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Lawrence Okolie blasts out Lukasz Rozanski to win WBC bridgerweight title

Okolie blasts out Rozanski to win world bridgerweight title
© Reuters
Lawrence Okolie becomes a two-weight world champion by stopping WBC bridgerweight champion Lukasz Rozanski inside the first round of their bout in Poland.

Lawrence Okolie has stopped Lukasz Rozanski inside the first round to win the WBC bridgerweight title.

On the back of losing his WBO cruiserweight title to Chris Billam-Smith last summer, Okolie opted to make the step up in weight that is a division designed to suit fighters between 200lbs and 225lbs, rather than expose them to heavyweight.

Oleksandr Usyk made a mockery of that stipulation when defeating Tyson Fury last week, but the showdown in Poland carried meaning for Okolie as he bid to become a two-weight world champion.

Okolie's superior class shines through

Last April, Rozanski beat Alen Babic inside a round to suggest that he could be a force in this division, but he was ruthlessly blasted out by his British opponent in less than three minutes in Rzeszow.

A straight right down the pipe floored Rozanski inside the two-minute mark, with the 38-year-old looking visibly dazed as Okolie sensed an opportunity.

The second knockdown was not as clear-cut as the first, yet it was an indication that the end was nigh for Rozanski in front of his home fans.

Having briefly bided his time, 31-year-old Okolie landed another shot that sent Rozanski sprawling to the canvas via the ropes.

Although the referee administered a count, it was clear that he was in no fit state to continue and he had no complaints when the fight was waved off.

Okolie must now decide to wait for a worthwhile opportunity to defend his title or accept any offers to move up to heavyweight, where he will already be regarded as a fringe contender.

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Tyson Fury confronting Oleksandr Usyk on December 3, 2022.
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