Lawrence Okolie: Oleksandr Usyk sparring won't help Isaac Chamberlain

Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain go head-to-head in 'British Beef' at London's O2 Arena on Feb. 3. Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

Lawrence Okolie insists sparring with Oleksandr Usyk will be of no benefit to Isaac Chamberlain when the unbeaten cruiserweight prospects meet Saturday in the biggest fight of their careers.

Chamberlain (9-0, 4 KOs) made two trips to Kiev to spar with 2012 Olympic gold medallist Usyk, but Okolie (7-0, 6 KOs), who has sparred with Anthony Joshua in the past, says sparring with the Ukrainian will not help his London rival.

"I've sparred with AJ a lot and it's a lot of rounds but sparring is sparring," Okolie told ESPN.

"Just because I sparred AJ doesn't mean I'm ready to beat Dillian Whyte. It's good work but is it going to change the way he fights? No, it's going to take months, years, to change your style. He might learn to survive sparring Usyk.

"Usyk is a southpaw, he's not anything like me. He will get good ring work, it will teach him to survive a bit more.

"He's got a sparring partner's mentality and that's very difficult in fights and doesn't make them great winners.

"I think he will try to turn it into a tear up. I know what my strengths are and he has very limited options for it to be competitive. I don't see it as 50-50, no way."

Okolie, who is managed by Joshua, believes having the IBF-WBA world heavyweight champion in his corner will help him beat Chamberlain on Saturday.

"It's relevant information that AJ gives me," Okolie said. "It's current, because he's world champion, and I can take inspiration about where he has come from.

"He came through the same amateur system, same coaches, as I did and I've sparred many rounds with him."