Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain finally settle their bitter feud at The O2 on Saturday night, but who do our Panel think will win the London showdown.
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February 3, 2018, 7:00pm
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In terms of how the fight will go, I think it will be epic and phenomenal, because they are going to push each other past round six, round eight, and go into the championship rounds.
In terms of predictions of who is going to win, I’m going to say Lawrence Okolie, because that’s my guy.
Experience will take my ‘lil’ bro’ a long way and if he takes what he has learned over the last few years and he applies it, Isaac Chamberlain is going to come out victorious.
This fight is his big break, the opportunity to seize the nay-sayers, silence all the critics. He’s been preparing for this for a long time, so he is ready and I wish him all the best.
This is not a domestic fight, this is a world class one. Having seen Okolie sparring with Joe Joyce, he proved to me that he has a world class heavyweight chin, he’s not getting knocked out anytime soon.
I believe Okolie is the real deal and wins this. He can go all the way to a world title.
I think Chamberlain wins. He’s more experienced and has shown bottle and grit in hard fights he’s had before. He will have to just be smart and not get tagged early.
‘Pressure of Team AJ?’ You never know. We won’t know until he gets in there. He’s been schooled properly, he’s had enough sparring. I pick Chamberlain on points or maybe a late stoppage.
I know a lot of people are going for Chamberlain and this is the sort of fight where nothing would surprise us, but I’ve trained with Okolie, he is an Olympian and the one thing we know is that he can bang.
He just looks bigger and stronger than Chamberlain and while I can’t see him blasting him out in the opening rounds, I think Okolie by stoppage, in the fifth.
I would probably edge towards Chamberlain. I’m not 100 per cent confident, I just think he’s shown that little bit more. He’s the better boxer, but Okolie can still box, he’s an Olympian.
‘Chambo’ fought Camacho and showed great mental strength when he dislocated his shoulder. We don’t know yet if Okolie’s got that, but he will be prepared for 12 rounds, I can’t see him blowing up, unless he tries to finish it quickly. Chamberlain on points.
I have seen Chamberlain get better, step by step. I give him little bits of advice, especially if he asks. And he definitely hits hard for a cruiserweight.
I want him to win and would like to see him do it on fight night.
Look back at Eubank and Benn, Haye and myself, and now Okolie vs Chamberlain, the one who is less emotionally invested usually wins. But I do think this time, all that is flipped round. I can make a case for Chamberlain and to be honest, if I was a betting man, I would work out a bet I couldn’t possibly lose…
Okolie in the first five and if it goes past that, Chamberlain on points. But when I put my neck on the line, it always goes wrong… so I say Okolie inside nine rounds.
I am going to go with Chamberlain. He has sparred out in nasty, uncomfortable places and that not only improves his ability but his mindset, his mental strength will have soared.
I know Okolie has trained harder than ever and we don’t know what he can do when it goes down the stretch but I am going to go with Chamberlain, getting through the rough patches to take it on points. I wouldn’t even rule out a late stoppage.
The difference could be the sparring that Chamberlain’s done with the likes of Deontay Wilder and Oleksandr Usyk. He’s had to go away to different countries and deal with tough moments and figure out problems.
Okolie has the power, range and awkwardness, but I think Chamberlain may get through the first couple and win a hard fought fight on points. I really like Okolie and have spoken to Chamberlain quite a bit over the last few years too. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy. May the best man win.
Craig Slater joins Eddie Hearn, Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain ahead of Saturday's cruiserweight clash
Watch Lawrence Okolie vs Isaac Chamberlain, from The O2, London, Saturday, February 3, live on Sky Sports Main Event & Action.