Lowestoft’s Ogogo Olympic fitness bid

He has long been one of the region's brightest hopes for Olympic glory, but now a Lowestoft boxer is having to draw on every ounce of determination to fight back from an injury that has already barred the way to fulfilling his dreams.

Top amateur Anthony Ogogo is just 22 years old but already has a clutch of medals and titles to his name.

Fighting his way to gold at the junior Olympics back in 2004, he has since gone on to becoming the ABA middle weight champion and gained a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

The last two titles were all the more impressive considering it was having come back from a devastating shoulder injury sustained in 2008.

However, lightning has now struck twice.

Having had another operation in October after a second shoulder injury that this year ruined his Olympic qualifying chances in the World Boxing Championships in Azerbaijan, he is now hoping he can recover in time for his second-and-last chance.

The Suffolk Sports Personality of the year admitted that following the operation and weeks of having his arms in a sling at times he had been in a low place.

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However he maintains that being an Olympian has always been his dream, and said: 'Definitely the easiest thing in the world for me was to be down in the dumps watching the other boys training and feeling sorry for myself, but I've had to get into the right mindset.

'Though I am still disappointed, it's like I have been told- if I make it, this could be the story of the Olympic Games, and things like this are what sports is all about. It's what being a champion is all about.'

It is this kind of drive that has propelled him from a hopeful into a serious contender.

Always an achiever at sports as a youngster, Anthony was on the books for Norwich City football club. However, it was a fight between two friends the sealed his fate.

'I had a big friend and a small one, and the small one made the big one cry in about 10 seconds,' he recalled.

'I asked him how he did it, and we ended up going along to the Triple A Boxing Club in Lowestoft, with the big friend coming along too.'

A decade on, and when not training with the Great British team in Sheffield, Anthony still returns to train the gym in which he threw his first punches, sparring with a 30-year-old police officer.

'I got beat up but I loved it,' he said of the experience. Asked why boxing appeals, his answer is almost as quick as his jab.

'I have always been doing something, whether it's playing football or whatever, and I've never been the kind of guy to stay in and watch TV, and I think I was born to do an individual sport.

'In boxing it's just you in that ring, so if you lose it's your fault, and you can't hide behind anyone.'

It was in 2004, and having won the Junior Olympics, that Anthony began to realise this would be more than just a hobby. He followed this up the next year by becoming world under 17 junior champion in Liverpool.

This new dedication began to take its toll elsewhere. Never one to struggle at school, at Lowestoft 6th Form Anthony saw his grades slipping and realised he had to choose between any further educational aspirations and boxing. Of course, the lure of the ring was the stronger.

Since then, Anthony has overcome a shoulder injury that saw him dropped from the Great Britain squad of which he is now such well-known member.

And with his one shot coming at the European Championship qualifiers in Turkey in April, he intends to do the same again, and in double quick time.

He explained that, having had the sling removed, he is having to go back to basics to loosen it up ahead of any serious boxing.

This has meant far more cardiovascular work, and no small amount of pain as he tries to recover in double quick time ahead of his moment of reckoning.

However, the injury has brought benefits to the Team GB middleweight.

Starting all over again has given him the chance to go back to basics and examine the fundamentals of his technique. It also means the glare of expectation will not be on him.

'Because of what happened I won't be seeded too, so the spotlight won't be on me and I will be full of determination to set the record straight,' he said.

It is impossible to say what next year will bring, but you wouldn't bet against this hopeful doing exactly that.

Standout Achievements

•ABAE Senior Boxer of the Year - 2011

•Commonwealth Games - Silver - 2010

•World Under 17 Champion - 2005

•AIBA Cadet World Champion - 2005

•Most Outstanding Boxer Junior Olympics - 2004

•Junior Olympics - Gold -2004

•Great Britain team Captain - 2004

•Best Cadet Boxer in England - 2004

•Schools' ABA National Champion 30 March 2003

Date of Birth: November 24, 1988

Weight: 75kg

Weight: 6'

Club: Triple A Boxing Club

Club Coach: John Cremin

Best moment in boxing so far? Winning the World Cadet Championships in 2005 in Liverpool

Favourite film? Pulp Fiction

Favourite food? Chicken and rice

Biggest inspiration? Muhammed Ali and his mum