British middleweight talent Anthony Ogogo (7-0, 4 KOs) is eager to impress as he prepares for his hotly anticipated ring return against Ruslan Schelev (11-3, 6 KOs) on Saturday, July 18 at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany.
The 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist has been out of the ring for the past 11 months recovering from a long-standing Achilles issue, but now fully fit, the Lowestoft fighter is ready to get his promising career back on track, starting with a victory over the 26 year-old Ukrainian, Schelev.
‘’I wanted the very best opponent available for my return,’’ reveals Ogogo. ‘’I didn’t want an easy opponent. I wanted someone who would really test me. I’ve worked so hard to condense a 12-month rehab process into 6 months, so I wanted an opponent with the right quality to give me a hard fight because that’s what I’ve longed for, and that’s exactly what Schelev is. He’s a quality fighter. He can switch stance. He’s strong and he can punch. It’s going to make for a great fight for the fans.
‘’July 18 can’t come quick enough. After such a long lay-off it means everything to me to be back in the ring. I wake up in the morning wanting to be a world champion. For the longest time I couldn’t do anything about it physically. I couldn’t train. My feet were in casts, but I never stopped thinking about being the absolute best. I watched sports documentaries of my idols and I read autobiographies of my heroes until I was able to get back in the gym. Now I’m back and on July 18 I’ll show the world that I have what it takes to become a great.
‘’I’m in great shape. I resigned myself to never being able to run again because of my injuries. But everything has gone so well, much better than I could have ever imagined. I’ve been able to run 5 miles easy and there’s not even a twinge in my Achilles. My fitness is good. My speed is where it needs to be and sparring has been going brilliantly. I’ve been sparring with my Team Sauerland friend George Groves ahead of his own world title fight.
‘’Now I can’t wait to get in the ring, in front of a whole new audience and a whole new demographic of people. I’m so eager to impress I can’t explain. The fans can expect to see a young hungry fighter, full of desire and ambition ready to set the world alight and make up for lost time. The fans in Halle are in for a treat. I’ll be welcoming thousands of new members into the O-Army.’’
Ogogo’s six-round contest will be his first since signing a ground breaking co-promotional deal with leading European promoter Team Sauerland and American heavyweight set-up Goldenboy Promotions.
Promoter Nisse Sauerland has high hopes for the former amateur star. ‘’We’re all looking forward to seeing Anthony back in the ring where he belongs,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’He is an exceptional talent. Activity is going to be key as he looks to fulfill his potential as one of the most exciting middleweights on the planet.’’
The 26 year-old joins an action-packed event at the Gerry Weber Stadium. Arthur Abraham’s WBO World Super Middleweight title defence against Robert Stieglitz tops the star-studded bill, which also features Germany’s 19 year-old knockout specialist Vincent Feigenbutz challenging Mauricio Reynoso for the Interim WBA 168lb crown.
Tickets are available by calling the Gerry Weber Ticket Centre on (+49) 5201 81 80 or online via http://www.gerryweber-world.de and http://www.tickethall.de. All the action will be shown live on SAT.1 in Germany and Sky Sports in the UK.