Nigerian-born European International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Larry Ekundayo has called for the establishment of boxing academies in the West Africa country.
Ekundayo, who is based in England and won his current title by defeating John Thain at York Hall in July, wants to see the private and public sectors in Nigeria investing in the sport of boxing.
The 36-year-old was honoured at a ceremony earlier this week at the Sheraton Hotel by the General Overseer of the Love of Christ Church, London, Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi.
He wants to see academies founded to help guide talented youngsters in their aim of taking up boxing as a profession.
He said: “I must confess that the road to fame for me has been a very torturous one. I started boxing since the age of 12 and truth is that I lacked the foundation or spring board with which I would have launched myself into the career.
“In fact, I kept asking myself if I was doing the right thing but my spirit kept telling me not to lose focus.”
Ekundayo added, “Boxing goes beyond being talented and if you do not know the business of the game, you may not likely to succeed.
“I have always known that I am talented but I also needed to eat the right meals, train the right way and generally put myself in the right shape.”