It is only the Londoner’s third defence of the belt he claimed by stopping Krzysztof Glowacki two years ago, with an early knockout of the hopelessly overmatched Dilan Prasovic followed by an attritional points win over Michal Cieslak.
This weekend represents Okolie’s first bout for some 13 months, having been embroiled in a bitter contractual split with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom before joining forces with Ben Shalom and Boxxer.
After a period out of the boxing ring, ‘The Sauce’ will hope to quickly regather some momentum in his quest to unify the cruiserweight division and potentially recede up into the heavyweight ranks.
In Light, Okolie meets an undefeated challenger who boasts 20 wins from as many professional bouts with 12 knockouts, first bursting onto the scene by winning silver in the heavyweight division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The novel Zealander, 31, is the reigning WBO Global, International and Oriental champion at 200lbs as well as Okolie’s mandatory, having overcome a late knockdown to beat Brandon Glanton via split decision in Florida in December.
Okolie vs Light date, start time, venue and ring walks
Okolie vs Light takes spot on Saturday March 25, 2023 at the AO Arena in Manchester.
The undercard is due to open at 7pm GMT, with main event ring walks expected at approximately 10pm.
As ever, those timings are subject to change, depending on the length of the undercard fights.
Okolie vs Light fight card/undercard in full
The vacant English super-featherweight belt is up for grabs as Michael Gomez Jr and Levi Giles face-off in the co-main event of the night, while Team GB hero Frazer Clarke continues his professional journey against Bogdan Dinu after American Rydell Booker withdrew through illness.
Fellow Tokyo 2020 Olympic medallist Karriss Artingstall is also in action, along with a slew of highly-rated prospects including Callum Simpson, Aaron McKenna, Harvey Lambert and Frankie Stringer.
Lawrence Okolie vs David Light
Michael Gomez Jr vs Levi Giles
Frazer Clarke vs Bogdan Dinu
Callum Simpson vs Celso Neves
Rhys Edwards vs Brian Phillips
Karriss Artingstall vs Linzi Buczynskyj
Samuel Antwi vs Omir Rodriguez
Shakiel Thompson vs Robert Talarek
Aaron McKenna vs Lukas Ndafoluma
Harvey Lambert vs Casey Brown
Frankie Stringer vs Jakub Laskowski
How to watch Okolie vs Light
TV channel: In the UK, Okolie vs Light is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 8pm.
Live stream: Subscribers can also catch the action live online via the Sky fade app.
Live coverage: You can follow coverage of the entire card with the Evening Standard’s live fight night blog.
Okolie vs Light fight prediction
It feels very much as if Okolie needs a statement performance this weekend.
After an absence of more than a year off the back of what was a pretty dreadful fight against Cieslak, all momentum has been lost in his quest to become undisputed at cruiserweight.
His dispute with Hearn has made far more headlines than his fighting prowess over recent weeks and months, with attentions now needing to turn back to the ring.
Light is hardly the sort of opponent against whom an emphatic victory would strike terror into the other champions in this class, Arsen Goulamirian, Jai Opetaia and the newly-crowned Badou Jack, but nevertheless it is much needed.
And we reflect he’ll secure it by virtue of an early stoppage.
Okolie to win by knockout in round four.
Okolie vs Light weigh-in results
The weigh-ins for the entire card will hold spot on Friday. Check back in then for the results!
Okolie vs Light betting odds
Okolie to win: 1/10
Light to win: 6/1
Okolie to win by KO or TKO: 4/11
Okolie to win by points or decision: 7/2
Light to win by KO or TKO: 9/1
Light to win by points or decision: 12/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).