Mikael Lawal will fight David Jamieson for the British cruiserweight title, live on Sky Sports on Sunday November 27.
Lawal was originally fighting London rival Deion Jumah for the vacant championship. But Jumah tragically suffered an injury in sparring. He detached the retina in his eye, the second time he has suffered such an accident. Not only did he have to pull out of the fight but he has had to end his career and retire.
“It’s sad news at the end of the day. Even though there was bad blood between me and him I would never wish that on anyone,” Jumah told Sky Sports.
“When I found out how serious it was I felt bad for him, I felt sorry for him, it’s one of those things that happens in life, that happens in the sport of boxing.”
For Lawal it is a cruel reminder of what can happen in this trade.
“You never know, any fight can be your last, even sparring as well can potentially end your career,” he said.
“I take it very seriously. We’re taking real risks when we step into the ring. I’m taking it as seriously as I can.”
He gets the most significant opportunity of his career now against Scotland’s Jamieson. “I’m taking it very seriously,” he continued.
For him the British title will be vital. “I need to win this, I need to take my career to the next stage, the next level. I’ve been having to fight for scraps and it’s not easy,” he said.
“So I’m finally getting this opportunity to fight for the British title, I’m going to win it so hopefully I can finally progress in my career.”
Lawal has boxed and beaten Jamieson before. But that was only over three rounds in an Ultimate BOXXER tournament in 2019. A new opponent coming in at short notice, for a 12-round championship fight presents a new set of challenges.
“I’ve got to change my game plan. I’m fighting against an orthodox fighter, I was preparing for a southpaw,” Lawal said.
“It’s all good, all I’ve got to do is adapt to it,” he added. “He’s a tough fighter. He’s a bit tricky but he’s tough.
“I know he’s going to come to try to take my head off. It’s boxing for you, you’ve got to take these risks. I respect him, I commend him for taking this fight. It shows that he’s been staying in the gym, working, grafting. It shows that he’s a serious fighter. I’ve got to respect him.
“I know I’m in for a bit of a fight. I know I’ve got to outbox him, outsmart him, get the win.”