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Olympian Lawrence Okolie signs with Matchroom Boxing

TALENT: Lawrence Okolie

LAWRENCE OKOLIE has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing.

The 24 year old’s decision to turn over is the latest step in a remarkable rise, after his appearance in the Team GB squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I want to be the best Cruiserweight that Britain has seen,” said Okolie. “David Haye has done great things, so has Johnny Nelson and many others, but I want to cement my legacy, have my name go down in history and maybe follow Haye by winning the Heavyweight crown too.

“I want to get some excitement going in the division, not just from the fans but also have other Cruiserweights training hard and wanting to fight me, because I want to be in great and exciting fights. I want to have six to eight fights in 2017 and I'll be looking to get six to eight knockouts - I mean business."

Okolie began boxing in 2010 and has since landed back to back University titles in 2014 and 2015 and taken gold AIBA European Qualifier in Turkey to make it to the 2016 games in Rio.

Okolie is the first of the 2016 Team GB squad to turn professional, and the Hackney talent has set ambitious targets for life in the paid ranks.

“Even though I've only had 26 fights, people are going to say that I should be able to beat everyone because I've been to the Olympics. There's pressure there but it'll bring the best out of me. Even if people expect me to win, because then I will want to win in style and make a statement.

Promoter Eddie Hearn is excited to welcome Okolie to his stable of champions, and says that the first step on his path to the top will be announced next week.

“I am delighted to welcome Lawrence to the team,” said Hearn. “Lawrence is the first Team GB Olympian to turn over and I think he has a huge future in the Cruiserweight and Heavyweight divisions.

“Lawrence has all the attributes to become a star inside and outside the ring, and we will announce his debut fight next week. These early stages are where fighters build their foundations and profile to ensure they achieve their dreams and become super stars in the sport – Lawrence has the perfect platform to do that. He will box eight times in his first year on the biggest shows all over the country. It's official – Okolie’s out the cage!”

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