Okolie vs. Cieslak betting odds, preview, and pick
The cruiserweights take center stage on Saturday, Feb. 26 when Lawrence Okolie defends his title against Michael Cieslak.
Let's examine their bout, beginning with the latest betting odds available.
Sun, February 27 2022, 9:00 PM
Okolie pursuing title unification
At 29 and in the prime of his career, Okolie is keeping busy while waiting for a potential unification opportunity against either Ilunga Makabu or Mairis Briedis. The Hackney native is a big puncher whose last seven fights have ended in a knockout.
He may be the class of the cruiserweight division, but that is yet to be seen, pending a bout with either of his fellow belt holders. His blitzing of former champion Krzysztof Glowacki was not only impressive, it also highlights the quality of opposition he’s faced compared to the challenger.
Lawrence Okolie vs. Michael Cieslak tale of the tape
|Lawrence Okolie||vs.||Michael Cieslak|
17-0 (14 KO)
21-1 (15 KO)
5-0 (5 KO)
Last 5 Fights
4-1 (4 KO)
Cieslak has respectable power
Poland doesn’t seem to have any shortage of gritty, tough fighters, and Cieslak is no exception to what we’ve seen in both boxing and MMA. Though he fell short in his first title shot to Makabu back in 2020, he nearly had the champion out early, and simply ran out of steam to close out the fight.
Much like Okolie, Cieslak is a punishing puncher who has seen most of his recent fights end early. He’s also remained active, though the quality of opposition he’s faced is suspect. If he can hang around past the early rounds and not tire, he could make things interesting later on.
Okolie will trounce Cieslak inside the distance
The thing about the cruiserweight division is that outside of their titleholders, the division is a wasteland of meandering talent that are too big for light heavyweight and too small for heavyweight. Okolie has plenty going for him, showing enough of a mix of skill and physicality to make him the easy No. 2 fighter in the division behind Breidis. That dynamic power along with his athleticism is all wrong for the robotic, overly traditional style employed by Cieslak, and many fighters of the former Soviet blocs that call cruiserweight their home. Okolie is an excellent finisher and can close the show with one good punch.
Those big odds on Okolie sound just about right. Cieslak may be tough, but he’s in for a short, painful night against the Londoner who is eager to please a raucous hometown crowd. We like Okolie to continue his string of knockouts by way of a fifth-round TKO.