'Don't take on what other people say': Boxer who took up sport after being bullied for weight wins cruiserweight title

  • Video report from ITV News reporter Antoine Allen

Boxer Lawrence Okolie is the world cruiserweight champion - a remarkable transformation for someone who only took up boxing to lose weight.

As a teenager, Okolie was bullied for being clinically obese. After entering a boxing club, he lost 4.5 stone. Just four years later, he qualified for the 2016 Olympics.

As a professional, the 28-year-old become a champion at British, Commonwealth, European levels and on Saturday, Okolie knocked out Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki to claim the WBO cruiserweight crown.

  • Okolie's mother, Elizabeth, celebrates his success

"Believe in yourself and don't take on what other people say," he told ITV News, when asked what advice he'd give those currently facing bullies.

"Create your own self image and be what you want to be."

The Hackney fighter produced a controlled display on Saturday as he became the first male member of Great Britain’s 2016 Olympics squad to claim a professional world title.

Okolie followed the game plan of trainer Shane McGuigan perfectly, cutting Glowacki above the eye in the fourth and then finishing off the Pole with an explosive right hook.

So, what is next for Okolie?

"I'm going to take a week or two to relax, soak it all in...then back to the gym," he said.

"Obviously, winning the title is amazing, but now I want to reign. I want to have the title for a long time."