<
>

Heavyweight Clayton Laurent Jr. signs with Lou DiBella

Clayton Laurent Jr., a 2016 Olympic heavyweight from the U.S. Virgin Islands, has signed with promoter Lou DiBella.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Laurent, who turns 28 later this month, is the stepson of former junior middleweight and middleweight world champion Julian Jackson and the stepbrother of active professionals John and Julius Jackson.

"I'm thrilled to add heavyweight puncher Clayton Laurent Jr. to the DiBella Entertainment roster," DiBella said on Friday. "With his background as a 2016 Olympian, and having honed his skills under the tutelage of his legendary stepfather Julian Jackson, Clayton has explosive potential. Together, with his managers Philippe Fondu and Matt Clark, we will work to develop Clayton and provide him with an opportunity to become the first heavyweight champion from the U.S. Virgin Islands."

Laurent (1-0, 1 KO) advanced to the second round in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics before losing to eventual gold medalist Tony Yoka of France.

Laurent's managers got him a fight for his pro debut last August, and he scored a second-round knockout victory. DiBella told ESPN the reason Laurent has not fought since is because one promotional offer that was on the table fell through and another fight got canceled.

DiBella said Laurent's first fight under his contract will take place in August or September. Laurent is eager to get going.

"I first heard about Mr. DiBella when my brothers went to train with [former middleweight champion] Sergio Martinez at his camp in California," Laurent said. "I saw him take Sergio from being an undiscovered, unknown boxer to a superstar, and I look forward to seeing him transform my career as well.

"Boxing is what I love to do; it's what I live for. Growing up, it was exciting to see my brothers excelling. I wanted to be a world champion and a world-ranked heavyweight fighter representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I appreciate having this opportunity at really building my career and becoming somebody in the ring."

Outside of boxing, Laurent is a property manager for Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, the local emergency response agency.