Por­trait by Tom Jenk­ins for the Guardian

The Guardian - Sport - - Interview -

rounds I fought with one arm. I still won eas­ily. But I had to get a [sur­gi­cal] bone-block in my arm. When I woke up the pain was un­be­liev­able. My right arm was so with­ered it took 10 months of hard work to get bet­ter.”

Ogogo won his next three fights be­fore the bleak night against Cun­ning­ham. His love for box­ing, some­how, en­dures. “I fell for box­ing the mo­ment I walked into the gym. The smells and the pic­tures of Muham­mad Ali on the wall hooked me. I didn’t know whether I’d be any good but I would’ve been happy be­ing a spit-bucket boy.”

He was more than good enough to win his Olympic place ahead of Cal­lum Smith, the un­beaten su­per-mid­dleweight who could fight ei­ther Ge­orge Groves or Chris Eubank Jr in the fi­nal of the World Box­ing Su­per Se­ries next sum­mer. As Smith soars so Ogogo’s ca­reer has plum­meted. Yet he re­mains res­o­lute.

“I’ve said be­fore, I don’t care if takes 10 eye surg­eries, I’m go­ing to box again. I’m now hop­ing the next one, the fourth one, is the last be­cause I’ve got no money left. They will do the fi­nal fix­ing of the eye mus­cle when I’m awake so I can tell him what I’m see­ing. Af­ter three weeks my brain will as­sim­i­late the new eye po­si­tion and I should spar hope­fully in Jan­uary.

“My big­gest dream is to win Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year. I’ve been in­vited again this year but I’m not go­ing be­cause I’m not where I want to be in life. I think Joshua will win it next month. I’ll be happy for him be­cause he’s a nice dude. I’m a few years be­hind him now but I still want to win it one day. That drives me on be­cause I don’t want to be a bit­ter old man who didn’t achieve what he wanted. I’m more de­ter­mined than ever to keep fight­ing.”

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