Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo secures Olympic spot with victory at the European qualifying event
THE Olympic dreams of Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo have been realised.
The 23-year-old Triple A boxer beat Belarus' Vitali Bandarenka 14-7 in Turkey this afternoon (Friday) to secure his place at this summer's Olympics in London.
Victory for Ogogo never looked in any doubt as he dominated the 26-year-old Bandarenka from the start. Coming out aggressively early on, Ogogo led 4-1 after the first round.
A cagey second round, in which Ogogo was pushed to the floor on three occasions as the Belarus fighter seemed intent on holding on, saw the score reach 7-4 in Ogogo's favour after it was shared three points apiece.
Knowing all he had to do was stay out of reach of the tough Belarussian, keep moving around the ring and pounce on his tiring opponent, Ogogo cantered to a 14-7 win - and victory sealed his place at this year's Olympics.
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Since making his boxing debut in April 2001, and winning via an early second round stoppage, Ogogo's aim has always been to reach the top.
And now he has reached the pinnacle - with a guaranteed place at the London Olympics.
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Belarus' Bandarenka had beaten Frenchmen Rachid Hamani and Estonian Kaupo Arro to reach the last four - but he found Ogogo too hot to handle.
Despite being described as a 'tough durable boxer with a good defence,' by Ogogo's club coach John Cremin prior to the fight, the Lowestoft boxer displayed the greater boxing skills and completely dominated his opponent.
Knowing all he had to do was win the semi final to book his dream ticket to the Olympics, Ogogo had previously beaten Macedonian Fatlum Zuta 18-5 in his first contest in the last 16 of the middleweight category, before defeating Georgian Jaba Khositashvili on countback after the pair drew 14-14.
And after reaching the final - which will now be held tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon against Turkey's home favourite Adem Kilicci - Ogogo's delighted coach, John Cremin, speaking from Turkey, said: 'It's absolutely fantastic.
'Anthony has beaten a really tough Eastern European and dreams have now become reality.'