Anthony Ogogo first made his name at the London Olympics in 2012, where he won a Bronze medal in the Middleweight Boxing division. Since then he has gone on to become a professional boxer as well as featuring on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Can you tell us about an average day for a professional boxer? What is involved?
An average day for a boxer is very tough. I do three training sessions a day, beginning with an early morning cardio session, which usually involves a run. Later in the morning I’ll do a weights session in the gym. After lunch, the afternoon is dedicated to more boxing-specific training. I’ll complete bag and pad work, as well as sparring.
Can you tell us what it was like to win an Olympic medal in front of a home crowd in London?
It was great winning an Olympic Medal. Going to an Olympic Games and representing your country is the pinnacle of any sportsman’s career in many ways. So to do so at a home Games in front of friends and family was magical. Obviously, winning a medal was the icing on the cake.
How have you found the transition from amateur to professional boxer? What are the key differences?
Amateur and pro boxing are two very different animals. Amateur boxing is very tough but ultimately you do it for the enjoyment and the drive to get to something like the Olympics. If you are lucky to box internationally you get funded and get your money every month. In many ways there’s more security in the amateur ranks on an Olympic programme.
Pro boxing is very tough and hard. At the end of the day, it’s a commercial world and your worth is based on your ability to turn up and perform – there’s no room for injuries or mistakes.
You are also known outside of boxing circles for your appearance on Strictly Come Dancing. How did you find that experience?
I found Strictly good fun. I was carrying a shoulder injury at the time so I wasn’t able to box. It was a great way to keep my name in the public and keep myself busy rather than simply having to work through the monotony of daily rehab.
I have to say that I found stepping on to the dance floor more nerve wracking than boxing because I train for boxing. It’s what I love to do. Dancing, as you could tell if you watched me, is something well out of my comfort zone. Basically, I cannot dance.
However, as I got into the process I found it to be great fun so that helped me get past the nerves. How can something fun be nerve wracking?
You have suffered quite a few injuries since 2012 that have prevented you from competing as often as you would like. How have you dealt with those setbacks?
Unfortunately I’ve had to face an array of injuries since 2012. I’ve spoken about them many times in the past and I’m hoping that I’m now past those problems. I want the future to be brilliant with no negativity attached to it. I’m working hard on getting back into the boxing ring as soon as possible.
How difficult has it been to get comfortable at night with the type of shoulder and Achilles injury you have suffered?
It was very difficult to sleep with injuries – particularly the shoulder injury. I had an old mattress that just wasn’t giving me the pressure relief I needed. Lying on your side when recovering from a dislocated shoulder is painful and that keeps you awake at night. I decided to change to a Mammoth mattress mid-recovery and it enabled me to sleep through the pain. I was able to wake up fully rested and ready to tackle the day.
What difference has sleeping on a Mammoth made to your quality of sleep and comfort in bed?
Rest is so important to anyone, not just an athlete to ensure you get the most out of your day. I train 3 times a day, very hard. I need to ensure the next day I am feeling as good, if not better, than the day before. Sleeping on my Mammoth ensures that I’m in the right condition to push my body day after day.
What would you class as your proudest achievement to date (in sport or away from it)?
I have achieved many things in my career: winning medals all around the world and representing my country. But I still believe my proudest moments are yet to come.
If you could have a (purely platonic) late night chat with anyone, dead or alive, who’d be worth losing sleep over – and why?
If I was to lose sleep by talking to anyone past of present it would be Marilyn Monroe. I’m sure she could reveal some saucy secrets about many things.