Fes ‘The Terrier’ Batista got a great reception from Huddersfield Town fans when he was a guest at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The 27-year-old is back from training with four-weight former World Champion Roy Jones Jr in the United States and was a half-time guest during the match against Swansea City.
Batista is bidding to get his career back on track after suffering a bad injury, and he has been allowed by Premier League Town to use the nickname “The Terrier” when in the ring.
Batista – who works with the World Boxing Council’s anti-bullying programme – has presented a Town shirt to Jones Jnr, who is happy to be an honorary fan.
And Batista says he would love to bring a big fight to the stadium and be backed in his hometown by all the Town faithful.
“It was fantastic to be on the pitch at my hometown team,” said Fes, who won his first professional fight in the USA back in 2015.
“I can’t wait to fight here and rock the show!
“I’m a proud Terrier, so this is such a thrill.”
Batista spent hours having pictures taken with Town fans and was also keen to spread the anti-bullying message, having suffered as a child and right through to his university days.
He has given up lots of his free time visiting schools in the Huddersfield area, and some of these schools have set up a ‘Fes Batista Act of Kindness Award’ – a trophy presented to a pupil who has shown extraordinary kindness to another person.
In the ring, Batista, from the Crosland Hill area, was on a high after winning on debut.
But a freak broken-leg accident when he was back home in West Yorkshire put his hopes on a back-burner.
After months of hard graft getting back in shape – and previously battling mental scars and depression from the setback – Batista went on a three-month training camp at the Jones gym in Florida, and with the backing of Town from their nickname.
The former Moorend High student, who originally fought under his real name of Mohammed Faisal, is in the process of lining up a comeback fight.
He has told his trainer Jones Jr all about Town’s success in reaching the Premier League.
Jones Jnr is one of the sport’s greatest fighters.
The 48-year-old has won world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight and is the only boxer in history to start his professional career at light middleweight and go on to be world heavyweight champion.
The multi-award winning fighter is a very strict trainer and someone who teaches his fighters by physically having one-to-one sessions with them in the ring.
He teaches ‘old school’ techniques for fitness, too, and is considered by many as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers of all time.