<
>

Lawrence Okolie: Vegan diet won't hinder me against Isaac Chamberlain

Lawrence Okolie is currently unbeaten in his professional career. Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Lawrence Okolie insists being vegan has not affected his punching power ahead of Saturday's cruiserweight clash with Isaac Chamberlain at London's O2 Arena.

There has been plenty of trash-talking between the two unbeaten prospects and Chamberlain last week placed an advert in Okolie's local newspaper advertising him for work after the fight.

Okolie (7-0, 6 KOs), 25, shrugged off the stunt and says he will keep his unbeaten record intact thanks to a diet that is free of meat, eggs and dairy products.

"I've not eaten meat in a year," Okolie told ESPN. "I still eat the odd bit of chocolate though -- I can't cut that out, it's my weakness.

"I've enjoyed meat but I wanted to give being vegan a go. It happened recently after I turned professional and I've been in charge of my own nutrition.

"The fatigue I felt when I ate meat was big and I only miss it when it comes to Christmas.

"I've not eaten meat for a while now, throughout my pro career, and I've still be able to knock people out so I'm not missing anything from it."

Okolie expects Chamberlain to try and turn their fight into a brawl at London's O2 Arena.

"I think he will try to turn it into a tear-up," Okolie added. "I know what my strengths are and he has very limited options for it to be competitive. I don't see it as 50-50, no way."

Chamberlain (9-0, 4 KOs), 23, has spent the early part of his career without the attention Okolie has received while boxing at the 2016 Olympics and then turning professional with IBF-WBA world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua as his manager.

"Nothing has been given to me in boxing, that's been the case from day one and it still is," said Chamberlain. "I will always have that underdog mentality and go into fights to take everything.

"My ride has made me mentally stronger, if I'd had things handed to me, I wouldn't know what it's like to dig deep and grit my teeth to get through the tough moments.

"I know that when it gets tough, I can bite down on the gumshield and get to the other side with the win."