Floyd Mayweather arrived in Nigeria’s capital Sunday evening and met with organizers of this week’s exhibition match in Dubai as well as boxing fans and journalists.
He held a news conference alongside his opponent in his upcoming match, boxer Don Moore.
Mayweather said the visit to Nigeria was part of plans to promote the sport of boxing in Africa.
“It’s all about giving back. We’re working on Mayweather boxing gyms in Nigeria. We want to also build boxing camps for the young youths and children coming up. We’re going to continue to work together and hopefully someday we can find the next Floyd Mayweather from Nigeria,” he said.
Boxing in Nigeria has long been overshadowed by the rising popularity of sports like football. Public boxing gyms are underfunded and poorly equipped.
Nigeria’s boxing champion, Olanrewaju Durodola, says authorities need to step in and that Mayweather’s visit could spur a positive change in Africa.
“The problem in Africa is that we don’t have good promoters here. We have a lot of talented boxers. If he comes to Nigeria and has a big team and sets up all the things that we need, I think the Nigerian boxing will be very great,” he said.
Mayweather’s match Saturday will take place at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel. It will be his first time back in the ring since retiring in August 2017.
Mayweather, who won 50 out of 50 matches during his career, has also visited South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt.