Former African Champion, Larry â€œThe Naturalâ€ Ekundayoâ€™s career is on the line, after breaking his hand in WBO International title contest. Ekundayo spoke with reporters in London this week, to update them after his recent brave title attempt.
He told them that his career was on the line, unless he gets similar medical support that his British or American counterparts receive.
The Nigerian boxer sustained a broken hand during his brave effort for the WBO Intercontinental title in London in July this year. If the funds can be found, he could be back in the ring, challenging for titles, before the end of the year.
Ekundayo narrowly lost the bout in London, due to a contentious pointsâ€™ decision, against home town favourite, Gary Corcoran. Ringsiders at the prestigeâ€™s affair in London felt that the Nigerian was very unlucky not to win the bout, especially given the Briton continued use of the head.
Despite this disadvantage, and suffering incredible pain from a broken hand, Ekundayo battled on, doing Nigeria proud and almost knocking his man out in the 10 rounds. The assembled dignitaries ringside, President of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control, Dr Ladipo, as well as other assembled guest, all thought the son of the soil had done enough to claim the victory.
The shame of this for Nigeria is that Corcoran is now well placed for a World title shot, which had the decision gone his way â€œThe Naturalâ€ would have been in line for.
However, the fighter, who along with Olusegun Ajose, represent the best chance of international sporting success in the green and white of Nigeria, now faces an uncertain future because of the cost of repairing the damaged hand. Ekundayo told reporters in London, â€œI proudly wear our countries colours into the ring, and am happy to take the bumps and bruises boxing requires, so as to bring sporting glory to Nigeria. I hope the Government, or a prominent company or individual, can help me fix my hand so I can win a world title for Nigeria.â€
Ben Gray, the Commercial Agent for Ekundayo and Ajose said â€œI know many Nigerians are now really interested in boxing, because of the recent success of Anthony Joshua. I believe a lot of the countryâ€™s leaders are coming to support Anthony Joshua defending his title in Cardiff on the 28th of October. Given this interest, I hope that we can find someone to support the likes of Larry and Olusegun tooâ€.
He added, â€œNigeria has a wonderful opportunity to build on this interest in AJ and deliver a long-term sporting legacy, for itself and all its boxers. We are keen to speak with any individual, or corporation, who wants to be of help Nigerian boxers win Word Titlesâ€.