News

Hearn: We Have To Pay Up To Get Unifications For Okolie

Promoter Eddie Hearn remains intent on getting his WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie a unification bout before the Londoner moves to heavyweight.

Okolie will make the second defence of his title on Sunday, live on DAZN, against the WBO’s number two contender Michal Cieslak.

It had been hoped that the unbeaten champion would face IBF titlist Mairis Briedis this summer once both fighters got their next fights out of the way. The Latvian is currently injured and his mandatory bout against Jai Opetia on April 6 has been postponed. 

Having drawn on the past Hearn doesn’t want any regrets once Okolie inevitably joins the heavyweight division and knows what he must do. 

“We’ve got to pay up to get those unification fights,” the Matchroom Chairman told Boxing Social’s Ryan Elliott yesterday.

“I’ve experienced it in the past with champions where you haven’t been able to get them unifications and they move up and you always look back. Kell Brook was probably a good example of that. I feel like he could have unified the [welterweight] division, couldn’t get a unification. Same with Demetrius Andrade. And Lawrence Okolie is one of those guys you wouldn’t really pick to fight. He’s very hard to beat.

“We’d all regret it if we couldn’t make those fights before he moved to heavyweight. He’s massive, he punches more than hard enough to hold his own in that division, but I feel like there’s a lot of unfinished business at cruiserweight.”

Click here to watch the rest of Boxing Social’s interview with Eddie Hearn.