Obesity in a teenage, working at McDonald’s, then performing at the Olympics and the belt of world champion in professional boxing – this is the story of Lawrence Okoli, the closest competitor Mishao Chillak.

Matthew Hensel


Getty Images/Julian Finney/Pictured: Lawrence O’Colli

Professional boxing is where people with very interesting human stories go. Boxers happen to come from sick areas, broken families, or orphanages, but there are also examples of players who inspired hard work through their compatriots’ successes or health problems. The second group includes Lawrence O’Cole, the closest competitor to Michel Chiillac in the fight for the championship belt.

hard start

Lawrence O’Cole was born on December 16, 1992 in London, and grew up in Hackney. From an early age, the British had serious problems with weight, which led to frequent harassment at school. As he says, as a teenager he weighed about 120 kilograms and his problem was really serious.

Quite a few world champions also talk about the racism that affected him during his school days. Because of his obesity and the color of his skin, there were battles Okoli had to fight to give him peace. The situations that followed led the young boy to a training room, which eventually changed his life.

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amazing motivation

At the age of 17, Okolie began training boxing, hearing, among other things, from the doctor that a lack of physical activity could be disastrous for him. Boxing allowed the Briton to gain self-confidence, get rid of extra pounds and show the light in the tunnel of life.

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In 2012, 19-and-a-half-year-old Okoli worked for the McDonald’s restaurant chain. On August 12, he watched his compatriot Anthony Joshua compete for the Olympic gold medal in London. “AJ” scored points, won the most prestigious medal, and at the same time became a great motivation for Lawrence O’Cole, who scored the same goal.

After a few years of training, the talented Okolie qualified for the British national team and played in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, realizing one of his dreams. In the first match, Igor Yakubovsky was his victim, and, as it turned out, it was the beginning of the competition with the Poles in Okoli’s career.

British Hope Under the Watchful Eye of McGuigan

A few months after the end of the Olympics, in which Okoli did not win a medal, the boxer began his professional career. His first fights usually end quickly, and in the second battle he defeated Łukasz Rusiewicz in the first copy.

However, Okoli’s boxing style was not impressive. His skirmishes were often riddled with bugs and wedges, which led to a distrust of the great things Okoli could do. Everything changed in mid-2019, when the Briton began working with young coach Shane McGuigan.

The son of the legendary coach quickly changed the way Okoli was boxing, effectively utilizing his remarkable physical conditions. The fighter became a knockout machine, and his extended left arm and right cross became the trademark. After a few fights, it was again believed that Okolie could bring a lot of joy to the fans.

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Invasion of the Royal Squad

In March 2021, Lawrence Okoli defeated WBO World Champion Krzysztof Głowacki, in the fight for the belt, fulfilling another dream in life. The Briton has been hailed as one of the best boxers in the junior heavyweight category, while also reporting a desire to move up to heavyweight.

Big money comes in the royal class, and Okoli’s physical conditions set up to fight this dichotomy. However, for this to happen and for the 29-year-old to fight big, he must defeat Briton on February 27, Michal Chislak, who is hungry for success, and will do everything in his power to bring the championship belt to Poland.

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