Lawrence Okolie admits Tyson Fury is current top heavyweight over pal Anthony Joshua
Lawrence Okolie has declared Tyson Fury as the best heavyweight boxer in the world after watching him knock out Deontay Wilder for a second time on Saturday night.
Okolie didn't stay up until 5am to watch the fight, but didn't look at social media or text messages until after he had seen it on Sunday morning.
Wilder looked much improved from his last outing against Fury, but ultimately didn't have enough to handle what was thrown at him by the 'Gypsy King', and was brutally knocked out in the 11th round.
And Okolie says that with his friend and Fury's rival Anthony Joshua having lost his belts to Oleksandr Usyk, who only holds one top-level win at the weight, he sees Fury as the current number one heavyweight.
"I watched most of the boxing," Okolie told Mirror Fighting in an exclusive chat. "I didn't stay up for it but I watched it first thing in the morning so it was fresh.
"It was a really good fight, in fact it was actually a great fight.
"Right now you'd rank Tyson Fury number one, Usyk has only beaten one world class heavyweight where Fury has beaten two.
"He's got that Ring Magazine belt as well, so yeah you'd have to rank him number one."
Fury dropped Wilder in the third round of his trilogy bout with the American, mirroring the way their February 2020 rematch took place.
But WIlder was able to flip the script in the fourth and drop Fury twice, leading to an exciting finish to the fight with the Brit reclaiming the momentum and flooring Wilder in the 10th before the fight was stopped with his third knockdown in the 11th.
And Okolie believes that it was right of Wilder's corner to allow him to be viciously knocked out by Fury in the 11th round, despite a lot of criticism towards his trainer Malik Scott.
"You've got to take into account that he won't have wanted to go out any other way than that," Okolie explained.
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"He got to go out as a warrior and his stock has actually gone up since, so it is what it is.
"I'm not a coach so it's hard to say, I don't know what their training camp was like.
"The thing with Wilder is he's such a big puncher that he can still land that big shot, he got put down in round three and dropped Fury in round four twice.
"He's always got opportunities to land those power shots so there's always that chance."
Okolie has said that he plans to move up to heavyweight once he has unified the division at cruiserweight, but is currently not looking at heavier fighters as possible opponents.
Fury is likely to face the winner of Dillian Whyte vs Otto Wallin next in a mandatory defence of his world title before looking to unify against the winner of Usyk and Joshua's rematch.
World Champion Boxer Lawrence Okolie has teamed up with McDonald’s to launch a new campaign designed to improve the life chances of thousands of young people.
To find out more, visit mcdonalds.co.uk/planforchange