Earlier today, WBO World Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie posted 3 tweets in quick succession (now all deleted but we have photo evidence) brutally comparing his promoter Eddie Hearn to a plantation owner.
Tweet 1 by Lawrence Okolie was captioned ‘Great movie. Loads of lessons in this one’ with an image of the ‘Django Unchained’ movie. The picture was of Calvin Candie, a plantation owner who earns his money by forcing male slaves to participate in brutal wrestling matches called Mandingo fights for his own entertainment and profit.
The second tweet by Lawrence Okolie saw him @ his promoter Eddie Hearn tweeting ‘TBH (to be honest) @EddieHearn is a’ and was not followed up by anything else but the prior tweet just one minute before makes it pretty obvious what he was comparing Eddie Hearn to – a slave master forcing his fighters to fight for his own profit.
Lawrence Okolie then made a third tweet ‘the problem is too often we let those ‘in power’ dictate the narrative’. Another dig at Hearn, implying that Hearn thinks he’s ‘in power’ and media allow him to control the perception the public has.
Why Is Lawrence Okolie Tweeting This?
Lawrence Okolie has one fight left with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and wants to leave both his management 258 and Hearn to go to BOXXER/Sky Sports. One potential reason for this outburst is to try and speed up that process. Either way, these tweets from Okolie are way over the line and heavily controversial of him to imply something like this.
Hearn signed Okolie straight out of the Olympic team in 2016 and took him to British, Commonwealth, European and world titles in under 16 fights. Okolie is not particularly exciting with some of his fights massively underwhelming fans and is not a commercial draw either as shown by the Cieslak fight and previous viewing figures, despite this, Matchroom gave Okolie the opportunity to headline on Sky Sports and DAZN.
They also paid up for Okolie to have his world title shot in the UK, with no fans. In February, they delivered a top 10 cruiserweight on a Sunday event that did not perform well and were actively trying to make big fights for Okolie for the second half of the year even though they knew Okolie had only one fight left and was planning to leave.