cruiserweight as I’m sure Usyk will probably find out.”
A move up to heavyweight raises the intriguing prospect of a fight with his mentor, Joshua, who puts his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO world titles on the line vs Oleksandr Usyk this weekend.
It would be a money-spinning match and, in some ways, one of the biggest success stories in boxing.
Not much better than sharing the biggest stage and making life-changing money with your friends.
But Okolie doesn’t see a fight with Joshua as part of his future.
“I don’t think so, personally,” he responded when asked about potentially facing AJ.
“I just think, obviously we’re big guys and I train with the intent to hurt people and it would be difficult for me in that sense.
“Even for someone like my mum who is just a massive Anthony Joshua fan, he’s done stuff for her outside of boxing. So I see him more of a friend long-term than a boxing guy.
“I know it would be life-changing money, but still, you gotta put some stuff over money.”
Still, for Okolie to go from McDonalds worker to world champion under the watchful eye of AJ, the journey isn’t lost on either man.
“We were talking about it in this camp. This is the stuff you write about and make films about,” he said.
“He reminded me of how he and some of the guys used to drop me in sparring and those cold nights by myself up to Brentwood to put work in.
“But it’s shown. It shows with the hard work then paying off now. So all of these fights that I’m winning and what I’m doing now, it’s not about now, it’s about before.”
Okolie has an eye on IBF cruiserweight champion Marius Briedis, but first he needs to take care of business against the 15-0 Dilan Prašović at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.