WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie is at odds with former promoter Eddie Hearn, but maintains that he still has a good relationship with ex-manager, Anthony Joshua.
When Okolie turned pro, he signed with Hearn's Matchroom Boxing and Joshua's 258 management team.
Over the last year, the unbeaten champion parted ways with both Hearn and Joshua.
Okolie is now managed by a new team and signed a promotional agreement with Ben Shalom's Boxxer, which has an exclusive content deal with Sky Sports. Hearn and Joshua have exclusive agreements with streaming app DAZN.
He believes his relationship with Joshua has stayed friendly because of their bond as fighters.
“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," Okolie told The Sun.
“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 was recently joined at Boxxer by 2016 Olympian Joshua Buatsi, who also parted ways with Joshua and Hearn.
The WBO champion alleges that Hearn doesn't handle his fighters in the best manner, which is something that will affect future ranks of British boxers.
“It’s not just about me and Buatsi. 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," Okolie said.
“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.”
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