Anthony Ogogo finally has a light at the end of a nightmare tunnel as the British middleweight prepares to make his first outing for over a year on July 18.
The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist has been handed a slot on the Arthur Abraham v Robert Stieglitz world title undercard in Germany and aims to put his battle with injury behind him.
As he prepares to get his career back on track, Ogogo has outlined just how much his dreaded achilles have affected him in the past.
“On the night of my last fight, in Liverpool, I scored a 5th round TKO win over the very game and durable Wayne Reed. People patted me on the back as I walked back to the changing room and said I’d done well to make such a statement by stopping Reed. But I wasn’t happy,” revealed Ogogo.
“I cringe watching that and all 7 of my pro fights back. I cringe thinking to myself that my mind is seeing opportunities, but my body just won’t let me exploit. Opportunities that’ll take me from putting on a good performance and putting on show-stealing performance. These missed opportunities were a product of me barely training, don’t get me wrong. I’m not, and would never disrespect my opponents and the sport of boxing by saying I didn’t train for my fights. Of course I trained, I’m one of the hardest workers I know. I trained, but I wasn’t boxing training persé.
“There’s training like a beast, there’s ‘ticking over’ training and then there’s struggling through a training camp like I’ve been forced to do since I turned pro. Prior to my last fight, I haven’t been able to run since 2012. On a very good day I could spar 6 rounds, but knowing that those 6 rounds were going to be the only sparring I’d be getting that week. Because after a spar both of my Achilles would be in ruins for days.
“Like I said, running was a no-no and skipping was merely a pipe dream. Hell, even waking up in the morning to go for a p*** was a task too much for me because the pain in my achilles was so severe. I had to use a pee flask that I kept by the side of my bed. As you can tell, these aren’t conditions that would make a world champion boxer.
“I sat in the changing room after stopping Wayne Reed on a summers night in Liverpool knowing that if I wanted to become a legend in this game then I’d need to get this problem fixed. I couldn’t hide behind a stern face anymore, I could mask the pain with painkillers no longer.
“It took four operations (2 on each Achilles), I laid in my bed, totally immobile with the blackout curtains drawn 24/7. I couldn’t tell if it was day or night, I didn’t want to know. It was just gloominess, total gloominess. I didn’t want to see a sole until the casts came off my feet and I was able to rehab.
“Finally, the casts and bandages were off and there was no stopping me. The surgeon told me that after the second operation I’d be out for a further 12 months and I’ve done it in six. And do you know what? If it was gun to head, I could have boxed 2 months ago. That’s just testament to how hard I’ve worked, how hungry I am and how much I want to become a legend.
“I’ve learnt so much about myself in the past 12 months. Things that when I’m in the proverbial trenches, in the late rounds of a gruelling fight, I know I’m going to have what it takes to climb out and win the fight. I’m even looking forward to it. I can’t wait.”
An opponent will be named shortly for Ogogo who will be aiming for an eighth straight victory since entering the paid ranks.