Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Ogogo to turn pro!

By Jack Sumner @Jack_Sumner_ 

Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo is considering turning professional, after revealing he has been in talks with a number of promoters about a potential debut in the paid ranks in February. 

The London 2012 star made the admission in an interview with BBC Sport, but said that he was also still considering an offer from the British Amateur Boxing Association to remain as an amateur fighter. 

“I'm talking to a few different promoters,” said the 24-year-old, “but I'm talking to GB boxing as well about extending with them. If I decide to turn pro, I want to be making my debut in February. I've spoken to Golden Boy. I've spoken to Matchroom Sport as well. They're probably the biggest one in Britain at the moment.”

“It's really tough. It's about what I want to achieve in my life now. Do I want to upgrade the bronze to a gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics? Or do I think 'London was amazing. Rio's not going to be as good because it will be on in the early hours of the morning in Britain so not as many people will see it'. So do I turn pro and try and box on terrestrial TV and have millions of people watching me on a Saturday night?”

Reading into his thoughts on the decision to remain an amateur or capitalise on his Olympic success, it appears as though he may have already made up his mind. 

In pointing out the small likelihood that his amateur career could ever top the experience of the London games and suggesting promoters that he would like to sign with – plus already having a date for his pro debut in mind – Ogogo sounds like he has already weighed up the pros and cons and will indeed be leaving the headgear behind in the new year.

It’s probably the right choice too. Despite being eliminated in the semi-finals of the 75kg middleweight tournament and with other British boxers going on to strike gold as Rob McCracken led the team to their most successful Olympics ever in the ring, Ogogo has probably received the most publicity of any GB boxer since the games. From a promotional standpoint if nothing else it makes sense to turn pro now. If he were to target another medal in Rio he would no doubt slip into relative obscurity in the intervening time and would be approaching his 28th birthday by the time the 2016 Olympics come around. In short, he has an opportunity now, so he should take it. Strike while the irons hot. 

A successful amateur since winning the Junior Olympics in 2004 and the World Under-17 Championships in 2005, he’s served his apprenticeship in the sport. There is of course a big shake-up set to take place with the AIBA’s new ‘world series’, where fighters can effectively become semi-professional and be paid for fighting in eight to ten-round bouts whilst remaining eligible for Olympic selection. But nobody’s sure how that s going to take off yet. Ogogo could turn professional now with Matchroom Sport, be televised on Sky and perhaps remain under the tutelage of Rob McCracken, learning from the best in training camps with fellow Matchroom fighter Carl Froch. 


Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

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