.Photos: Larry Ekundayo poses with the giant trophy he won and (down) is Olusegun Ajose with his belt after winning an international fight.
By Tunde Oyedele –
Nigerian professional boxers, Olusegun Ajose, a former World Welterweight Title Challenger, and undefeated Welterweight Champion, Larry ‘The Natural’ Ekundayo have beckoned on governments at all levels and corporate bodies to support them in their plans to bring World Titles to the country.
Both United Kingdom-based boxers are currently in Nigeria to canvass for financial assistance and support in all ramifications from the Federal Government, State Governments, organisations and spirited individuals home and abroad, as they gear up to re-write Nigeria’s name positively in international boxing.
Ajose and Ekundayo, along with their Manager, Ben Gray, were in Lagos on Saturday to speak about their aspirations to deliver World champions to Nigeria in the next 18 months.
Gray, who spoke to eyeonthenews.com at Eko Hotels in Lagos, said “It’s unfortunate that these two talented Nigerians would have been World Boxing Champions long ago had they been American or British.
“They have represented Nigeria so well but despite their patriotism, Ajose and Ekundayo have not really enjoyed the support of the governments of Nigeria, this has exposed them to terrible racism abroad”.
Their Special Advisor, who doubles as Promoter of the Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit and former Chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK, Bimbo Roberts Folayan corroborated Gray’s assertions, adding that Ajose and Ekundayo don Nigerian colours wherever they compete as good ambassadors of the country.
Ajose and Ekundayo say their initiatives perfectly dovetail into the Nigerian Change Agenda by the new government, which they believe can help deliver the country great sporting success.
The boxers and their team plan to meet with President Mohammadu Buhari on Tuesday, to discuss how the new government’s change agenda can help Nigerian youths and deliver boxing glories to the nation.
Profiles of Both Boxers:
Ajose is Nigeria’s most successful current boxer, a former Olympian, who has won Nigerian, African, British and Commonwealth titles and fought for the World Title.
He is a model professional, with 32 wins to his name, and is respected by all Nigerian fighters and fans. He is currently sponsored by Union Bank and Orgango Gold.
He has been signed by the most powerful man in boxing, Al Haymon, who is manager of Floyd Mayweather, amongst many others. However, to maximise this opportunity he needs the financial support to get the champion to defend against him.
With this support Ajose can be fighting on major televised promotions in the U.S in 2015/16 in front of a worldwide TV audience of millions. This would be a great way to help give positive PR to Nigeria and communicate the “Nigeria Change” program.
With the support of the Nigerian Government he is only 1-2 fights away from fighting for, and winning, a World Title. Without this support he will be forced to retire and Nigeria will have lost a wonderful opportunity to deliver itself sporting success.
Larry Ekundayo is Sky TV’s undefeated, Prizefighter winner. He won the entire competition in only his 5th professional fight, beating 3 bigger and vastly more experienced men. This feat has never been done before in the history of boxing.
“The Natural”, as Ekundayo is fondly called, is a talented and entertaining boxer as well as being a model professional with a ring record 10 wins, 0 losses, after a wonderful amateur career representing Nigeria.
He is already backed by the Nigerian national airline ArikAir, Union Bank as well as Eventim the international ticketing agency. Eventim have asked to make Larry the face of their boxing operation.
Larry will be boxing on TV in London in the near future and has recently signed a new management deal with one of the most respected promoters in the UK, so as to guide him to a World Title shot.
He has a large fan base of British fans in the UK and sells hundreds of tickets to a huge cross section of fans. Larry has been featured on a host of media including Channels TV and BBC Worldwide.