Lawrence Okolie made a dominant display of power on Friday night, winning the WBC briderweight title with a first round knockout over the hapless champion Lukasz Rozanski at the Podpromie Arena in Rzeszow, Poland.

Fighting at Briderweight for the first and likely the last time, former WBO cruiserweight champion Okolie (20-1, 14 KOs) showed that his power has carried up from the 200-lb division, as he delivered a quick first round knockout of the previously undefeated 38-year-old Rozanski (15-1, 14 KOs).

The 6’5″ Okolie dropped Rozanski three times with right hands in the round before the referee finally waved it off at 2:55 of the first. Rozanski looked out of it after the first knockdown.

Okolie backed Rozanski up with stiff jabs and then nailed him with a straight right to the left side of his head, putting him down hard on the canvas. While Rozanski was down, he looked at the referee and pointed to the back of the head, suggesting that he’d been hit with a rabbit punch. The referee wasn’t buying it and ruled it was a knockdown.

It’s unclear if Rozanski really believed he’d been hit in the back of the head by Okolie or if he was doing this because he wanted a timeout to recover from the blow. I think it was the latter.

The way Okolie was hitting Rozanski at will with powerful right hands, it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been given extra time to shake off the effects of the blow. He was going to get hit with the same type of shots and put down, which is exactly what happen. Okolie cotninued to drop Rozanski with right hands.

The final knockdown by Okolie was a right uppercut that bowled Rozanski over like a pin at a bowling alley. Rozanski staggered to his feet and then waved it off after looking at him wobbling back and forth. It would have been criminal to allow the fight to continue with Rozanski in that physical state.

It was a great performance from Okolie, who will now likely move up to heavyweight rather than stay at bridgerweight and be stuck fighting the no-name opposition for smaller purses.

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