LAWRENCE OKOLIE has a hell of a lot on his plate in 2021.
'The Sauce', as he's eloquently known, released a book three weeks ago, a music single two weeks back, and will take part in a world title fight this weekend.
But after his cruiserweight spectacle with Krzysztof Glowacki is over, Okolie wants to conquer the cinema scene.
"Let's do a movie as well! Why not? Throw that one in there as well," he gleefully exclaims in an exclusive chat with SunSport.
"I'm just in a space mentally and physically that I want to do whatever I can, because whenever boxing is done I'm going to be 35-40 years old, I won't be able to punch as hard and fast and I won't be able to make a rap video either.
"And then the book… that was very emotional, there was a lot to reminisce about. The story I've got to this day, being an Olympian, being a champion, is a story that's going to help a lot of people."
Okolie has already achieved more than he ever dreamed he could as a teenager. An obese one, with a lack of direction in his life, at that.
Now stands an adonis-looking figure in the ring with British, Commonwealth and European boxing titles to his name.
World honours are next. But with Okolie, from the outside looking in at least, it doesn't always look like the 28-year-old lives the gym-rat lifestyle.
Under trainer Shane McGuigan's tutelage, however, he promises he does just that. And even with all the glitz, glamour and opulence that comes with his non-boxing activities, Okolie's reluctant for any of that to muscle in on his ring exploits.
"When you take that life too seriously they become quite conflicting, you're up late, you're at venues where there's lots of alcohol, I don't drink or smoke. I don't want to be taken as a gimmick, I want to be respected," he adds.
But the topic circles back to acting, which, post-Glowacki, he has tunnel vision for.
Okolie says: "Number one, after boxing, is acting… the one thing I can't get the hang of is darts. I really struggle, I've tried my best and it's just not working.
"So if possible I want to get into a movie this year. As a world champion I hope that will open some more doors.
"Like serious movies or maybe a TV series, as long as it doesn't distract from boxing. I feel like if I've got two weeks off somewhere let's fill that up with other interests. Let's go to the studio, let's go to the film set, let's just enjoy it."
And what does his trainer think?
"Shane likes it, he tries not to say it too much, but he does," Okolie says.
Something striking in Okolie's approach to life is the lack of fear in everything he does.
He walked out to one of his own tracks before his fight with Nikodem Jezewski on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's title defence with Kubrat Pulev last December.
But that's all it was, his own to listen to. That's until 'TKO' was released as Okolie's debut single on March 4. Another finger in another pie.
He explains: "I've had that song for a year. It was made during the first lockdown. I've got friends that are always like 'mate, just do it, you're not scared are you?' And I'm like 'no of course I'm not scared!'"
"I want belts, CDs, MP4s, music, films so when I've got a family, one day they can say 'listen listen, you're dad used to be really handsome!'"
But for now, Glowacki stands in the way of the first item on that list. An experienced southpaw with just two losses on his 33-fight CV, the Polish fighter has been bested only by Mairis Briedis and cruiserweight great Oleksandr Usyk.
Okolie's power at 14st 4lbs is something to behold, though. And he's expecting an early night.
"I might get Glowacki done in one round, who knows. I might go one better than Usyk or Breidis," he says, straight-faced.
"The reality is, it's a world title fight, you're going to have to fight someone good for it. He's a tricky, awkward, powerful southpaw. I need to be on my A-game 100 percent. And I will be… I'll get it done."
So what started all of this? Because there were certainly no dreams or aspirations as a 16-year-old. But Okolie has an answer.
"I wanted to get girls, man. I just wanted to get girls. That was it for me, I didn't really have any major aspirations. I wanted girls but girls didn't want me.
"But then I changed stuff and now…yeah."
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