IBF European welterweight champion Larry Ekundayo has warned challenger Louis Greene a cauldron atmosphere awaits him on Friday night.
Ekundayo (14-1-KO3) makes the first defence of his crown against Greene (9-0-KO5) at York Hall – live on BoxNation – and with a fanbase built on both British and Nigerian support, ‘The Natural’ is revelling in the increasing exposure.
Ekundayo said: “This is my territory. It’s always going to be big in terms of my fanbase. A lot of Nigerians are getting behind me now. 70-80% of my fanbase is British even though I’m from Nigeria.
“It took me 10 years to build this fanbase and although I was well-known back in Nigeria, it’s different with social media helping and creating awareness. It’s gathering momentum now.
“It’s a positive thing for me to be representing Nigeria and my family. My children were born in Britain and have never been to Nigeria. I’m doing it for them. They know their roots even though they were born here.
“It’s something I see as a positive thing. I get the British fans support me too so it’s win-win.“
On the threat presented by Greene, Ekundayo added: “I’ve never sparred Louis Greene or even heard of him until the fight was announced. I’ve checked him out since and he’s a good fighter.
“Greene is a very tough kid and has a lot of belief in himself. That makes him more impressive. I’ve seen a few of his fights and he’s not going to be any kind of pushover.”
Joining Ekundayo vs. Greene on a stacked bill is the WBO European super-lightweight title fight between Darragh Foley and Akeem Ennis Brown, a battle of two unbeaten prospects in Liam Wells vs. Rod Douglas Jr and much more.
Yalen reveals Stateside reaction to MTK Global role
Hall of Famer Bob Yalen has been delighted by the feedback from the boxing fraternity Stateside following his appointment as President of MTK Global.
Yalen’s arrival was announced in October and when he attended Tyson Fury’s dramatic WBC world heavyweight title challenge to Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles on December 1, he was overjoyed with the reaction.
Yalen told iFL TV: “When I got to Los Angeles, I could not believe the reception I received with people congratulating me on becoming MTK Global President. The amount of people who recognized the brand and were wearing the clothing was phenomenal.
“It’s enlightening to see the impact MTK Global is having in the sport. I want managers, promoters and boxers to know that we’re here to assist them and help them with promotion. We want to be looked on as trustworthy.
“The smartest thing MTK Global has done is put a lot of ex-fighters and trainers in communication with the boxer and management. They don’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk. They know what it’s like to be in the ring so they can empathize and sympathize.
“One of the primary things is that we don’t want to treat the fighter as a disposable commodity or as a number. A fighter is a person. A fighter is a member of the MTK Global family. We’ll treat them that way.”
On the fight itself, which saw Fury cruelly denied a glorious return to world champion status by a split draw, Yalen added: “For me, Tyson won the fight.
“The public would love to see a rematch. Deontay, I’m not sure – he looks at Fury now and isn’t sure he wants part of that, but Fury’s stock is through the roof so the dollars and pounds that come around for Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight are astronomical.
“If I’m Wilder, I’d get a confidence builder. He knows he hit Tyson with the big punch and to have him get up has to play on your psyche. Am I losing my power? Who is this guy? Whatever the case may be. I’ve a feeling they’ll let him take somebody out and look at September.”