Eddie Hearn believes that one of his former fighters has been led astray by ‘the worst advisor in the history of the sport.’
Lawrence Okolie signed with Hearn’s Matchroom in 2017 just months after representing Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The rangey cruiserweight went on a run of 18 straight victories, picking up the British, Commonwealth and European titles before winning the vacant WBO World title against Krzysztof Glowacki.
Two fights later, he would bitterly end his relationship with Hearn and sign with Ben Shalom’s BOXXER – the promotional entity that filled Matchroom’s previous spot on Sky Sports when it moved to DAZN.
In the time since, Okolie beat David Light before losing his world title to former stablemate and sparring partner, Chris Billam-Smith. Hearn told Boxing Social whoever made those fights for him should retire.
Lawrence Okolie, man. What an absolute stinker. Whoever advised Lawrence Okolie, should actually stop. He should finish. He should retire. Because he is the worst boxing advisor in the history of the sport.
There was plenty of bad blood surrounding their split, but the Matchroom promoter now says he ‘feels sorry’ for the former world champion, who has recently lost out on an opportunity to rematch Billam-Smith.
“Not only did he all the problems with the legal situations that was taxing in many different ways, he then had a fight against David Light where everybody left. They took him to get beat in Bournemouth, and he got beat. They didn’t allow him to do the rematch, probably because they closed the door on the injury clause or timing on it.
I feel really sorry for Lawrence Okolie, genuinely. We never really ‘fell out’ fell out. He’s gone from world champion in good fights, trying to find a unification fight with plans to move up to heavyweight, to losing the asset that really made him valuable – the world title.
If I’m Lawrence Okolie right now, I’m absolutely fuming. He won’t say he is, because he’s got pride. But how they’ve let them get out the rematch … I hope he gets his money and his promises, and anybody who hasn’t delivered on those promises or advised him in a way that they weren’t qualified to do, I hope he realises and can get back in the ring ASAP.”
Where Okolie – who teamed up with Tyson Fury’s trainer, SugarHill Steward, for the ‘CBS’ bout – goes next is so far unclear. Perhaps a long awaited move to heavyweight is on the cards after all.