Chamberlain No Match for Okolie
Lawrence Okolie is the new WBA Continental Cruiserweight Champion, defeating Issac Chamberlain in a bout with quite a bit of bad blood that produced the tagline “British Beef.”
The bout wasn’t the cleanest, as British boxing stars at ringside, including heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and David Haye, criticized the fight for its heavy clinching as well as Chamberlain for being inactive. On the other hand, Okolie showed that he is a top cruiserweight.
Okolie came out firing in round one, applying pressure on Chamberlain right away. A right hand knocked down Chamberlain in the opening minute, and the body language of Chamberlain suggested nerves may have taken over him. Okolie added insult to injury when he shoved Chamberlain down with about 40 seconds left in the opening round. Things got worse for Chamberlain with about a minute remaining in the second when he was deducted a point for excessive holding.
Okolie slowed down a bit in the third, and the fight had turned into even more of a clinch-fest — so much so, the referee had to separate both fighters and warn them. Chamberlain tried to get on the inside and work the body in the fourth, but Okolie was holding him down, almost like he was trying to get Chamberlain in a headlock. On the other hand, Chamberlain hadn’t land as many big shots. The bout got scrappy, with a lot of clinching again, and the referee brought both fighters in and warned both fighters once more.
Finally, a big right hand from Okolie caught Chamberlain on the button after a missed hook, forcing one of Chamberlain’s hands onto the ground, and therefore resulting in another knockdown.
Okolie ended up getting the unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the bout 98-89, 96-90, 97-89.