Lawrence Okolie would beat Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe at bridgerweight, says Macaulay McGowan | Boxing News

Over the next two days gym-mates Macaulay McGowan and Jack Massey could both win European championships.

Massey takes on Isaac Chamberlain for the cruiserweight title on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, while McGowan boxes Abass Baraou for the super-welterweight belt in Bolton on Friday.

He knows Baraou is a daunting opponent. “I expect a really tough fight and I’m looking to bring the best of me and get the win,” McGowan told Sky Sports. “I don’t see any weaknesses in him!

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Cruiserweights Isaac Chamberlain and Jack Massey continue their war of words as their pre-fight presser gets heated

“I’ve fought good fighters, I’ve been in with some really top fighters and it’s just all the same. I’ve just got to believe in myself and what I do.

“If I apply myself and do what I need to do I think I can drag him into my gameplan and make this a really good fight and get the win. I am really confident.”

He added: “I’ve been in with Sergio Martinez, I’m not really worried about anybody else.”

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Tyler Denny edged out Macauley McGowan by split decision to become European EEU middleweight champion

McGowan has had an up and down career. Since his loss to Martinez in 2022 he’s only been defeated once. That was a split-decision reverse last year to Tyler Denny who went on to become the European middleweight champion himself.

Earlier in 2023 he also ventured on to enemy territory when he took on Farrhad Saad in Paris and was unfortunate to come away with only a draw.

This next fight though could be the high point of his career. McGowan had a unique metaphor to describe what victory would feel like for him. He likened it to Patrick Swayze singing ‘She’s Like the Wind’.

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McGowan says he made massive improvements in his fight against Farrhad Saad which was declared a draw

“Right at the end Wendy Frazer comes in and sings the harmonies. It adds to the song and it just makes the whole song,” he said enthusiastically.

“And this is my career – 20 years I’ve been Patrick Swayze in ‘She’s Like the Wind’. It’s coming, that big moment’s coming and it doesn’t. It goes back down. And then something changes in the instrumental, Wendy Frazer turns up – boom – and she hits the notes and it’s like, wow, what a great song.

“So this on Friday is my Wendy Frazer moment.”

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Chamberlain exchanges words with opponent Massey as the pair face off ahead of their European and Commonwealth cruiserweight title clash

McGowan will be first of trainer Joe Gallagher’s fighters from the Champs Camp gym in Manchester in action this week.

“By Sunday we could have two European champions,” McGowan said. “We train hard, we set our standards high and we expect these results.

“Jack’s been looking well and I think he knocks Isaac Chamberlain out.”

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Massey blasted through Steve Eloundou Ntere, shaking him up with two-punch combination before scything him down with an overarm right

An inspiring new addition to their gym has been Lawrence Okolie. Now trained by Gallagher, he came back from his loss to Chris Billam-Smith to knock out Lukasz Rozanski in one round and win the WBC’s bridgerweight title.

“We’ve seen him come a bit unmotivated, a bit heavy,” McGowan said. “We could see the transformation from that guy to world champion in a short space of time so it gave everyone a lift.”

Ringwalk times

  • Ben Whittaker’s ringwalk for his light-heavyweight contest with Ezra Arenyeka is expected around 9pm on Saturday night.
  • For the Chris Billam-Smith vs Richard Riakporhe main event, ringwalks will be from 9.45pm.
  • Don’t miss the big Selhurst Park bill live on Sky Sports.

He believes this version of Okolie would beat either Billam-Smith or Richard Riakporhe in his new 224lb weight class.

“He’s a force to be reckoned with. He wasn’t the guy I’ve seen on TV holding,” McGowan said of Okolie.

“If they could [move up] I think Lawrence knocks them both out.”

Final remaining tickets for Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe available via

Watch Chris Billam-Smith defend his WBO cruiserweight world title against Richard Riakporhe at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, live on Sky Sports on Saturday June 15; or Stream with NOW