Why it’s the right decision for Anthony Ogogo to hang up his gloves

PUBLISHED: 12:15 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:04 11 March 2019

Anthony Ogogo has retired from professional boxing. Picture: Alison Armstrong Photography

Anthony Ogogo has retired from professional boxing. Picture: Alison Armstrong Photography


Deputy head of sport Mark Armstrong explains his sense of relief that Anthony Ogogo has announced his retirement from professional boxing

I remember first meeting Anthony.

I’d only been back at the EDP for a few months and having been handed the Lowestoft patch I was keen to have a chat with a young lad who I had been told had big dreams.

With London 2012 a couple of years away Anthony knew what an opportunity those games could be to launch his career.

He insisted on meeting me at the EDP offices at Prospect House because he said he would have quite liked to be a journalist in another life.

It turns out he’s far too clever for that…

Everyone that knows Anthony will have breathed a sigh of relief upon the news he has decided to hang up the gloves as a result of his eye condition.

No-one could relish the thought of Ogogo entering the ring once again knowing that one punch could see him lose his sight.

He’s made the right decision… it was the only decision.

But as Ogogo articulated in his statement, he is not a victim. Yes, it’s a terrible shame that he won’t get to fulfil the obvious talent he had as a young boxer.

MORE: Anthony Ogogo announced his retirement - full statement

However, undergoing 17 operations and all the hospital visits that inevitable entails, has given Ogogo a sense of perspective that few sportspeople possess.

In sport in particular, we can be prone to hyperbole during the heat of an event. Some will label a clash ‘do-or-die’ when it’s anything but.

The fact Anthony won’t be climbing into the ring competitively again is a shame, but it’s no tragedy. Anthony knows that.

At 30 years old, he’s got his whole life ahead of him and if he approaches his retirement with the same gusto he continually launched comeback after comeback then don’t bet against him getting that knighthood he craves one day.

He has got a profile that he wants to use as a force for good, and that’s why you naturally warm to him. I’ve been asked on several occasions by charities if I can put them into contact with Anthony and he’s never turned any of them away.

That’s because whilst he will be remembered as a good boxer, he’s a better man.

There will be dark days when that bitterness at his inability to fulfil his potential will be too much. But then he will remember how lucky he’s been for the experiences the sport has given him.

Yes, his boxing career is over, but his life is only just beginning.

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