British-born Nigerian World Heavy Weight Champion, Anthony Joshua, has called on the Federal Government, corporate bodies and well-meaning individuals to sponsor the country’s boxing sensation, Larry Ekundayo, (the Natural) as he prepares to fight John Thain, a Filipino-Scottish boxer in a promotional bout.
The fight is expected to boost Ekundayo’s ranking among the top 15 boxers in the world if he wins. The fight is taking place in York Hall, Bethnal, Green London, on the 13th of July.
Speaking on behalf of Ekundayo’s promoter from London at the weekend, Ben Gray said that the Nigerian boxer has enough potential to put the nation’s name on the boxing world map.
Gray also noted that Ekundayo, who has been working hard to take his boxing career to another level, is soliciting support from everyone to get enough training and exposure to beat Thain.
“The fight against Thain is a big fight. This is why Anthony Joshua is asking Nigerians to support Ekundayo. Super Eagles could not win the World Cup, but their is still a chance for a Nigerian to win the world title when given enough backing.
“Nigeria has talented boxers that needs to be encouraged to be at the top. Ekundayo is an exceptional talented boxer that needs support to move up. We have been soliciting support from Nigerians in UK and now we are pleading to everyone at home to support the boxer in any capacity to become among the best boxer in the world, “he said.
Also speaking on the fight, Commonwealth and British champion, Segun Ajose, who won gold medal at the 1999 All Africa Games, declared that Ekundayo needs enough support to be a world champion, saying that achieving the feet would assist to spur the development of boxing in Nigeria which he said is gradually falling.
“Supporting Ekundayo in the promotional fight would give him the edge to excel against Thain. Boxers who are celebrated today in the world were supported by their government individuals and corporate bodies.
“Investing in Ekundayo will pave the way for other Nigerian boxers to excel. Nigeria needs to pay more interest in boxing because it will help take enough youths out of the streets. Youths can earn a living through boxing, “he stated.