Lawrence Okolie has been penciled in to make the first defense on his WBO cruiserweight title in the United States in August on a show that could also feature Dillian Whyte. 

Eddie Hearn is planning a show in California on August 28 and is planning to feature three boxers from the UK. 

Okolie won the vacant WBO title in March when he knocked out Krzysztof Glowacki in six rounds at Wembley. He is likely to face the WBO’s mandatory contender, Dilan Prasovic, next, although Hearn says he wants to push him straight into a unification fight if he wins. 

“Because he won a vacant title, he was immediately ordered to make a mandatory defense and then we want to fight Mairis Briedis (the IBF champion) in November/December. 

“I want to get him all the belts as soon as possible and then move him on to heavyweight. He won’t stay at cruiserweight too long. 

“So, after this mandatory, it will be (Ilunga) Makabu (the WBC champion) or Briedis next.” 

Hearn says that Whyte, the interim WBC champion, could be on that show, although he admits that Sky could try to tempt Whyte to stay on their channels, where he is a regular on pay-per-view. Hearn’s Matchroom team left Sky for DAZN after 27 years this month. 

“Dillian is potentially going on that end of August show in America,” Hearn said. “We are just finalizing if he is fighting in America or in the UK. His next fight might be a slightly smaller fight than he is used to. Every fight he is in seems to be a 50-50 war.  

“Dillian is a pay-per-view fighter on Sky, so he would have that opportunity. That’s not what we want or DAZN wants. He is happy where he is with us and all our talks are just to continue the relationship with us and I expect to see him box twice this year on DAZN.” 

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.