Prizefighter champion set for return to Nigeria to visit family graves for the first time

18:00 15 November 2012

Larry Ekundayo (right) won Prizefighter two weeks ago and is not set to visit his native Nigeria. Pic: Lawrence Lustig

Larry Ekundayo (right) won Prizefighter two weeks ago and is not set to visit his native Nigeria. Pic: Lawrence Lustig

LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Larry Ekundayo will take a short break from boxing

Larry Ekundayo has waited a long time for his chance to shine as a professional – but boxing is set to take a back seat as he prepares for an emotional return to his native Nigeria.

In front of a packed York Hall and a live television audience, the Hackney fighter seized the opportunity two weeks ago to become the Prizefighter light-middleweight champion.

Now, after finally resolving a 10-year long immigration struggle following his representation of Nigeria in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Ekundayo has his sights set on a bright future – after he addresses his past.

“Now I have my passport back, I’m going to Nigeria to visit my mum and my brothers’ graves,” said the Stoke Newington man, who has been unable to do so until now.

“It’s been a long time – too long.”

Labelled as the best kept secret in boxing by his promoter Spencer Fearon, the secret is now out as Ekundayo stylishly navigated his way through three opponents on the same night to lift the Prizefighter trophy.

Ekundayo recorded a third-round stoppage in the final against Terry Carruthers – after previously beating Craig McEwan and Kris Carslaw – and a £2,000 bonus for doing so.

The 30-year-old was then left to soak up the win.

“It’s hard to describe the moment. It was just the must beautiful feeling,” he said.

“When I couldn’t do anything I had no motivation to train. But my family and friends supported me and now you can see the difference from what I’ve done in Prizefighter.”

The tournament triumph extended his professional record to five wins out of five and Ekundayo now hopes to kick on after the years of exile left him unable to turn professional until the age of 29.

“Even though I’m 30 now I’ve lived a good life,” he added. “I don’t go clubbing, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I don’t take drugs.

“Maybe I eat too much! As a boxer that’s my only bad habit!

“Right now though, going back home to Nigeria is going to be a bit emotional so I’ll need a bit of time before I can focus on boxing again.

“I’ll leave it to my team who I will fight next. I need to feed my family so I have to work hard.

“Whatever opportunity comes along I will take it.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Screenings of 2004 hit comedy Team America: World Police have now been hit by the Sony hacking.

Read more

Johnny Depp is thought to be planning a secret wedding with Amber Heard for New Year’s Eve.

Read more

Brad was sent back home as officials decided it would be too distracting for the other jurors to have him there.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Two of the league’s least resilient defences face off at Anfield, while Manchester City need someone other than Sergio Aguero to score.

The Wealdstone Raider is givin’ it all he’s got to reach number one this Christmas – and he’s surprisingly close already.

The British boxer is “infinity per cent” sure the fight won’t happen.

Evidently the Liverpool star’s strength was not in his excellent hair.

Match Reports

TOP STORIES