'A top man and great fighter': Tributes paid to retiring Anthony Ogogo
PUBLISHED: 10:32 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:51 14 March 2019
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"With a heavy heart, I have to retire from boxing with my dream unfulfilled."
That was the emotional response of Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo this week as the talented boxer was forced to hang up the gloves due to a serious eye injury.
The 30-year-old, who hails from Lowestoft, posted the sad statement confirming his retirement on Monday.
Always courteous, gracious and honest - a true champ in every sense - Ogogo was quick to acknowledge others.
In the statement, he thanked dozens of other people who have helped his career rather than reflecting on the courage, determination and desire he has shown in enduring 17 operations over the past two-and-a-half years to battle back in the ring.
But after seven eye operations, the Lowestoft middleweight, was sadly forced to admit defeat in his comeback from fracturing his eye socket during his only professional boxing defeat to Craig Cunningham in 2016.
Hundreds of people praised him on social media, with friend and fellow Olympic boxer, Luke Campbell MBE, among those who paid tribute to Ogogo.
He Tweeted: “A boxing career cut way too short by injury. A top man and great fighter, best of luck for the future @AnthonyOgogo, was great to share our Olympic journey!”
Boxing pundit Steve Bunce Tweeted: “What a good fighter & even better human @AnthonyOgogo is. It was a delight writing and talking about him during the last 15 or so years. The Olympic win over the Ukraine was history, unforgettable. Junior World title in Liverpool the same. Enjoy the break, you deserve it, son.”
Broadcaster Jake Humphrey Tweeted: “Few people on the planet know how it feels to have a god-given talent where the rewards can be endless. Then to have that taken away overnight through no fault of your own.
“Sending you all the love and luck in the world champ as you find your next path...and I know you will.”❤️
Lowestoft Town FC manager Jamie Godbold Tweeted: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger @AnthonyOgogo . Excited to see what’s next for you! Been a credit to our town and wish you all the very best for your next! #OneOfOurOwn”
And wishing Ogogo well for the future, East Suffolk Council Tweeted: “Sad to hear that Lowestoft’s @AnthonyOgogo has announced his retirement from boxing. An Olympic bronze medallist & Commonwealth Games Silver medallist, he is also a genuine inspiration who gives back to his local community.
“Good luck for the future Anthony.”