Eddie Hearn has responded to Lawrence Okolie’s recent comments that suggest a fraught relationship between the once-friendly promoter and fighter duo.
The WBO Cruiserweight Champion has been vocal on social media about the sport’s ugly side – addressing ‘dirty, lying, narcissistic individuals who run the sport’ but not mentioning any names.
Fans are aware that Okolie’s relationship with his promotional company has tumbled downhill in recent times, and so put two and two together to assume he was addressing Hearn.
In an interview with Matchroom, the promoter was asked about ‘The Sauce’s comments.
“It’s disappointing … I feel like we’ve done such a great job for Lawrence, going back to him headlining the O2 against Isaac Chamberlain, fighting on the big stadium shows. He’s never been a natural draw in terms of ticket sellers like you have but he’s always been a very good fighter.
“So he has one fight left on his deal with us, which was supposed to be in Saudi, and we’ve invested a lot of money into Lawrence Okolie. And forget the Rolex I bought him, that was just a promise that I made to him that if he won a world title, I will buy you a Rolex – and I did, and it cost me 40 large.”
Moving onto the business finances and away from the gifted timepiece, Hearn said that Okolie shows haven’t been big earners, and that if court is the only solution then so be it – although he is open to settling it before it reaches that stage.
“A lot of the Lawrence Okolie shows haven’t been particularly profitable when we’ve invested a lot of money … People talk about ‘oh you want to take fighters to court’ – not really, but at the same time, you have to fight your corner when you’ve made that investment.”
“I’m sure we can amicably find a resolution, but if we have to go down that [legal] path of course we’ll respect our rights – he will do the same. I think I’ve spoken to him once in the last six months on the phone. [I’m] up for a chat, but also know our contractual position.”
The deterioration of such a relationship is never something fans want to see, but is all to familiar in the sport of boxing. At this moment in time, it’s unclear when Okolie will move on with his promising career.