Exclusive: Heavyweight Joyce and manager Jones back Okolie for Chamberlain win, future world title

Phil Jay 20/12/2017

Following the exciting announcement of a domestic cruiserweight clash between UK contenders Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain, heavyweight prospect Joe Joyce has backed his old GB team-mate to succeed.

Promoter Eddie Hearn gleefully announced the fight will take place on February 3rd at The O2 Arena in London this week, entitling the clash of the highly talented pair of 200 pounders as ‘British Beef’.

Following some previous sparring sessions in the past, Olympic silver medallist Joyce has thrown his considerable weight behind an Okolie triumph early next year and manager Sam Jones has also tipped the former Team GB star to go on to conquer the world stage.

“Joe was sparring Lawrence Okolie and I noticed everyone saying he doesn’t have a gas tank, they’re really wrong,” Jones exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I can assure you from Joe and me that Lawrence is the real deal. People questioning his heart is far from the reality and I can tell you he’s got cojones for the job.

Jones went on: “What impresses me more about Lawrence is his self-belief and firmly see him going on to win world titles at cruiserweight.

“He’s also big enough to eventually move up to heavyweight and will be able to compete there too,” he added.

Joyce himself gave his thoughts to WBN by saying: It’s a fantastic fight between Lawrence and Isaac. They both deserve massive credit for taking the fight on so early in their careers.

“I expect a tough fight and gallant effort from Chamberlain, as always, but it won’t be enough in my eyes. I believe Lawrence will win by stoppage and move on to title level in the future.”

Okolie v Chamberlain forms part of a huge night in London on one of Matchroom’s first major shows of the year, with Ohara Davies, Reece Bellotti and highly-rated puncher Dillian Whyte all scheduled to appear.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay