Akeem Ennis Brown – aka ‘Riiddy’ – may have scooped an English title and a WBC world youth title by the age of just 22 but he’s already wise to the pitfalls of growing fame.
The Gloucester super-lightweight (11-0-) is back in action on Saturday on Matchroom’s Cardiff show – live on Sky Sports – and is already seen as one of the most highly-skilled prospects in UK boxing.
However, despite enjoying his success, ‘Riiddy’ is eternally loyal to those who were loyal to him long before it.
He said: “Everyone knows that when the cream hits, everyone comes to you but when I was amateur, these people weren’t on the bandwagon with me. I was struggling to buy kit.
“People used to think I looked silly running through the street. Now suddenly they want a place on the bandwagon. They thought I was an idiot for boxing while they partied. They said I was missing out. Now they’re missing out.
“For all the people who believed in me back then and told me to stick with it, they’re the people I’ve got most time for now.
“Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice having people loving you. I’m not knocking it. I’m not a fool though. I know they’re loving me while I’m winning. When you lose, they don’t want to know.
“After the last fight I had to win the WBC world youth title, I just enjoyed the win with my family and friends. When I do something big like that, I’d rather hang out with the people who always supported me.”
Also on the bill at Cardiff’s Ice Arena is Brown’s MTK Global team-mate Sean McGoldrick, who bids to take his professional record to 7-0.