Lowestoft boxing star Anthony Ogogo hopes for a world title shot by 2015
- Credit: PA
SUFFOLK boxer Anthony Ogogo is in no mood to hang around.
The 24-year-old middleweight will make his professional debut – against a still unknown opponent – on April 27, fighting on the undercard of superstar Amir Khan’s big homecoming bout in Sheffield.
And last summer’s Olympic bronze medallist, signed to the Oscar De La Hoya-led Golden Boy Promotions, hopes it will take him only half the time it took Khan to reach the top.
“It took him four years to win a title and it seems like he’s been around forever,” said Ogogo, in an exclusive interview with the EADT.
“Hopefully being with Golden Boy will speed things along a little bit for me. I’m confident they’ll find me the right fights at the right times.
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“I’d like to have six fights between now and the end of this year, followed by six to eight next year, hopefully culminating in a title of some sort – whether that be British, European or Commonwealth.
“Come 2015 I’d like to be going for a world title.”
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The Lowestoft-born fighter continued: “Kell Brook is only just getting his first world title shot following nine years and a 29-0 record as a welterweight professional. I don’t want to wait that long, but it can happen.
“Putting time scales on things can be detrimental, all it does is put you under pressure.
“Ultimately boxing is all about taking opportunities when they come up. Sometimes opportunities present themselves before you’d maybe have liked them and sometimes you might have to wait a little longer than you’d hoped.”
IT’S been a case of Lowestoft over Los Angeles for Anthony Ogogo.
The 24-year-old could have gone anywhere in the world to train for his professional boxing debut.
At one stage there was talk that he would move to Manchester to work with the recently-retired Ricky Hatton.
Another option would have been to head out to LA to be at the base of Golden Boy Promotions after they signed him up.
However, the sport’s fastest-rising young star chose to keep his feet firmly on the ground, following a whirlwind year, and remain in his beloved Suffolk.
“I was always keen to remain East Anglian-based,” said the Lowestoft-born fighter.
“It’s where I live, where I’m from and I don’t think there is anything better than running along Lowestoft beach in the morning. I was always going to stay here.
“I’ve spent a bit of time up in Manchester and Sheffield, there will probably be some training camps in America too, but I will always keep East Anglia as my home.
“I split my time training with Graham Everett in Norwich and sparring down in London.”
Ogogo had the world at his feet following his Olympic bronze medal in London last summer.
His talent made him sought after, but his model looks, articulate confidence and general likeability factor made him box office.
It seemed apt that Golden Boy Promotions – led by the legendary Oscar De La Hoya – should seal the deal.
Appearing on national television campaigns for sandwich makers Subway and taking part in celebrity diving show Splash! may have suggested to those that do not know him that the trappings of fame were waiting.
The reality is that he has simply got his head down at home and trained as he always has done in preparation for his fight against a still unknown opponent on April 27.
“If you start to believe the hype, get carried away and start making a big deal about the way things are going then it’s only going to end one way,” said Ogogo.
“It’s when boxers start to think they can’t be beaten that they are at their most vulnerable. I remember Lennox Lewis lost to Hasim Rahman in South Africa against a guy that he should never really even have been sharing a ring with.
“I am the same person that I was pre-Olympics. The Olympics feel like a lifetime ago now to be honest. I can’t even remember them.
“In the end I just wanted 2012 to end and to forget all about the Olympics. At the time, it was the be-all and end-all for me, but this is the start of a new chapter now.
“Turning professional has really got my juices flowing. I don’t dread training. I’m up before the alarm clock goes off in the morning.”
Ogogo plans on fighting six times in his first year as a professional before hopefully contesting for a British, European or Commonwealth title at some stage next year. A world title shot could then follow in 2015.
Such a rapid rise would undoubtedly make him a household name. Ogogo will never forget his roots though.
ANTHONY Ogogo is confident he will beat whomever he faces on his professional boxing debut next month.
The middleweight still does not know who his opponent will be on April 27 at the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.
However, his sparring sessions with two-time WBC super-middleweight champion Carl Froch – who himself is building up for a hotly-anticipated rematch with Mikkel Kessler in May – means he fears no-one.
“I’ve been doing a lot of sparring with Carl Froch in London while he’s getting ready for his massive fight,” said Ogogo.
“Carl Froch is so heavy-handed, so strong. He’s tough, rugged and durable and is arguably in the top 10 of pound-for-pound boxers in the world. It’s quite a privilege to be able to work with him day-in, day-out.
“I’m not even thinking about who my fight is going to be against. I leave that to the promoters to sort out.
“All I know is that whoever I face, they’re not going to be Carl Froch.
“I’ve just got to be in the best possible shape for whomever is put in front of me. If I do that, I know I will win.”
Ogogo, who plans on fighting six times in his first year as a professional, said: “I want this year to be really busy.
“When my second fight is all depends on how I come through this debut.
“If there are no cuts and bruises and there is no hand pain, because a lot of pro debutants can get that due to the lighter gloves, then I could maybe be fighting in America within a month.”
– Anthony Ogogo is an ambassador for Legacy 365, a campaign by Coca-Cola GB and the nationwide charity StreetGames, to help deliver an improved sporting experience to hundreds of thousands of youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds, improving the health and prospects of traditionally ‘hard to reach’ young people in the UK.
For more information on Legacy 365 see: www.coca-cola.co.uk/streetgames