Lowestoft: Mixed emotions for family and fans of Olympic star Ogogo

IT was an afternoon of mixed emotions yesterday as family, friends and supporters of Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo watched the brave 23-year-old be denied his chance of an Olympic gold medal.

About 25 people gathered at the place where Anthony spent countless hours honing his boxing skills and getting himself super-fit – the Nirvana Fitness Gym – to watch his middle weight semi-final bout.

Among the crowd were his uncle and aunt Mark and Jane Sharman and their sons Danny and Ryan, who like Anthony, are all worried about the boxer’s mother as she is seriously ill in hospital.

Anthony’s relatives and the others went through the full gamut of emotions as they watched the fight on a big screen – from cheering and whooping when the Lowestoft boxer entered the ring and then unfortunately to disappointment and sadness as his Brazilian rival triumphed 16-9 over three rounds.

The first round saw fingernails being chewed as both boxers went toe-to-toe as they sized each other up. But from the end of the second round it was clear that Anthony’s Olympic final dream was coming to an end.

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But despite the disappointment there was loud applause and cheers as the crowd knew Anthony was bringing home a bronze medal back to Lowestoft, where he is sure to be the toast of the whole town. After the fight his uncle suggested the boxer, whose mother Teresa is in the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston after suffering a brain aneurism, should be awarded an open-top bus parade through his home town.

He said: “I would not know how to go about organising a bus for him – but he deserves one.

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“He was not only fighting for himself and Great Britain but he fought for his mum as well.

“We are all proud of what he has done. But knowing Anthony, he won’t be satisfied until he goes out and wins again – he has the attitude of an out-and-out winner.”

Anthony’s cousin Danny, 23, is a personal trainer at the gym and went to Kirkley High School with Anthony.

The pair ran cross-country and played football for Suffolk together as well.

He said: “Anthony’s got a bronze medal – who else in Lowestoft can say that? He has done so well. He has done us all proud.

“It was good to see after the fight that Anthony was a good loser – that sums him up as he is a great bloke.”

Anthony has been at the gym for more than five years. He started going there after he asked owner Chris Broadley if he could sponsor him by letting him train for free. He trains under the auspices of the Triple A boxing club.

The gym owner said: “He is bringing a bronze back to Lowestoft, no matter whatever happens that can never be taken away from him.

“I think he should have a civic do held for him in Lowestoft – he deserves one as he is a real boxing star.

“If he stays an amateur for the next four years, who knows what he can achieve as he will have four more years’ experience and training.”

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