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Mikael Lawal: ‘We were trying to take Oleksandr Usyk out!’ | Fights Deion Jumah for British cruiserweight title next

Mikael Lawal will take on rival London cruiserweight Deion Jumah for the vacant British title on November 26 at Alexandra Palace, live on Sky Sports.

Lawal is an unbeaten power-puncher, who’s won 10 of his 16 pro fights inside the distance. Jumah has only lost once in his 15-bout career and that was in a creditable performance against a world-class fighter in Richard Riakporhe.

This fight and the British title is hugely significant to both men. “I can finally turn my life around for the better,” Lawal told Sky Sports.

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Mikael Lawal extended his unbeaten run at cruiserweight with a thunderous knockout win over Leonardo Damian Bruzzese at Wembley Arena.

“That’s why I got into the sport of boxing. To have a new lease of life. This is more than just boxing for me.

“For me to win would be such an amazing feeling.

“That’s the main thing for me. I need to make sure I get that British title. Because that will take my career and everything to the next stage,” he added.

“I’m not trying to prove nothing to nobody. I’m trying to prove something to myself.”

He knows how dangerous an opponent Jumah can be. “He’s very skillful, tricky, you’ve got to be careful with him,” Lawal said. “Southpaw, that gives him that little extra edge.

“When I first ever started boxing, I think he’d just turned pro at the time, we used to spar. I did very well at the time,” he added.

BOXXER MEDIA WORKOUTS.GLAZIERS HALL,.LONDON.PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG.MIKEL LAWAL PERFORMS A MEDIA WORKOUT IN PREPARATION FOR BOXXER PROMOTIONS NIGHT OF BOXING AT WEMBLEY ARENA ON NOVEMBER 20TH.
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Lawal has sparred London rival Jumah in the past

“That was me at a novice level stage of my career. Now I’ve got a lot more experience, I’m older, I bring a lot more to the table. We’ll have to see the dynamic now.”

In the past Lawal has had plenty of rounds of sparring with the world’s leading southpaw, Oleksandr Usyk. He trained with the Ukrainian when he was a cruiserweight champion, before Usyk moved up to heavyweight to beat Anthony Joshua.

“It gave me a gauge of where I’m at in my career,” Lawal explained.

“There’d be four sparring partners, all of us out there were all tough cruiserweights. We’d be doing four rounds with Usyk each and we were trying to take Usyk out. From the first to the last round, he’d stay strong with us. It [made you think,] ‘This guy is a beast.’

“It wasn’t like he was using so much strength. He was very elusive, relaxed. It’s not all about natural power and strength, there’s a lot more that goes into it and a lot of people don’t understand that.

“As time went on I started to calm myself down, relax myself down a little bit. My shots started to come off. I had some nice successful moments with Usyk.”

BOXXER CHANPIONSHIP BOXING.WEMBLEY ARENA.PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG.CRUISERWEIGHT CONTEST.MIKAEL LAWAL v LEANARDO DAMIAN BRUZZESE
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Lawal wants to deliver on the big stage

Lawal does have significant power. Tony Bellew revealed it was Lawal who broke his rib ahead of his rematch with David Haye.

“I’m surprised he said that,” Lawal said. “I want to let my boxing talk on the big stage, but for him to say that, that’s big respect to him.

“Things happen and I need to make sure I can keep doing that and do that on the big stage, that’s when it really matters.”

From his sessions with Usyk, Lawal knows in boxing he can’t rely on physicality.

“I’ve learned that the hard way,” he said. “I know in myself I need to not rely on my power. I’ve got a lot more to bring to the table.

“To land this power isn’t easy. It takes a skill set to land the power. People just seem to forget that. There’s a lot that goes into it.

“You can get caught with a crazy shot yourself. It’s fast chess, while you’re in there you’re having to figure them out, trying to think a few steps ahead of them.

“It is what it is, it’s why I do the sport and why I love it.”

Pre-register for Mikael Lawal vs Deion Jumah tickets at Boxxer.com



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