Lawrence Okolie: ‘Joshua’s gold in 2012 spoke to me. It changed my life’ | Donald McRae

The life of the new WBO cruiserweight champion changed one August afternoon in 2012 when he was on a brief break from flipping burgers

“I was working at McDonald’s in Victoria station,” Lawrence Okolie remembers of a time, in the summer of 2012, when he was lost, lonely and clinically obese. Last month, in a very different world, Okolie became the WBO cruiserweight champion as he completed his “crazy transition” from being an unhappy teenager who weighed more than 19 stone (120kg) and earned £5 an hour while working at McDonald’s.

His life changed one August afternoon in 2012 when he was on a brief break from flipping burgers. The television flickered in a corner of a back room at McDonald’s and Okolie’s gaze fixed on the screen as Anthony Joshua fought in the Olympic super-heavyweight final. Okolie lived every punch, and every moment, as Joshua finally won the gold medal.

Related: Carl Frampton's emotional retirement saves him from even greater danger

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Carl Frampton’s emotional retirement saves him from even greater danger

The two-weight world champion’s career will be remembered for glorious triumphs and uniting divided communities

Carl Frampton’s dignified yet raw reaction after he was stopped by Jamel Herring in the sixth round of their world title fight on Saturday night showed an acceptance that the time has come for him to do all his future work on the safe side of the ropes as a ringside analyst and podcast host. Frampton announced his retirement at the end of a one-sided WBO super-featherweight world title contest in Dubai.

He was close to tears and, after acknowledging that he had lost to a superior fighter on the night, the 34-year-old from Belfast spoke of his wife and two children. Frampton’s family will console him after his dream of becoming the first Irish boxer to win world titles in three separate weight categories came crashing down.

Related: Carl Frampton confirms retirement after Jamel Herring ends title dream

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Carl Frampton confirms retirement after Jamel Herring ends title dream

  • Northern Irishman stopped in sixth round in Dubai
  • Super-featherweight title bout proves Frampton’s last

Jamel Herring ended Carl Frampton’s boxing career on Saturday night when, in a victory as clinical as it was brutal, he stopped the 34-year-old challenger from Belfast in the sixth round to retain his WBO super-featherweight world title. Frampton had hoped to make history in the unlikely setting of a desert resort in Dubai by becoming the first fighter from the island of Ireland to win a world title at three different weights. His dreams were ruined by the former US Marine who dominated the contest in a brilliant display.

Herring suffered a cut above his right eye in the fourth round but, despite blood pouring from the gash, he never looked in serious trouble – unlike Frampton who was outboxed and hurt long before the end. A minute into the sixth round Herring forced him to pause again with sharply accurate punches. Frampton tried to pressure the American but, with his back to the ropes, Herring landed the punch which in effect ended the contest with a withering left uppercut. The impact was so shocking that Frampton seemed to collapse in slow motion, like a building that had been detonated from the inside. It was a distressing sight as he hit the canvas hard.

Related: Carl Frampton: 'People say you shouldn’t care about how others see you but I do'

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