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Okolie sets fire to his relationship with Eddie Hearn but stays close with AJ



LAWRENCE OKOLIE remains close with mentor Anthony Joshua but has set fire to his relationship with Eddie Hearn.

The 30-year-old WBO cruiserweight champion of the world has undergone a drastic overhaul of his career, parting with AJ’s 258 management team, the DAZN streaming app AJ fronts and Hearn’s Matchroom promotional stable.

As the boxing promoter has never stepped inside of the ring

Okolie only took up boxing after watching 33-year-old Joshua win the 2012 London Olympics, while working a shift in McDonalds. And he seemed close to Hearn after he guided him to a world title win in 2021.

But, ahead of Saturday’s comeback bout against David Light after a year out settling these business disputes, Okolie explains his admiration remains for AJ but the same cannot be said of Hearn.

The 18-0 Hackney ace said: “As people, me and Joshua are still friendly.


“He’s someone that no matter what happens going forwards, I’m always going to have respect for. 

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“My life has changed through his life if that makes sense. That’s something I’ll never take away from. Business is business. It is what it is. 

“AJ is a fighter who understands certain things not like someone like Eddie – who has never been in a ring – will understand.”

Okolie and fellow 2016 Olympian Joshua Buatsi have almost identical stories, coming from London, starring as amateurs, signing with AJ and Hearn and both recently leaving for Sky Sports, with plenty of bad blood.

The always reserved and respectful Buatsi, 30, also parted on spikey terms, accusing Hearn of being deliberately misleading about his career.


And Okolie goes deeper, suggesting the way Hearn handles his fighters and the truth will have a negative effect on future generations of British fighters.

“It’s not just about me and Buatsi,” he said. “If stuff keeps going the way it’s going then it will keep happening. 


“I think what people need to understand is it is not about us. 

“I’ve only got a few years in the ring left, god willing, then you have all the up-and-comers.

“We went to a boxing gym on Wednesday, full of kids and we don’t know which one of them kids is going to be the next champion. 

“They’re looking and wondering: ‘Why is Lawrence saying this, why is Buatsi saying this and why is the next person saying this?’ 

“It’s just about helping the next ones that are coming through. That’s what we have to focus on.”

Source: The Sun


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