By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
British based Nigerian boxer, Olarenwaju Ekundayo has declared his plans to defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) European Welterweight title in June in Lagos just as he seeks corporate support for the fight.
Ekundayo won the IBF European welterweight title on 13th July, 2018 in London after defeating John Thain of United Kingdom for the vacant title and later defended it successfully against another Briton, Louis Green of on 14th December 2018 at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London.
Disclosing to NNSports after a courtesy visit on the NBB Of C president, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo at his Ayinde Giwa street surulereLagos 9the boxer who has won 15 of his 16 professional fights, said he took the decision to bring his title defence to Nigeria as part of his efforts of bringing the glory of professional boxing back to Nigeria.
According to the former Africa Boxing Union (ABU) and Commonwealth champion, Nigeria is a great nation blessed with amazing sports men out. but most of them are plying their trade outside the shores of this country because of lack of enabling environment and the right support needed to achieve success.
“The reason I’ m planning to defend my title in Nigeria is because I believe it’ s the right time for us to start bringing back the glory of boxing to Nigeria.
“We don’t have to leave our country and go outside before we appreciate our own but am happy that not minding the environment we operate in and lack of modern facilities to train with, whatever we do, we do it right.
“Most times, we talk about Brazilian footballers and Cuban boxers but Nigerians are everywhere and if given adequate exposure and enabling environment, they excel”, explained n Ekundayo, whose ring name is “The Natural”.
Ekundayo whose only professional defeat was in 2017 against Gary Corcoran of United Kingdom for the vacant World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Inter-continental title, believes boxing politics plays a huge part in who emerges champion in world title fights.
“Fighting away from home is never easy ‘The politics in boxing is far beyond what anyone could think and you don’t have to be the best boxer to be a world champion. You just have to have the right people around you to make it happen”, he concluded.