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Larry Ekundayo: ‘I started boxing to protect myself from bullies’

Larry Ekundayo
Larry Ekundayo tells Paul Wheeler how, despite other people's doubts, he is still going strong

When and why you started boxing:
I started boxing at 12 because I wanted to be able to protect myself from bullies at school.

Favourite all-time fighter:
Sugar Ray Leonard is my all-time favourite because of his boxing ability and confidence.

Best fight you’ve seen:
The Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler fight is one that I always love watching.

Personal career highlight:
My best achievement in boxing is that I’m still going strong, even though I turned pro not long before my 30th birthday and lots of people doubted me.

Toughest opponent:
Gary Corcoran has been my toughest opponent [l sd 12 – July 2017]. I didn’t get the decision that I believe I deserved that night. But I’m sure Gary and his team would see it completely differently to the way my team and I see it.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My main strength is my mental ability. My weakness is overeating. I don’t know when to stop!

Training tip:
As I always say, train smart, fight easy.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
My favourite meal is pounded yam with egusi soup. It’s Nigerian food. I don’t have a favourite restaurant as there are so many to choose from.

Best friends in boxing:
Almost everyone to be honest, apart from the ones who punch me too hard when I move around with them in sparring!

Other sportsman you would like to be:
To me, there’s nothing like boxing. But if I had to choose then I’d say the UFC middleweight champ, Israel Adesanya.

Last film/TV show you saw:
The last show I watched was McMafia on Netflix.

Who would play you in a film of your life:
I’d like it to be John Boyega.

Have you ever been starstruck:
No, I’ve never been starstruck.

Last time you cried:
I cry almost every time one of my children doesn’t feel well, as it makes me feel useless that I can’t take their pain away.

Best advice received:
‘Persistence beats resistance. We’re not giving up!’ That came from my commercial agent, Ben Gray.

Worst rumour about yourself:
The worst rumour I’ve heard came from Nigeria. Apparently I’m making almost the same amount of money per fight as Floyd Mayweather used to make.

Something not many people know about you:
I don’t think many people know that I can’t dance.

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