How wiry youngster became a star

IT may have stung at the time but that first bloodied nose was worth all the pain for Anthony Ogogo.

The then-12-year-old entered Lowestoft’s Triple A Boxing Club, his 50p subs in hand, and his life was about to change forever, writes Chris Brammer.

“I must have been 12 or 13, sparring with a grown man (in the boxing ring), who must have been 30 or 31 at the time and he beat me up,” recalls Ogogo.

“I was there as a gangly youngster and I was so enthusiastic.

“I got beat up by a fully grown man, I had blood on my t-shirt, but I loved it and wanted to go back straight away.

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“My mum didn’t want me going back there, being her only boy, but I returned and got beat up again but I wanted to better myself. It’s what I am about.”

He could have had his pick of sports, having played football and swam for his county, but he had got the boxing bug.

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“Boxing gave me something I had never had before, I was soon learning how technical and tactical the sport was and how disciplined you had to be,” he recalls.

“Even now I don’t see it as a brutal, violent sport, but more like a chess match where you have to out-manouvre your opponent.

“There is nothing better when you try something new and for the first time it comes off. The sense of achievement is fantastic.”

Ogogo won gold at the IABA Cadet World Championships in 2005 and took silver in the Commonwealth Games, in 2010.

“I won gold at the World Under-17 championships and that is when I thought I could perhaps do something,” he said.

Ogogo now has just under three months to prepare for the biggest fight of his life and believes he will be in the best shape, both mentally and physically.

“As long as my coaches believe in me and I get in a good block of training, then I don’t believe anyone will beat me,” said Ogogo.

“I don’t think there will be anyone at the event with as much desire to win Olympic gold.

“I will be wary of my opponents and there will be some nerves, I think you need to be a bit nervous, but I won’t be scared of anyone.”

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