Okolie vs Light result LIVE! Boxing fight stream, latest updates and reaction

Okolie vs Light LIVE!

Manchester saw the comeback of ‘The Sauce’ on Saturday night as Lawrence Okolie finally made the third defence of his WBO cruiserweight title against David Light. More than a year had passed since we last saw the Londoner in action, following up his career night against Krzysztof Glowacki with an early stoppage of Dilan Prasovic and then a laboured points defeat of Michal Cieslak.

Since then Okolie’s ascending career has rather been put on hold during an acrimonious split with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, so he needed a statement victory here to regain momentum in his bid to unify the 200lbs division before jumping up to heavyweight. However, while the victory was comfortable in the end, it was far from entertaining for the most part aside from a strong finish in which he doled out some heavy punishment and Light showed a commendable chin before making it to the final bell.

On a busy Boxxer undercard at the AO Arena, Frazer Clarke made light work of Bogdan Dinu and fellow Olympic hero Karriss Artingstall got her straightforward third professional win, along with Michael Gomez Jr controversially beating Levi Giles to claim the vacant English super-featherweight belt. Follow Okolie vs Light reaction live below!

Okolie vs Light latest news

  • Okolie retains WBO title with laboured points win

  • Clarke stops Dinu early in co-main event in Manchester

  • Gomez Jr claims controversial victory over Giles

  • Artingstall eases past Buczynski to stay unbeaten

Saturday 25 March 2023 23:29 , George Flood

Okolie is very honest in his post-fight interview with Sky Sports, rating his performance at a five or a six.

He says he didn’t expect to suffer from ring rust, but admits there was a lot of it present tonight.

No real call-outs from him either in a quick interview - just says he’ll take on anyone.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

And still!

Saturday 25 March 2023 23:11 , George Flood

No tension before these cards are read out - 116-112, 119-108, 117-110 - all in favour of Okolie, who remains the WBO cruiserweight champion of the world.

116-112 is extremely generous to Light.

119-108 feels bang on to me, to be honest.


Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 23:10 , George Flood

Light sees the final bell!

He displayed incredible durability late on to make it to the end.

Most other cruiserweights would have fallen after those huge shots in the 10th and 11th rounds.

No doubt about the final result - Okolie won every round, even with the point deduction in the 11th.

A good finish from Okolie, but obviously not his best performance.

He’ll probably be grateful for the rounds after 13 months outside the ring.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 23:05 , George Flood

Into the final round we go.

Has Okolie got a last-gasp stoppage in him?

Light obviously needs a knockout himself, having surely lost every round here.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 23:05 , George Flood

Round 11

This is a much better end to the fight for Okolie.

That left hand sets up a bruising straight right down the pipe!

Again, how has Light taken that and stayed on his feet?!

He hasn’t shown much tonight, but what a chin he’s got. Wow.

That came after Okolie actually had a point taken off for leaning down on Light at close range.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 23:01 , George Flood

Round 10

Replays show that was three consecutive massive right hands straight down the middle, through the guard that Okolie landed there.

No idea how Light managed to take them and not go down. Some chin on him.


Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:59 , George Flood

Round 10

Some action at long last at the start of round 10!

Okolie lands a huge right and hurts Light, sensing his moment and then crashing in more heavy blows.

Light’s legs are unsteady but he shows tremendous durability to take the punishment, stay upright and weather the storm.

He eventually gets his legs back underneath him. Not too many fighters at this weight could take that from someone as big as Okolie.

Credit to the challenger.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:57 , George Flood

Round 9

“This is getting embarrassing, get on with the boxing,” the referee tells both fighters after another series of tedious grapples.

That’s the second time he’s grabbed both of their heads like a pair of naughty kids.

This has been such a difficult watch from the outset.

Okolie has won all nine rounds, but this is almost a carbon copy of his win over Michal Cieslak.

Ring rust is inevitable after 13 months out of the game, but he’s surely got to do something more.


Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:52 , George Flood

Round 8

Okolie is still tentatively and rather predictably pawing away with that lead left to try and tee up the right hand, which he hasn’t landed with any authority for some time now.

The jab just has no snap and it’s all so telegraphed, though a left does go straight down the pipe.

Both men try to get their digs in during more ugly clinching, with Okolie managing to inflict some damage to the body.

Light is really game but poses no threat whatsoever.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:48 , George Flood

Round 7

There is no atmosphere whatsoever inside the AO Arena - a pretty woeful fight has sucked the life out of the venue.

Okolie and Light keep getting tangled up and the referee decides to give a stern warning to both fighters.

Preciously little action again in the seventh.

Light still hasn’t won a round, but it’s still so unconvincing from Okolie.

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:46 , George Flood

Oh dear...

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:45 , George Flood

Round 6

The concerning thing for Okolie is that his awkward-looking style can just be so, so tough to watch, despite how effective it generally is.

The jab is working and he’s still pawing away with the lead left to try and set up the big right hand.

A bizarre end to the sixth as both fighters basically stop with seconds left and Light just walks back to his corner early.

Okolie surely 6-0 to the good here at the halfway stage, but it’s a very dull bout indeed.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:40 , George Flood

Round 5

Another very quiet round, but Okolie does at least then piece together some decent combinations in a row - working the body and crashing in both a left hook and great short right.

He doesn’t have Light in much danger at all, but it’s another round in the bag and surely 5-0.

Light still trying to dictate the tempo, but he’s very limited in terms of both punch variety and power.

It’s impossible to see how he can hurt Okolie, to be honest.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:36 , George Flood

Round 4

Not much action early in the fourth, but Okolie - fighting off the back foot - does loop round with another crisp right hand midway through.

He gets working with a stiffer jab, but it’s all a bit ponderous and slow.

He’s in control still and has surely put away every round, but this has not been the emphatic comeback that Okolie would have hoped for so far.

Rather, it’s a very familiar pattern for his fights. He needs to up the tempo and aggression.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:31 , George Flood

Round 3

A little warning for Okolie midway through the third for leaning down heavily on the New Zealander, whose corner shriek about an elbow.

Undeterred, Light is trying to force the pace and get on the inside off the left hand, but again when he gets there he has nothing really to make Okolie think.

Okolie’s quietest round of the night so far by a distance, though.

Still in full control, but not much landing.


Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:28 , George Flood

Round 2

Okolie is maintaining the distance well, pawing out the lead left to set up the big right hand and keeping Light well out of range.

When the New Zealander does get inside, he has nothing at all to trouble the champion as he tries to go to the body and instead gets tagged with a heavy right.

Another vicious right from Okolie lands shortly before the bell. 2-0 to The Sauce.

Trainer SugarHill Steward tells Okolie at the end of the second to just keep taking the right to the body, which is always on.

Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:23 , George Flood

Round 1

A rather scrappy start to the opening round, with Okolie throwing out those trademark looping long right hands that inflict such damage.

Light is trying to get in close and avoid them, attempting to set up his own overhand right off the jab.

Too much wrestling again from Okolie that stunts his momentum - he really needs to get away from that as it’s so frustrating.

But some nice work to the body sees him easily take it. 1-0.


Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:20 , George Flood

After no shortage of build-up, we are ready to go!

The main event is underway.

Will this be a quick victory for Okolie, or can massive underdog Light make it a tough night’s work?

An upset would be extraordinary. The size difference between the pair is massive.

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:13 , George Flood

‘Hate Me Now’ by Nas and Diddy is Okolie’s ring-walk music of choice.

He’s looking confident and in brilliant shape.

Hopefully we see a real statement from him tonight.

Time for the national anthems, with Tessa King performing ‘God Defend New Zealand’ first.

‘God Save the King’ to follow.

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:10 , George Flood

Here comes the challenger!

David Light looking nice and relaxed as he strolls to the ring to the sound of ‘Your Man’ by American country music star Josh Turner.

About as understated a ring walk as you will ever see.

Okolie vs Light next

Saturday 25 March 2023 22:00 , George Flood

Just the main event to come now in Manchester!

Lawrence Okolie makes the long-awaited third defence of his WBO world cruiserweight title against mandatory challenger David Light of New Zealand next.

The return of ‘The Sauce’ after a long 13 months out of the ring and that protracted split with Matchroom and Eddie Hearn.

Back on Sky, let’s see what changes he has made under new trainer SugarHill Steward.

Could we see a brand new Okolie?

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:57 , George Flood

Clarke and Ben Shalom both want him quickly back out on the undercard of that May 6 Boxxer debut of Joshua Buatsi against Pawel Stepien in Birmingham.

Fellow Olympians Ben Whittaker and Lauren Price are also on that bill, along with Tyler Denny.

But that Harry Potter-style cut to the forehead looks really awkward and will take some healing.

Shalom also says he wants Clarke in a British title fight by the end of the year.

Clarke wants Fabio Wardley - saying only “the people can’t save you”.


Dinu retires after second round

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:46 , George Flood

A great second round for Clarke, who attacks relentlessly to both head and body with some very well-timed, heavy punches.

He thunders in a succession of crunching shots to the body, with Dinu’s midriff completely red all over.

And he’s been pulled by his corner before the third!

Dinu immediately tapped his ribcage as he retreated slowly to his corner - he may have broken something and the message is quickly relayed to referee Mark Lyson, who waves it off.

A swift victory for Clarke. A shame we didn’t get to see more of him as it looked like he was moving nicely through the gears there.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Clarke vs Dinu

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:41 , George Flood

A cagey start to the co-main event and an awkward cut has quickly opened up right between the eyes of Clarke - that’s going to be very difficult to manage.

I presume that came from an accidental clash of heads. Yep, the Sky replay proves exactly that.

Clarke works well behind the jab, setting up some big shots that find their mark.

Dinu comes back firing towards the end of the round, but the first belongs to the former Team GB boxing captain and a regular sparring partner of Anthony Joshua.

Clarke vs Dinu

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:37 , George Flood

Here we go!

‘Big Fraze’ looking to make a statement in Manchester.

Clarke vs Dinu up next

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:36 , George Flood

Now it’s time for the co-main event of the night as Olympic heavyweight hero Frazer Clarke battles late replacement opponent Bogdan Dinu of Romania.

The 20-4 Dinu - whom British fight fans will remember for getting cleaned out in two rounds by Daniel Dubois in the latter’s comeback from his first defeat by Joe Joyce in 2021 - stepped into the breach after American Rydell Booker was forced to withdraw earlier this week through illness.

Undefeated Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist and Commonwealth Games champion Clarke, who turns 32 this year, is in his first eight-rounder as he looks to move to 6-0 as a pro and quickly go up through the ranks as he targets a meeting with Fabio Wardley.

Dinu walks out to Fort Minor’s ‘Remember the Name’ - haven’t heard that song for years!

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:27 , George Flood

Giles feels he did enough to win, but isn’t as upset as I thought he would be after what he describes as a “learning curve”.

Credit to Gomez Jr, who begins the interview with an apology for how he behaved at yesterday’s explosive weigh-in.

Both seem up for the rematch, which Giles definitely deserves.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gomez Jr beats Giles via split decision

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:22 , George Flood

Ring announcer Kody ‘Big Mo‘ Mommaerts reads out the scorecards after a very nervous wait for both fighters, who both raise their hands - 97-93 Gomez Jr, 96-95 Giles, 97-94 Gomez Jr!

Gomez Jr takes a split decision to claim the vacant English super-featherweight title, sinking to his knees as the emotion takes hold.

A great, close fight that could have gone either way I guess, but that feels extremely harsh on Giles - particularly the 97-93. He was 4-0 up!

That’s his first loss in 14 fights. Tough to take.

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:19 , George Flood

A decent end to a great scrap as both men enjoy success in a close 10th and final round that could have gone either way on the cards.

Giles raises his hand with confidence after the final bell.

Gomez Jr much more uncertain as he goes across to ask the Sky commentators how they scored it.

Giles put away some clear rounds there, and it may all depend on how the judges scored a few very close rounds.

Gomez Jr may well have got a number of them due to his pressure style and always being the aggressor on the front foot.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:15 , George Flood

Gomez Jr tells his corner before the start of the ninth that if he’s going to lose, he’s going to go out on his shield.

And you can see that attitude taking effect as he tries to significantly up the tempo in the penultimate round.

He gets through with some stinging shots, but Giles is doing well again now at getting back to fighting nicely on the outside.

Giles is going to take this, bar a huge final round from Gomez Jr.

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:12 , George Flood

A backstage shot from Sky of David Light, who looks very relaxed in his dressing room as he’s joined by compatriot Joseph Parker.

Meanwhile, in a pre-fight interview with Sky, Okolie - who looks in tremendous shape - extols the virtues of veganism and recycling.

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:11 , George Flood

This is becoming a really gruelling, attritional affair as both fighters tire significantly through eight.

Gomez Jr with a decent couple of combinations there - that uppercut is a real weapon when he manages to drive it on target.

But did he do enough to take that round?

Giles has periods where his energy returns and he gets back to peppering those jabs and keeping the distance well.

I’ve got him 5-3 up.

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:05 , George Flood

Like the fourth, that was an extremely close seventh round as Giles tries to rediscover his lost energy and turn the tide of this absorbing English title fight.

Gomez Jr drops off a bit and potentially pays the price.

His start was surely way too passive for him to drop any of these later rounds. He needs to up the pace again quickly.

Giles with visible swelling around both eyes.

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 21:02 , George Flood

This is starting to look a little foreboding for Giles, who drops another round there.

Gomez Jr is doing the much better work now, still keeping the pressure on at all times and now timing his attacks and punches nicely to both body and head.

Giles has slowed down massively and is now struggling to breach Gomez Jr’s tight defences off the back foot.

After his fine start, he’s dropped two rounds in a row now - maybe three after such a close fourth.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:57 , George Flood

A fascinating fifth round.

Gomez Jr has certainly upped that work rate, still on the front foot all the time and walking down Giles.

When he gets into range, his shots from close distance are effective including an eye-catching short uppercut.

Giles was caught with his back square to the ropes for a moment and took some punishment. He’s going to be in trouble here if he continues to slow down and lose that sharp movement and footwork as the fight progresses.

Giles has his moments in the fifth, utilising the jab to good effect again and getting home with that fizzing lead left, but that was much better from Gomez Jr.

4-1/3-2 to Giles through five?

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:52 , George Flood

A close fourth but I think that’s the first round of the night for Gomez, just.

He takes his corner’s advice by stepping on the gas, throwing more punches and measuring the distance better.

It was mightily tight, though.

Could easily be 4-0 to Giles as we approach the halfway stage of the fight.

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:48 , George Flood

Better flashes from Gomez Jr midway through the third, driving in a spiteful blow to the pit of the stomach.

Otherwise he’s been much too passive despite forcing the tempo.

Here comes Giles firing with a far more aggressive approach with 30 seconds left in the round, teeing off with a succession of punches during a decent exchange in the middle of the ring.

Giles got the better of it on that occasion, but Gomez Jr will surely be fancied if that’s the sort of fight this is going to become.

But that’s 3-0 Giles - the deficit is starting to mount for Gomez Jr despite a strong finish to the third. He needs to up the work rate and start putting some rounds in the bag.


Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:44 , George Flood

A couple down in this 10-rounder, which has been an intriguing tactical battle so far.

Gomez Jr is walking down Giles and trying to keep the pressure on, but the Grimsby man is fighting well off the back foot, utilising his jab effectively and taking his chances when they come.

He’s jabbing to the body particularly well to force Gomez Jr back off him.

Gomez Jr ups the tempo towards the end of the second, looking to back Giles up against the ropes and let his left hand fly.

I’d say that’s 2-0 Giles. Gomez Jr is coming forward on the front foot all the time, but not actually landing much at all.

Gomez Jr vs Giles

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:37 , George Flood

The more understated Grimsby fighter Giles, with Faithless as his ring-walk music of choice, is unbeaten at 13-0, with three knockouts after beating both Brayan Mairena and Karl Sampson last year.

Central Area champion Gomez Jr, meanwhile, with a nod to his old man with a familiar ring walk.

He’s 18-1 with five stoppages, with that lone defeat coming against Henry Janes on his pro debut back in 2019.

He outpointed Brian Phillips on his last outing in October.

Here we go... these English title clashes rarely disappoint!

Gomez Jr vs Giles next

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:29 , George Flood

Fight of the night contender next!

It’s a grudge match for the vacant English super-featherweight title between Michael Gomez Jr and Levi Giles.

There is no love lost between this pair and they clashed at yesterday’s weigh-in, with Giles pushed off his feet by Gomez Jr.

This is a genuine 50-50 and could be an absolute cracker. Can’t wait.

Gomez Jr is of course the son of legendary former two-time British super-featherweight champion Michael Gomez Sr, who fought the likes of Amir Khan and Ricky Burns.


Saturday 25 March 2023 20:25 , George Flood

Artingstall reveals after the fight that she had her car broken into yesterday and all her windows smashed.

All I can say is that is a very brave person indeed to target a superb boxer and former army gunner!

Artingstall outpoints Buczynski to stay unbeaten

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:14 , George Flood

Buczynski raises her hand again after the final bell, but there’s absolutely no chance she won that despite being competitive at times.

I didn’t give her one round.

The referee duly scores it 60-55 in favour of Artingstall, who moves to 3-0 as a professional after a tidy display.

Onwards and upwards! Lauren Price comes into the ring to congratulate her partner.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Artingstall vs Buczynski

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:10 , George Flood

Artingstall is well on top heading into the sixth and final round.

More good action in the fifth, with the Olympic bronze medalist landing a long looping left hand that certainly buzzed Buczynski.

Can she secure a last-gasp stoppage or is she heading for another wide points win?

Artingstall vs Buczynski

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:05 , George Flood

Buczynski keeps raising her hand aloft after the ends of these rounds, but I don’t think she’s actually put one away yet.

It’s not all one-sided, far from it, but the busier and more aggressive Artingstall continues to do the better, cleaner work on the front foot through four.

Far more fizz on her shots, without question. She is always piling the pressure on and dictating the pace of the fight, backing up Buczynski repeatedly.

Trainer Rob McCracken is certainly happy with her progress in the corner.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Artingstall vs Buczynski

Saturday 25 March 2023 20:00 , George Flood

A captivating opening two rounds, which Okolie himself is watching having come out from his dressing room.

The likes of Liam Smith and Kell Brook are also in attendance tonight.

Artingstall and Buczynski have traded plenty already, but the sharper, more spiteful punches have definitely come from Artingstall.

Buczynski started reasonably well, but she got backed up a lot in that second round and received some heavy right hands to both head and body.

2-0 Artingstall?

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Artingstall vs Buczynski

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:55 , George Flood

Here we go with this six-rounder.

Artingstall is sporting camo shorts in support of the British Army, having previously served as a gunner in the Royal Artillery.

She also has a black eye already, which apparently came from Price during the final round of a recent sparring session in preparation for tonight’s bout.

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:51 , George Flood

Olympic gold medalist Lauren Price is at ringside at the AO Arena tonight to support partner Artingstall.

They have been dubbed as boxing’s power couple.

Artingstall vs Buczynski next

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:46 , George Flood

Karriss Artingstall is next on the bill in Manchester.

Team GB’s Olympic bronze medalist featherweight from Tokyo 2020 is up against Bolton’s experienced campaigner Linzi Buczynski.

It’s only the Macclesfield southpaw’s third professional contest after opening points wins over Marina Sakharov and Vaida Masiokaite last year.

Buczynski is the area champion and has only one loss on her professional record, against Jade Taylor last April.

She bounced back from that with consecutive wins over Chelsey Arnell and Riya Rani.


Confident Simpson plots quick title path

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:40 , George Flood

Boxxer chief Ben Shalom calls Callum Simpson a sleeping giant in British boxing in his post-fight interview with Sky Sports - he has massive hopes for his newest signing moving forward, and with good reason.

He states that he is already at the level of a Felix Cash, who went the distance with Celso Neves in Leeds in December.

Zak Chelli is another potentially great fight in future after he upset Anthony Sims to win the WBA Continental super-middleweight title last month.

The ultra-confident Simpson wants at least English and British titles by the end of the year.


Watch: Simpson stops Neves with brutal right hook

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:33 , George Flood

Simpson stops Neves on Boxxer debut

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:30 , George Flood

Neves tries to stand and trade again with the heavy-handed and destructive Simpson in the third, but it quickly proves his undoing as he eats some powerful punches at close range.

He’s dropped again by another spiteful right hook that lands flush on the chin as Neves just missed with his own attempted right hook.

Neves initially gets to his feet, but the referee takes a long hard look into his eyes before deciding that he is not fit to continue.

Stunning from Simpson. What a statement on his Boxxer debut - you will be seeing much more of him in the months ahead.


Simpson vs Neves

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:26 , George Flood

Simpson is just oozing confidence on his Boxxer debut, bullying Neves and walking forward with his hands down.

Neves is trying to fight fire with fire, but he’s really overmatched here.

Two rounds firmly in the bag for the Barnsley man.

Simpson vs Neves

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:23 , George Flood

Simpson comes on strong after the early knockdown, which was caused after he took a little step back after the clinch and swiftly uncorked a brutal right hook that caught Neves completely off guard.

Neves makes it to the bell at the end of a one-sided first round, but this is already looking very ominous.

Simpson completely on top early on in this eight-rounder.

Simpson vs Neves

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:19 , George Flood

Simpson, eager to make an impression on the big stage, swarms all over Neves from the first bell and already has him in major trouble!

Neves is caught with a huge right hand after the clinch and sinks to his knees.

This could be over very quickly indeed...

Simpson vs Neves

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:16 , George Flood

Here comes Neves, who hails from Portugal but fights out of Basel, Switzerland and is a former Swiss super-middleweight champion.

The 32-year-old, 9-3-2 as a pro, has his work cut out against area champion Simpson, who is a popular, hard-hitting prospect and has brought over lots of fans from South Yorkshire tonight for his Boxxer and Sky Sports debut.

He was keen to rep his beloved Tykes at yesterday’s explosive weigh-in. Their huge clash with Ipswich in League One today was postponed due to the international break, which is sure to have seen many more flock to Manchester.


Simpson vs Neves next

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:04 , George Flood

Coverage of the main televised undercard is about to begin in Manchester.

Barnsley’s 10-0 super-middleweight prospect Callum Simpson - a new signing for Ben Shalom and Boxxer - is due to kick things off against Celso ‘El Fenomeno’ Neves of Portugal.

There was plenty of needle between these two at the weigh-in at the Love Factory yesterday, so this could be explosive.


Edwards outpoints Phillips after late firefight

Saturday 25 March 2023 18:53 , George Flood

What a final round! Wow.

Both men go for broke in a captivating last-gasp firefight, with the big bombs dropped and no shortage of riveting action.

The final bell sounds on a great battle and Edwards deservedly picks up the win on points, 60-55, giving one round to Phillips.

The impressive Welshman moves to 14-0.


Edwards vs Phillips

Saturday 25 March 2023 18:45 , George Flood

An entertaining tussle this and relatively evenly-matched through three, but the slick Edwards has shown some really good stuff over the last couple of rounds as he bids to take full control.

He’s got great movement, footwork and fast hands, letting the shots fly in bunches.

This has slipped away from Phillips, who isn’t done yet but needs a big finish.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Edwards vs Phillips

Saturday 25 March 2023 18:32 , George Flood

13-0 Welsh prospect Rhys Edwards is in the ring now, taking on Liverpool’s Brian Phillips in a six-round featherweight showdown.

Edwards is in his first fight of 2023 after points wins over Ruslan Berchuk and Alexis Kabore last year.

Meanwhile, Phillips is looking to bounce back from his October defeat by Michael Gomez Jr in a battle for the Central Area super-featherweight title.


McKenna dominates Grant in easy win

Saturday 25 March 2023 18:25 , George Flood

No stoppage for McKenna, but a 60-54 final result reflects his dominance as he moves to 16-0.

You’d just like to see him be more active now. I was at his second to last fight against Carlos Gallego Montijo on the Isaac Chamberlain-Dilan Prasovic undercard in Crystal Palace back in December 2021, and that feels like an age ago now.

McKenna against Shakiel Thompson would be one hell of a scrap. Let’s hope it happens.


McKenna vs Grant

Saturday 25 March 2023 18:20 , George Flood

More of the same through rounds four and five, ruthless from McKenna as he keeps up that massive, relentless pressure and sheer intensity.

He’s walking down the tired Grant all the time, sapping more of his energy with those crunching left hooks to the body.

But the game Grant has not been in serious danger of being stopped yet and has had one or two punches sneak through himself, still throwing and trying to tie up McKenna at every opportunity.

Will that change in the last three minutes?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

McKenna vs Grant

Saturday 25 March 2023 18:11 , George Flood

Halfway through this next six-rounder and McKenna is completely dominating the fight, as you might expect.

The left hook and crippling body shots are rattling in time after time, as well as some fierce right hands.

Credit to Grant for taking this tough bout at such short notice, but he’s being battered in a relentless onslaught.

The Scot is completely exhausted and McKenna knows it - he’ll surely get the stoppage.

McKenna vs Grant

Saturday 25 March 2023 18:03 , George Flood

The action continues quickly on the early, non-televised undercard in Manchester, with 15-0 Irish prospect Aaron McKenna - one of the talented McKenna twins - in a six-round super-middleweight bout against Scotland’s Jordan Grant.

Grant was a very late replacement opponent for Namibian veteran Lukas Ndafoluma and faces a serious challenge here.

‘The Silencer’ McKenna is back in action for the first time since last June, when he beat David Benitez in Coventry in his only bout of 2022.


Thompson defeats Talarek to go 10-0

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:57 , George Flood

Impressive stuff from Shakiel Thompson, who does not get Robert Talarek out of there and actually has a point deducted late on for a second accidental low blow.

But it was a dominant display nevertheless and he dealt out some vicious punishment, showing his fearsome power and variety throughout the six-rounder.

He moves on to a perfect 10-0 as a pro.

All credit to Talarek for getting through that. His face was a reddened, bloody state by the end, with a horrible cut.

Not sure how he saw the final bell, but he did.


Lambert beats Brown in second pro bout

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:47 , George Flood

One result is already in the books tonight, by the way.

Hull’s former Team GB welterweight Harvey Lambert has moved to 2-0 as a professional with a straightforward win over Warrington’s Casey Brown.

A memorable night for Lambert, whose partner has now apparently gone into labour!

He was told in the ring and has now hot-footed it to the hospital.


Thompson vs Talarek

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:43 , George Flood

Talented undefeated Sheffield middleweight Shakiel Thompson is going through the gears nicely on the early undercard against Polish veteran Robert Talarek.

‘Dr Steel’ is absolutely dominating the six-rounder, putting his opponent under constant suffocating pressure and piecing the combinations together well with some real power punches.

Into the fifth... can he get the stoppage his performance deserves?

Talarek has taken a lot of punishment and has a nasty cut under his right eye. His face is a mess.

Referee Mark Lyson may want to step in soon.


Okolie defence comes against distracting backdrop after Matchroom split

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:33 , George Flood

It is more than a year since Lawrence Okolie last competitively stepped into the ring for the second defence of his WBO cruiserweight belt, writes Matt Majendie.

In the 11 intervening months, he has had a fight of sorts to change promoters and break the shackles of Matchroom, who had backed his 18 fights in the professional ranks to date.

The split with Eddie Hearn has been far from civil, and the acrimony is still bubbling just below the surface. Having switched allegiance to Boxxer, the Londoner says he feels wanted again.

It is a change of pathway for him that adds an interesting backdrop to his encounter against David Light at Manchester’s AO Arena.

Of his relationship with his former promoter, he said: “I don’t want to get into Eddie Hearn. He’s a former promoter, so it’s like talking about an ex over and over again. Let him say and do what he wants. I’m very happy with how my life is going and now I have to just focus on winning.”

Click here to read the full fight preview

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Okolie vs Light fight prediction

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:27 , George Flood

It feels very much as if Okolie needs a statement performance tonight.

After an absence of more than a year off the back of what was a pretty dreadful fight against Cieslak, all momentum has seemingly been lost in his quest to follow the likes of Oleksandr Usyk by becoming undisputed at cruiserweight.

His ugly row with Hearn has made far more headlines than his fighting prowess over recent weeks and months, with attentions now needing to turn back to the ring.

Light is hardly the sort of opponent against whom an emphatic victory would strike fear into the other champions in this class, Arsen Goulamirian, Jai Opetaia and the newly-crowned Badou Jack, but nevertheless it is much needed if he wants to secure those big unification nights.

And we think he’ll get it by virtue of an emphatic early stoppage against a huge underdog.

Okolie to win by knockout in round four.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Fight card in full

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:25 , George Flood

Lawrence Okolie vs David Light

Frazer Clarke vs Bogdan Dinu

Michael Gomez Jr vs Levi Giles

Karriss Artingstall vs Linzi Buczynskyj

Callum Simpson vs Celso Neves

Rhys Edwards vs Brian Phillips

Shakiel Thompson vs Robert Talarek

Aaron McKenna vs Jordan Grant

Harvey Lambert vs Casey Brown

Frankie Stringer vs Jakub Laskowski

Samuel Antwi vs Omir Rodriguez

Tonight’s timings

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:23 , George Flood

The early undercard at the AO Arena got underway around 20 minutes ago - full updates on that to come.

The main undercard is due to begin at 7pm GMT, with main event ring walks expected at approximately 10pm.

As ever, those timings are subject to change, depending on the length of the undercard fights.

How to watch Okolie vs Light

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:21 , George Flood

TV channel: In the UK, Okolie vs Light is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 8pm.

The early undercard is on Sky Boxing’s YouTube channel.

Live stream: Subscribers can also catch the action live online via the Sky Go app.

Welcome to Okolie vs Light LIVE coverage!

Saturday 25 March 2023 17:15 , George Flood

Hello and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of Lawrence Okolie vs David Light!

‘The Sauce’ is back in action tonight after a long 13 months out of the ring following an acrimonious split from Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn, having signed with Ben Shalom and Boxxer to make the overdue third defence of his WBO world cruiserweight title.

Much of Okolie’s momentum has been lost since that frustrating win over Michal Cieslak in London last February, so he could really use an emphatic reminder of his talent tonight against mandatory challenger Light - the undefeated, 20-0 New Zealander who is making a big step up here as a sizable underdog.

Now teamed up with SugarHill Steward and training with the likes of Tyson Fury, all eyes will be on Okolie to see if he can get back on track in terms of his goals to unify the 200lbs division and then rise up to the heavyweight ranks.

There’s also plenty to watch on tonight’s undercard at the AO Arena in Manchester, including the latest professional bouts for Olympic medalists Frazer Clarke and Karriss Artingstall and an English super-featherweight title grudge match between Michael Gomez Jr and Levi Giles, who clashed yesterday at a heated weigh-in.

Stay tuned for live updates and results from across the night!