Anthony will give no quarter in Baku
THE accolade of representing his country at a world championships will pale into significance should middleweight Anthony Ogogo secure a quarter-final berth in Azerbaijan.
That is because his dream of boxing in next year’s Olympic Games in London will become a reality should the Lowestoft youngster reach the last-eight in Baku next week.
The tournament begins next Thursday and the Triple A Boxing Club member, 22, who won the Junior Olympics in 2004, said nothing would compare to the honour of fighting at London 2012.
“First and foremost, I want to qualify for the quarter-finals but that is magnified ten times because that will earn me an Olympic place and then it is magnified again because the Games are in London,” said the 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist.
“Just the mention of the Olympic Games makes my body tingle and it is an incomparable feeling for me.”
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Ogogo, who has captained Great Britain at World and European Championships as well as the Junior Olympics is not a shoe-in however to make next year’s Games and knows his fate could be dictated by the luck of the draw,
“I could get a favourable draw or I could get a stinker but I have got to beat whoever is placed in front of me as I want to qualify for the Olympics, although a medal at the World Championships would be brilliant,” said Ogogo, who will not be seeded at the tournament in Eastern Europe.
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“In the World Athletics Championships, you will get the eight fastest runners in the final, whereas in amateur boxing, you could get the No. 1 seed paired against the No. 2 seed in the first round.
“It is unlikely that the best eight boxers will qualify for the Olympics and there is only one more chance to qualify, in the European Championships – but I am not thinking about that.”
Ogogo will go to the tournament in tip-top condition having worked hard to overcome a shoulder problem that has dogged the part-time model in recent months.
He said: “I have managed it best the I can since and I did not want to have it fixed as I would have missed the World Championships.
“It is my right-hand side which is better for me as I am orthodox so I throw more punches with my left hand and I can be a bit more selective with my right.
“The sparring has really tested my shoulder but it has held up well and I have really pushed it to the limit.”
Ogogo has already enjoyed national exposure having featured on TV in a version of Big Brother in 2008 but that will be nothing compared to the admiration he will receive should he triumph on sport’s biggest stage.
Fame and the inevitable lure of a pro career with a big promoter will follow should Ogogo strike gold in a year’s time.
However, the boxer speaks with a refreshing passion about the Games in a time where money is often king.
“It’s (the Olympics) the be all and end all for me and should I get there, then I will have achieved my lifetime ambition at the age of 23 and will have to set more targets,” he said.
“I could have turned professional a lot earlier but to have not given myself the opportunity to go to the Olympics would have been unforgiveable.”
Ogogo is represented by the Wasserman Media Group – joining other clients such as Jack Wilshere, Steven Gerrard and Amir Khan.