In the Yoruba language, the word for “power” is “agbara,” and, as my friend Nnamdi “Hollywood” Moweta likes to say, Lateef Kayode has raw, undiluted agbara. So much agbara, in fact, his official nickname is “Power.” The 27-year-old Nigerian prizefighter is one of the rising stars in the boxing world, and he showed off his agbara once again 3 December, knocking out American Ed “The Georgia Thumper” Perry in the sixth round of their cruiserweight fight in Santa Ynez, California. Don’t you just love some of the nicknames in pro boxing? “The Georgia Thumper” is the one who got thumped in this bout. Kayode’s victory over Perry headlined a Showtime cable television boxing card in California. Check out Kayode’s agbara in this Showtime promotional video.
Lateef “Power” Kayode has now won his first 15 fights as a professional, and as a sure sign of that agbara, he’s scored 14 consecutive victories by knockout. Kayode’s first 10 bouts were fought in the heavyweight division, the top class in boxing, with no upper weight limit. But, Lateef told Nnamdi he found himself entering the ring against fighters who outweighed him by 40 to 50 pounds. Lateef’s handlers urged him to move down to the cruiserweight division, where the weight limit is 200 pounds / 90.7 kilograms.
One of Kayode’s handlers is Freddie Roach, the Hall of Fame trainer who also guides Filipino star Manny “The PacMan” Pacquiao. Roach has been working with Kayode for about two years, and he says it’s only a matter of time before the Nigerian achieves breakout stardom as a world champion. In Roach’s words, “Lateef has been blessed with a natural gift of power.”