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Published on March 21st, 2019 | by Shane Willoughby

Ogogo gone as AJ hits the heights

Anthony Ogogo last week formally announced his retirement from boxing, after over two years out of the ring.

Seemingly destined for great things after winning bronze at the 2012 Olympics, he was one of five British boxers to claim medals in London and seen by many as Britain’s most promising middleweight.

However, the Suffolk fighter has been forced to call it quits after suffering a succession of injuries, with his professional career coming to a premature ending after only 12 fights.

After picking up his bronze medal at the age of 23, Ogogo turned pro the following year, along with fellow Olympian Anthony Joshua.

His talent and ability marked him out,, and he was signed by Richard Schaffer and Golden Boy promotions (pictured right).

Being signed to an American promotional company increased the prospect’s star power internationally.

In a tale of two Anthonys, Ogogo’s and Joshua’s careers appeared to run parallel, both being the same age and appearing on the same undercards early in their careers.

However, Ogogo may have got his big break before AJ; landing a spot on a Floyd Mayweather show.

Greater rewards

It is extremely rare for British prospects to fight overseas so early in their career, especially on the card of the biggest draw in world boxing at the time.

But Ogogo was already being moulded into one of the sport’s brightest young hopes, with his slick boxer-puncher style winning over fans at home and in Germany, as well as the USA.

‘British boxing has seen the last of one of the most promising talents of his generation’

After 11 wins, he was set to fight for the vacant WBC international middleweight championship, an interim belt that lines you up for much greater rewards and eventually a full world title.

The contest was against fellow Brit Craig Cunningham, who had only one loss going into the fight, but Ogogo went in as firm favourite.

However, things didn’t go to plan as Ogogo’s head clashed with Cunningham’s forearm, leaving him with a shattered left eye socket.

Even though he couldn’t see properly, he bravely fought on for a further eight rounds before his coach decided to pull him out.

Maybe too courageous for his own good in terms of his long-term health, he was said to be 75% visually impaired for the rest of the fight.

Best efforts

It wasn’t the first time Ogogo had suffered an injury setback, so he was no stranger to rehabilitation. However this battle was the biggest and final test the fighter would have to face.

Ogogo has spent the last three years trying to get back in the ring and continue his quest for a world title. In that time, he has had several surgeries in different countries, and is said to have spent £250,000 on treatment to his eyes.

Despite all his best efforts, he has had to call an end to his career at the age of 30, and British boxing has seen the last of one of the most promising talents of his generation.

The now-retired fighter has been dealt the worst hand possible. As well as the shattered eye socket, his list of injuries include:

Anthony Ogogo’s injuries

  • Broken hand
  • Three dislocated shoulders
  • Damaged Achilles tendon
  • Knee tendon problems

So whilst Joshua has signed multimillion-pound promotional and commercial deals, Ogogo has been left penniless by his injury struggles.

Since Ogogo has been out of the ring, AJ has fought seven times and picked up three world titles long the way.

It is a shame to see such a great prospect’s career cut short, especially when looking at the strength of the current middleweight scene, with the likes of Genady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders.

Not to mention the cash cow Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who was in the same stable as Ogogo at Golden Boy.

The thought that Ogogo could have shared the ring with those fighters must be a devastating for him, as is knowing he will never step in the ring again.

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