Anthony Ogogo eyes 'unfinished business' on London return
PUBLISHED: 16:46 13 December 2013 | UPDATED: 16:46 13 December 2013
Anthony Ogogo will fight at the ExCeL London on Saturday night for the first time since winning a middleweight bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
The East Anglian boxer, 3-0 in the pro ranks, is rightly proud of his achievements and, though he will be expected to beat journeyman Dan Blackwell, he says he is looking forward to returning to the venue.
However, he says he was unable to do himself justice in the semi-final given the serious illness his mum was suffering at the time.
“I am really looking forward to it and I am really glad Golden Boy and Matchroom are working together and I am able to get on the card,” said Ogogo. “I definitely have unfinished business.
“At the Olympics I had had a torrid previous 12 months with my mum having a life-threatening brain haemorrhage. Before the games I couldn’t concentrate on boxing and I nearly pulled out of the Olympics but my family told me I had to fight, so I went ahead with it and the whole time she was in a critical condition.
“Looking back, I don’t really know how I managed to do it. I had some good wins there but by the time I got to the semi-final I was physically, but more mentally than anything else, just spent.
“I had nothing left, I was drained and that came out in my performance. By that point I just wanted to get home because I had been away from my family for so long, mum hadn’t made much of change while I was down there and I just wanted to get back and spend time with my mum and my family.
“In the semi-final I didn’t do myself justice at all. Not through lack of trying, just because I had nothing left, nothing to give, I was completely empty. It was nice to get home and now my mum, in the last 18 months, has made the most miraculous recovery.
“She is healthy and everyone is really well and I am focusing on my boxing. I am in a really good state of mind now and I am looking forward to getting down there and putting that performance to bed because I am in a good position now.
“I love coming to London, it’s a great city and one that is very special given my Olympics experience. I have a lot of people coming down from East Anglia to come and support me which is great and I’m really excited.”
The stacked card at ExCeL London features 16 fights with Dagenham’s former world lightweight title challenger Kevin Mitchell facing Italian Brunet Zamora for the vacant IBF intercontinental title while recent world welterweight challenger Lee Purdy aims to take the European title from Italian Leonard Bundu, the fifth defence for the Lazio man.
Recent IBF bantamweight king Jamie McDonnell is out for the second time in four weeks, two-time world middleweight title challenger Martin Murray is also back in action against Sergey Khomitsky and British super middleweight champion Paul Smith was added to the bill earlier this week.
There are two tasty Southern Area title clashes as Tony Owen defends his light welterweight strap against fellow Carshalton man Ricky Boylan, and Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor meets Floyd Moore for the vacant lightweight belt. Danny Connor lost to Owen in their October meeting for the title, and he is in an eliminator for the English light welterweight belt against Tyler Goodjohn.
Erick Ochieng is back in action after his battle with Liam Smith for the British light middleweight title, moving down to welterweight to face Welshman Dale Evans. Unbeaten super flyweight Kal Yafai moves into double figures in the pro ranks, while there’s a welcome return to the ring for unbeaten lightweight prospect Martin J Ward and Essex light welterweight John Wayne Hibbert looks to build on his British Masters triumph. Cruiserweight duo Wadi Camacho and Ben Ileyemi and unbeaten Bristol Welterweight Tamuka Mucha complete the line-up.