Lowestoft’s Olympic medallist Anthony Ogogo now aims to go from bronze to Bond...

Having risen up the boxing ranks, beaten the best in the world and overcoming adversity to reach the pinnacle of sport, Lowestoft's first Olympic medallist Anthony Ogogo now has his sights set on scaling greater heights and reaching the very top.

The 23-year-old's journey to this point has included many highs and lows, but throughout the backing of his family, friends and his boxing club has remained constant. And last night he praised this support, and the following in the local community, in helping him fulfil a dream in competing at the Olympics and returning home with a medal.

'The support has been really overwhelming, really emotional,' he said. 'Seeing some of the things people have written to me has really made me well up. More than anything – more than my medal – I am so proud to be British and so proud to have represented Team GB at the Olympic Games and make people feel happy.

'I knew the support would be good [at home] as this is a great town and everyone gets behind each other and I think everyone knows I am proud to come from Lowestoft. I will never shy away from saying I am from here.'

On Saturday, Ogogo joined Suffolk's Olympic athletes and torchbearers for a civic reception at Suffolk County Council's headquarters and then received a standing ovation during a lap of honour at Ipswich Town's first match of the season at home to Blackburn Rovers. And tomorrow night, Lowestoft is gearing up for a special event, as the town centre welcomes Ogogo home at 5pm. It is hoped thousands will turn out from across the region to hail his achievements.

A former Fen Park Primary, Kirkley Middle and Kirkley High school pupil, Ogogo said he was 'quite the rummun' as a kid'.

Speaking about the early days, he said: 'I was a livewire when I was a kid. My mum brought me and my four sisters (Joanne, Leanne, Toni and Carly) up by herself and I was a bit of a pain. Mum took me and my sisters to swimming club when I was about six... Mum sent me off swimming so I could burn my energy off in the swimming pool or run around on the football field – just so I was less of a livewire at home.'

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Ogogo's natural talent for sport soon shone through as he reached county level at both swimming and football. But it was a playground skirmish that started Ogogo's boxing career as two of his friends were involved in a fight one lunchtime, with the smaller lad beating the taller boy. 'I asked him where he had learnt that and he said he went to boxing club – so I asked if I could go as well and went along that night.'

And from the moment Ogogo walked in to the Triple A boxing club gym he was hooked. He said: 'I fell in love with it from the very beginning, the moment I walked in the door – the smell, everything about it.'

Ogogo was 12, and his first fight was in November 2001 – a day before his 13th birthday – in a show at the Wherry in Oulton Broad. Ogogo won easily and went on to win his first six encounters, three by knockouts.

He won his first national schoolboy championships in March 2003, and said: 'Regardless of whatever I go on to achieve in boxing, that will still be right up there. To me becoming the national champion for the first time was just epic – it was brilliant.'

Further national titles followed and after stopping swimming, Ogogo called time on his football career as well. It proved to be the right choice, he said: 'It wasn't until I went to the Junior Olympics in Texas in 2004 which I won and I also won the boxer of the tournament that I thought hang on I could do something here... I could be good at this.'

With further honours in and out of the boxing ring, at high school he was 'quite pleased' with an A*, six As, two Bs and a C at GCSEs – even though he had to take two of the exams in Hungary, mid-way through a boxing tournament.

He said: 'I chose to do sixth form, did AS levels, but that is when boxing really started to take off with regular training camps with the GB development squad and so I was missing three days out of 10 every fortnight.'

Eventually he had to stop sixth form, but disaster struck when he suffered a serious shoulder injury, which prevented him from competing in the 2008 Olympics. He was taken off the GB squad and couldn't box for a year.

He said: 'They took my funding away, and I had to go work in a bar. I wanted to carry on training because I didn't want to give up my dream of going to the Olympic Games, so I was paying for my own rehab, physio and I got majorly in debt. I felt so far away from the Olympics, my shoulder was done in and it took a long way back with no money, no funding, but I worked hard and got back on the squad in 2010 after I had a year-and-a-half off.'

Having got back onto the GB squad he never looked back, winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. But then in the the World Championships in April last year, 'exactly the same thing happened' to his right shoulder leaving his dreams in tatters once more.

'I managed to rehab it quick and get back to competitive action and then turn around the points deficit in Turkey to get to the Olympic Games.'

Everything finally seemed to be clicking into place – but then two months ago, his mum was taken into hospital. Ogogo said: 'I pulled out of the games, it wasn't even a decision to make. I said I couldn't go to the Olympics while that was all going on I just wanted to be at home with my mum, my sisters, my girlfriend and family. The Olympics were so important to me – but at that point they didn't feel that important at all,' he revealed.

With the support of his family, Ogogo returned to the GB squad after missing two weeks of training.

He said: 'I have managed to come away with something – a bronze medal – and that is a big achievement. Being in the Olympics was amazing and when I came home there was a letter from the prime minister – to be part of that was really special.'

Admitting he is now taking time to ponder his next move, Ogogo said: 'The one thing I would say is that I have worked so hard and I will continue to work so hard as I'm so dedicated and disciplined and have sacrificed so many things that whatever I do decide to do – whether it is amateur or professional – I want to get to the top. Whether that means going to Rio next time and upgrading this bronze medal for gold, or it means turning pro and becoming a multiple times world champion that is what is in my sights.'

He plans to continue boxing into his thirties and while Ogogo may well have shaken a few people in the ring he is also keen to stir the nation as a future James Bond.

He said: 'Hopefully in my mid 30s, when my nose has been put back together, when I have hung the gloves up, Daniel Craig will be gone then and that is what I hope to be in contention for.'

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