THERE has long been an expectation that Lawrence Okolie would one day step up from cruiserweight and seek riches and success in a second weight class, yet few would have expected that weight class to be bridgerweight.

That, however, is where Okolie will find himself in Poland on May 24, when he challenges local fighter Lukasz Rozanski for the WBC bridgerweight belt.

Should he win, Okolie will of course become a two-weight world champion, with the WBC bridgerweight belt added to the WBO belt he won as a cruiserweight. And yet, when people spoke of Okolie eventually stepping up a division and boxing for a second world title, they imagined him doing so at heavyweight rather than in a division short on both history and competition.

Still, for Okolie, 19-1 (14), this could be the smart move. After all, last year he struggled getting to grips with Chris Billam-Smith, who dethroned him in Bournemouth, and a rematch with Billam-Smith now appears a non-starter, with Billam-Smith set to fight another old foe, Richard Riakporhe, instead. That leaves Okolie with the prospect of moving to heavyweight, a division in which he would find not only bigger men but some of the most dangerous fighters in the world.

At least at bridgerweight, where boxers must weight between 200 and 224 pounds, Okolie will find more winnable fights and a belt readily available. That won’t necessarily mean he makes a lot of money there, or gains a lot of fanfare for winning this particular belt, but as a stepping stone to bigger decisions – either returning to cruiserweight or going the whole way to heavyweight – it is hard to be too critical of it.

Also, Lukasz Rozanski, although no world-beater, has won 15 fights in a row and is coming off one-round demolitions of both Artur Szpilka and Alen Babic. If nothing else, then, it all looks good on poster, particularly if you can avoid the fact Rozanski is 38 years of age and has never before boxed outside Poland.