Rozanski vs Okolie: Fight time, undercard, latest odds, prediction, ring walks tonight

Lawrence Okolie tonight bids to become a two-weight world champion as he travels to Poland to fight Lukasz Rozanski for the WBC bridgerweight title.

The 31-year-old has been out of the ring for almost exactly 12 months, since he lost his WBO cruiserweight strap in all-British clash with Chris Billam-Smith at the Vitality Stadium.


It was a typically scrappy performance from Okolie, full of far too much grappling as has often been an issue for him, and saw him lose both his world title and his unbeaten professional record.

Okolie had a rematch clause, which he activated, but that bout has not materialised and the Briton, working with trainer Joe Gallagher for the first time, has opted to moved up in weight, with the plan to eventually end up as a heavyweight.

Now 19-1, Okolie steps up to the relatively new bridgerweight division to take on Rozanksi, who has been WBC world champion since stopping Alen Babic inside a round last April to pick up the vacant belt.

The 38-year-old, 15-0 with 14 knockouts, has never fought outside Poland and will have home advantage once again, with Okolie having to get the job done on the road if he is to become the first British world champion at 224lbs.

Lawrence Okolie was beaten by Chris Billam-Smith a year ago (Action Images via Reuters)
Lawrence Okolie was beaten by Chris Billam-Smith a year ago (Action Images via Reuters)

Rozanski vs Okolie date, start time, venue and ring walks

Rozanski vs Okolie is scheduled to take place tonight, Friday, May 24 at the Podpromie Arena in Rzeszow, Poland.

Main event ring walks are scheduled for around 10.30pm BST. As ever, that is subject to change depending on how the rest of the card goes.

How to watch Rozanski vs Okolie

TV channel: In the UK, the world title bout will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Arena.

Live stream: Subscribers can tune into the bout live online via the Sky Go app.

Live blog: Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s dedicated blog!

Rozanski vs Okolie fight card/undercard in full

Lukasz Rozanski vs Lawrence Okolie

Ihosvany Garcia vs Lukasz Plawecki

Fiodor Cherkashyn vs Jorge Cota

Jan Czerklewicz vs Paul Valenzuela

Kamil Slendak vs Daniel Plonka

Rozanski vs Okolie prediction

Okolie has vowed to bring a more “vicious mindset” to the ring in pushing for a knockout, but it is difficult to believe he will be a transformed man on Friday night.

Even working with Sugar Hill Steward did not result in a more entertaining style, with Okolie hugely frustrating in that defeat to Billam-Smith as he constantly looked to clinch.

Whether the move up in weight helps him to be more explosive remains to be seen, but he may well need to weather an early storm against Rozanski, who can be expected to fly out of the blocks with a raucous crowd behind him.

The world champion stopped Babic within a round and has gone beyond the second round just twice in 15 professional bouts - any sort of patience from Rozanski would be a surprise.

He has never been beyond the fourth round and so Okolie, who has gone the full 12 rounds in his last three bouts, should be confident of taking charge if he can take the fight deep, having survived whatever onslaught comes his way.

There is a danger that the early threat from Rozanski could force Okolie into his shell again, but the Briton looks capable of finding the stoppage against a tiring opponent as the fight moves past the halfway stage.

Okolie to win by knockout, round seven.

Lawrence Okolie should have enough to take the belt back to the UK (PA)
Lawrence Okolie should have enough to take the belt back to the UK (PA)

Rozanski vs Okolie weigh-in results

Thursday’s weigh-in put Rozanski at 223.5 pounds and Okolie slightly lighter at 222.6 pounds.

Rozanski vs Okolie betting odds

Rozanski to to win: 11/5

Draw: 16/1

Okolie to win: 4/11

Rozanski to win via KO or TKO: 7/2

Rozanski to win via decision: 10/1

Okolie to win via KO or TKO: 4/7

Okolie to win via decision: 6/1

Odds via Bet365 and subject to change.