No matter who he fights, Lawrence Okolie is always the favourite in his own mind.
So he isn’t fazed that the bookmakers fancy him to beat Krszysztof Glowacki to the vacant WBO cruiserweight world title in a fortnight despite the fact the Pole has oodles more experience in his locker.
Glowacki, 34, has fought 33 times as a professional and, although there are two losses on his record, both have come in world title fights.
First, he was beaten to the WBO strap by Oleksandr Usyk in 2017 and last year he suffered the same fate against Mairis Briedis.
Glowacki hopes it’ll be third time lucky but the smart money is still going on European champion Okolie who, at 27, has a 14&0 record.
Okolie said: “I’m very narcissistic when it comes to boxing, so I’m going to believe that I am meant to be the favourite.
“I go into fights thinking, ‘I’m meant to win this fight so go out there and get it done’.
“As long as you put in good, good training and push yourself to the limit, none of the other stuff really matters.
“Come December 13, the day after the fight, the bookies’ stuff won’t matter, except for the people who bet.
“For me, the only thing that will matter is the W or not, so I just want to go on and get the victory.
“Glowacki has a lot of experience, but I have a lot of physical and mental attributes that will win this fight.
“Range, athleticism, power, going into the corner…
“Being the bookies’ favourite doesn’t guarantee the victory so I’m still going to make sure I put in the work.
“I see myself as favourite but I have to go and prove it on fight night.”
Fighters who have been into the ring since boxing returned without crowds have noticed a difference and there have been some surprising results.
Okolie added: “It seems more like sparring.
“But people have their own intentions and when it’s all said and done, I’m good in a boxing ring and I’m not the kind of person who thrives on a crowd or is scared because of a crowd, either way.
“I’m neutral, so I’m just going to go out and do what I’m supposed to do.
“If I’m supposed to win this fight, if I’m fit enough, strong enough, good enough, explosive enough, if I take instructions well enough and leave no stone unturned, it shouldn’t matter what the scenario is, I should be able to win the fight.”
Okolie’s fortunes have already changed since the days he flipped burgers for a living but becoming a world champion will cap his story.
He said: “I try not to overthink what happens if I win.
"Ultimately, just getting to this point, every day I feel blessed.
“Five years ago, I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do.
“Was I going to take up boxing seriously? Was I going to go to the Olympics?
“So everything now is just a blessing which is why I take it in my stride.
“I get messages from people saying my story inspires and gives them hope, and that’s the thing that really gets me.
“Just to know getting this far motivates people gives me a push to really get it done.”
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