Thursday, January 17, 2013
Anthony Ogogo is looking to fast-track his way to the top of the middleweight division and compete at a world level in “two to three years’ time”.
The Olympic bronze medallist will fight eight times a year after turning professional with Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions and believes this sort of gruelling schedule will help him vie for world titles quickly.
“In two or three years’ time I want to be fighting at world level,” said Ogogo, who will split his bouts between the UK and the USA. “I want to be boxing eight times a year – it sounds a lot but as an amateur I would fight five times in five days at tournaments.
“The guys that turned pro after Beijing are only just getting to European level now, but I want to get there a lot quicker than that. It will be quite a tough schedule but I can’t wait to get stuck into it now.”
Ogogo’s performances at the Olympics made him one of the hottest properties to come out of Team GB despite missing out on gold. The 24-year-old held talks with promoters Frank Warren and Ricky Hatton regarding his future but a meeting with Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer captured his imagination.
“I sat down and spoke to Richard and had a great two-hour meeting with him,” he said. “We clicked straightaway and he gets everything that I want to get out of my career.
“I want to box in front of a packed Carrow Road and I really believe Richard can make that happen. He shares my ambition – I want to be a legend in the sport and I want to be massive – someone that transcends the sport.
“All the other people I met with nodded along with me but Richard said ‘let’s make it happen’.”
Ogogo had initially been tempted to train for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 but decided the buzz he got out of competing in London could only be repeated in the professional ranks.
“I got back to Sheffield and started up training again and one day I was just sitting on the edge of the ring looking around and I thought to myself I’m not sure I can do this for another four years,” said Ogogo, who was a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in 2010. “I had such a great career as an amateur but I didn’t want to box at the same events again which I’ve been to before.
“It would be a real comedown to go from boxing in front of 10,000 people at the Olympics to boxing in front of 50 people in Lithuania.
“The Olympics are such a long way away now and anything can happen in four years. It only takes an injury like I had with my shoulder to throw all that into doubt.
“Realistically the Olympics in Rio are not going to be as good as London from a British point of view.
“The thrill of the home crowd cheering me on was something that I will always remember and I want to continue fighting in front of big crowds and the only way to do that is to turn pro. I need to start the next chapter now.”
Ogogo will remain living in East Anglia, revealing that he is looking to move to Norwich in the near future. Golden Boy’s willingness to let him stay close to his roots was another big factor in shunning the attentions of other promoters.
“The beauty of signing with Golden Boy is that I get to live in East Anglia still,” he said. “If I had signed with Frank Warren then they would have wanted me to move to London or Manchester if I had gone with Ricky Hatton.
“I will be doing most of my sparring in the US but the rest of the time I’m going to be able to be at home. I will also go up to Sheffield quite regularly and train with the GB boys now and again.”
Ogogo is determined to become more than just a boxing star with Schaefer tipping him to be a “crossover superstar” on both sides of the Atlantic. Ogogo knows the success he has enjoyed comes with a responsibility and hopes he can help shine a light on his home town.
“East Anglia is a great part of the world and we get ignored far too often,” he said. “We need a hero to get excited about and I would love to be that – I want to inspire as many kids as I can. I’m from a small town (Lowestoft) and I have just signed a ground-breaking deal with the biggest boxing promoter in the world. These things do happen to ordinary people.”