Lowestoft’s Anthony Ogogo ready to rise to his toughest Olympics challenge

Lowestoft's Anthony Ogogo in action during his first London Olympics fight at Excel. Photo: Nick Butcher Lowestoft's Anthony Ogogo in action during his first London Olympics fight at Excel. Photo: Nick Butcher

Thursday, August 2, 2012
11:28 PM

Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo aims to rise to the occasion when he takes on number one seed Ievgen Khytrov in the last 16 of the London Olympics men’s middleweight boxing on Thursday afternoon (2.15pm).

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The 23-year-old former Lowestoft ABC man was comfortable in his opening 13-6 victory over Dominican Republic’s Junior Castillo Martinez on Sunday, in front of a rousing home crowd.

On that occasion Ogogo was the first British competitor to take to the boxing ring. This time round he will be the underdog against the 2011 world champion from Ukraine, who will take to the Olympic ring for the first time after being handed an opening round bye.

But Ogogo is already looking forward to shaking things up.

“He is the world champion but with all my coaches and the family and the crowd, hopefully I can rise to the occasion,” said the Commonwealth silver medallist.

“The better my opponent, the better I usually perform. It’s going to be really hard and I don’t think the draw was particularly favourable to me, but I feel I can beat him. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Ogogo took his bow to all four sides of the arena after his opening win on Sunday.

And after a difficult passage through qualifying having to make a lightening-fast recovery from shoulder surgery, the fighter admitted southpaw Castillo Martinez was the perfect warm-up for his next bout.

“I think that was what I needed,” smiled Ogogo. “I needed to be sharper. I fought him before in France last year, and he’s got fast hands and he is quite awkward, so it’s good to get in there and react.

“But I’ve got a completely different opponent next. He’s very strong and I’m looking forward to getting in with him.

“It’s going to be a much harder fight because he’s a better boxer, with all due respect. But I can’t wait and I said before the Games you can’t become Olympic champion without beating the best and this is what it’s all about – bringing the best of the best together.”

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