London-based Nigerian born IBF European Welterweight Boxing Champion Larry Ekundayo has attributed his success in boxing arena to the mentorship he enjoyed from the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111.
Ekundayo made this disclosure while featuring on BCOS TV flagship sports programme, Fans Forum anchored by Boluwaji Ogunmola and produced by Adewale Tijani
The boxer described top Yoruba Monarch as an amazing boxer who still possesses great skills and talent despite his advanced age.
The Lagos born athlete who had a sparring session with the Royal Father after winning the African Boxing Union title, disclosed that the monarch gave him some valuable boxing tips which he still uses till date.
“After my African Boxing Union fight, I met with his Royal Majesty the Alaafin of Oyo in London. We had a little bit of move – around, I realized he’s got amazing boxing skills and talent. And he gave me some tips which I find valuable and still use,” Ekundayo said to BCOS TV.
The Alaafin of Oyo Empire who is one of Africa’s most powerful and influential monarchs, is also a trained boxer and fought as amateur before his ascension to the throne of his forefathers.
Larry Ekundayo, while recalling his childhood, revealed that he picked up boxing at the age of 12 for self defence.
“I started to train in boxing for self-defense,” Larry said.
“As it’s usual of most African Parents, my mum and dad didn’t want me to engage in boxing because they see boxers as hooligans and touts.
But I see it as talent. And I’m trying to tell people, we are all gifted by God, and not everybody will be academically smart. Therefore young ones must be encouraged to channel their energy to something positive,” he stated.
“For a very long time, I kept my boxing dream and interest on a low key, my mum did not know out I was a boxer until she saw me on National Television. By then it was too late for her to stop me. However she was pleased that she didn’t get to watch me on Crime Watch.” Larry said.
He added that boxing is a sport for disciplined people, as you are taught to respect everyone.
“My boxing coach was a very disciplined man and the discipline he instilled in me through boxing is second to none. He taught me to respect every single person, my opponents, coaches and friends. As a boxer you should be ready to always learn from others. And you also have to be smart”, he concluded.
Aside the royal and professional support he enjoyed from the Alaafin of Oyo, the London based boxer also got royal blessings from the Spiritual Head of the Yoruba race, the Ooni of Ile Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
As an amateur boxer, Larry Ekundayo represented Nigeria at the All African Games in 1999 as well as in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
He became a professional boxer in 2012.