London 2012 Olympics preview: Anthony Ogogo wants business as usual
Anthony Ogogo's continuing path to London 2012 must have been more obstacle-laden than the rest of Team GB put together. Indeed, the Lowestoft ABC middleweight went from shoo-in for a London berth to facing a race against time to recover from shoulder surgery – just to have a shot a qualifying for the Games.
Qualify he did, and at the last possible moment in Turkey with the help of a comeback befitting Rocky.
But just as it looked like Ogogo may finally follow a simple passage into London, illness to his mother left the Lowestoft fighter questioning whether he could compete at all.
His family made it clear – go for gold and do it for your mother. Now Ogogo aims to make good on his journey – albeit, by delivering in the Olympics ring the same performances that got him there.
Ogogo said: 'My expectations are just to perform. It's all the coaches ask of you. You're not expected to perform miracles.
'One of my coaches says that when you get in the ring, all I want you to do is what you do every single day in the gym and perform. If I can do that, there's no reason why I can't become Olympic champion.
'They all believe I can become Olympic champion, so if I can get in the ring with that and then take each fight as it comes. I want to win a gold medal obviously. At the very least, I want to win a medal – I'll be devastated if I leave without a medal. If I won bronze I'm sure I can look back after a year and be so proud of myself, but at the time I'd be gutted it wasn't a gold medal.
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'Maybe in 50 years' time I can look back and be proud to be part of this team, but at the time, I'll be devastated. We'll just take each fight at a time and see what happens and hopefully it will be good enough.'
The former under-17 world champion and Commonwealth silver medallist will take his place in the men's middleweight division as part of a Team GB boxing squad that is arguably stronger than ever before.
The ring is expected to deliver a good medal return – at least the three secured in Beijing, if not more. A big ask given 2008 was GB's best Olympic boxing result for 52 years.
'Everyone is so excited and wants each other to do really well,' added Ogogo. 'There's no snideyness in the camp, everyone wants everybody to win a medal and we want to become the most successful boxing team ever. We want to be the best team at the Olympics – we want to beat cycling and athletics because that's how competitive we all are.'
Sport: Boxing – Men's middleweight 75kg. From: Lowestoft. Age: 23
Schedule (Excel Arena): Saturday, July 28 – 3pm Round of 32; Thursday, August 2 – 2.30pm Round of 16; Monday, August 6 – 9.30pm Quarter-finals; Friday, August 10 – 3pm Semi-finals; Saturday, August 11 – 9.45pm Final.