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Delicious Orie didn’t know anything about boxing until he was watching highlights of Anthony Joshua winning his first world title in 2016.
The GB Boxing super-heavyweight was flicking through the channels and stopped on Sky Sports News as they showed Joshua beating Charles Martin for the IBF belt.
Orie was 18 and losing hope in his dream to become a professional basketball player so decided to change his whole path.
Now he’s looking to follow in the footsteps of Joshua and win Olympic super-heavyweight gold before mixing it with the big boys in the paid ranks.
And he will take a big step on his journey next week when he travels to Belgrade for the World Amateur Championships and his first major international tournament.
“I didn’t even know who Anthony Joshua was until I saw him on screen,” said Orie.
“I said ‘I want to do that’ and I started looking him up and I saw he was a late starter in the sport so I saw him as an inspiration.
“Now I want to do what he’s done and it has been amazing to be able to train alongside him and spar with him.
“I was totally hooked on boxing from then. My parents were surprised but my mum is very supportive.
“My dad was worried as I wasn’t much of a fighter as a teenager, I was more into school books but now he’s my biggest fan.”
Orie was born in Russia and spent the first eight years of his life there with his Nigerian father and Russian mother.
“I loved to London first and then we moved up to Birmingham,” he said.
“I had loved living in Russia, I was born in Moscow but grew up 12 miles from the capital.
“I’ve got some great memories, I was the different one there too and I go back all the time to visit family.
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“But when I came to England, I had no English, it was difficult but my parents knew this was the right place for us to give me a better life.
“My name is a bit different. It’s not a usual name in Nigeria either but some Nigerians like different names.
“But in England it was very different and it was difficult with the language barrier. I was subjected to a little bit of bullying.
“Still, as I got older I realised the good things of having a different name.”
Orie took to boxing like Joshua, too. And he was soon picked up by GB Boxing and is being guided by STN Sports as well with a professional career on the cards if all goes well at Paris 2024.
Next week he will get a taste of major international boxing and he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of the last three GB super-heavies in Joshua, Joe Joyce and Frazer Clarke who all won medals at the Olympics.
“I want to follow and do what they’ve done. It is pressure but I like that,” he said.
- Anthony Joshua
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