Despite the ongoing contract drama between Lawrence Okolie and Eddie Hearn, the cruiserweight world champion has said that he’s not looking to make enemies in the sport.
This didn’t seem to be the case for a while, with frustration getting the better of Okolie on more than one occasion, leading to strongly worded digs on social media.
The dispute arose from the WBO champion seeking to leave Hearn’s company, Matchroom, but the promoter insisting that he had one fight left on his contract.
Reflecting on the relationship, Okolie told Seconds Out that whilst he and Hearn weren’t friends, they worked well together for a period of time.
“Honestly speaking, we weren’t like friends. We had a good working relationship, so on fight week we would do what we do and he obviously has been there in terms of every fight. He’s someone that I didn’t speak to directly, it was more through 258 [Management].
I have been a fan of him and still am. I watch his interviews, it’s like that. It wasn’t like me and him ever went for dinner or he ever called me and that kind of stuff. But it was a cordial relationship.”
“Of course there’s been frustration on my side, I don’t know how he’s felt, but we can still talk. At the end of the day, boxing’s this part of my life and there’s more to come after so I’m not really into making mortal enemies.”
With his next fight confirmed to be with BOXXER and Sky Sports – a title defence against undefeated David Light on March 11 – it’s unclear whether Hearn and Matchroom will continue the legal battle.
Fans, though, will largely be happy that a world champion from the United Kingdom can continue his campaign and move closer towards a goal of unifying the cruiserweight belts before making the jump to heavyweight.