LARRY EKUNDAYO made a dazzling start to his professional career, winning a 2012 Prizefighter tournament in style. But his momentum abruptly stalled. He only boxed once in 2013, when he looked good outpointing Howard Cospolite. He is now motoring again, getting in two outings before the close of last year and will have a British welterweight title eliminator against Dale Evans on March 14 at York Hall.

With his young daughter needing chemotherapy, Ekundayo had to face a terrible struggle outside of the ring. “It was really hard but I’ve just got to do it. I’ve got to fight for my children. If my daughter can be going through that, I have to try and get something to make her happy, try not to feel sorry for myself. I just want to do something to try to get my mind out of it. With all the people that I’ve got behind me, they’ve been really helpful,” Larry said. “I’ve always liked to push myself. If you have a doubt about yourself in life, you have people who see what you can’t see. All the people I’ve got around me, they give me that energy and belief that ‘you’ve got something special’, even though you can’t see it yourself.

“I’m super-confident but I just want to learn more. I don’t need to be cocky. Talking is cheap. I prefer my fists to do that talking. I don’t trash talk. I don’t want to put pressure on myself. You don’t have to be talking rubbish against fellow fighters, disrespect them, for you to get attention. That doesn’t make you a good fighter or make you a warrior. That just makes you scared. You can’t use your mouth to intimidate people, I don’t think that works for me.”

His last bout, a points victory over Stanislav Nenkov, was in October. “It was good to get the 10 rounds under my belt,” he said. “Most especially after a very long break, with the situation with my daughter.”

The plan this year is to build towards a British title fight. “I can only go for the best,” Ekundayo promises, “just try my best.”

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