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Lawrence Okolie had pictures of David Haye up on his wall as a kid – now he wants to surpass him as Britain's greatest cruiserweight.
And the ambitious WBO champion even wants to go one better and put himself alongside the likes of Evander Holyfield and Oleksandr Usyk to become the best the division has ever seen.
Unbeaten Okolie, 28, makes the first defence of his WBO crown against Dilan Prasovic on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's heavyweight duel with Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But he is desperate to unify the division so he can wrap himself in belts like former WBA, WBC and WBO cruiser king Haye.
The Shane McGuigan-trained fighter said: “I had pictures of David Haye on my wall as a kid, with all the belts and I want to recreate that picture of myself.
“In the cruiserweight probably the best one has probably been David Haye as he unified three out of four belts and then went up to heavyweight to win a world title.
“I want to go down as the best cruiserweight in Britain and when I won the world title at a reasonable age there is an opportunity to do that and undisputed.
Inside Lawrence Okolie's dressing room as he plots path to undisputed cruiserweight glory
“Outside of Haye, you would probably say Usyk is the best one, well Usyk, Evander Holyfield and David Haye.
“I want to add myself to the list of the best ever, it would be nice.
“I think it is possible as long as I win this one with a unification or two.
“It's a couple of years to go down as one of Britain's best cruiserweights so I have to go make it happen.”
Okolie, like Haye, Usyk and Holyfield, also has ambitions of going up to heavyweight.
But first he will be eying up fights with WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu, IBF title holder Mairis Briedis and WBA title holder Arsen Goulamirian.
Lawrence Okolie becomes cruiserweight world champion with stunning KO of Krzysztof Glowacki
“If the opportunity comes up that I like at heavyweight then I will go up,” the Hackney-born fighter said.
“My walking around weight is quite comfortable, what I go in the ring at as a cruiserweight, I could probably box at that weight as a heavyweight.
“Obviosuly I do want to make my fights efficient. I want to go for unifications while I still feel strong at the weight.”
- Anthony Joshua
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