By Karol Brun: Promoter Eddie Hearn took the opportunity of last Saturday’s WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okoli’s 12-round majority decision loss to Chris Billiam-Smith to fan the flames, saying his former fighter was “misguide”.
Hearn didn’t add details on how Okolie (19-1, 14 KOs) was “misinformed”, but it looks like he didn’t think a fight with tough Billiam-Smith was a good idea for him. 18-1, 13 KO) last Saturday.
In other words, had Hearn continued to promote Okolie, this challenge would not have been taken.
Poor matchmaking that took place while Okolie was with Hearn resulted in the 6’5″ fighter becoming forgotten man a guy who was rarely talked about until last Saturday night when he bravely defended himself against one of the best fighters in the cruiser division, Billiam Smith.
Okolie was knocked out three times by Billiam-Smith and penalized twice for holding on to the fight at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium last Saturday night. The points were 112-112, 116-107 and 115-108.
Okolie, 30, recently left Hearn’s Mattchroom Boxing, signed with Boxxer and now fights for Sky Sports.
“He was misinformedHearn said Social Boxing o Environment.
“He believed he could beat Billam-Smith on the road. He wanted big unification fights, he had two fights that weren’t one of them, and he was defeated.
“You can be defeated at any time, but he has definitely been misinformed. But it doesn’t matter when you talk about fights, I wish him all the best.
“To win the world title and have the opportunity to get it back, I can only be blessed,” said Okolie Second exit. “I think they did a really good job. It was great work.
“It’s a better sweet feeling. Of course, I enjoyed winning, being undefeated. The rematch will be sweeter. Lucky for Chris. Of course it was at my expense, but to see someone I was so close to win a world title. I also have to bow down to Boxxer, Ben Shalmon and all the team they have here. They had an amazing party today. I’m glad to be part of it.
“Chris did a fantastic job. As I said, I must take my hat off to them. I thought I’d go in there and get a knockout. He had a different plan and he won.
“As for me, if I had done more work or cleaner work, I might have had downtime, but that didn’t happen. The bottom line is it came to round ten and I knew what the points were and in three rounds I didn’t get a stoppage. So how can I be angry at someone other than myself?
“When it comes to the fourth round with a knockdown, you get more tense. Okay, you’re having a real fight here. It was a good experience. I weathered the storm we’re going to get through, and in a way I got through it. I showed another side of my character.
“For me, take it on your chest, come back and see what’s next,” Okolie said.