1st August 2012
ANTHONY Ogogo is being urged to keep his emotions in check if he is to see off world champion Ievgen Khytrov in London on Thursday.
The Lowestoft fighter looked in good shape as he eased past Dominican Republic’s Junior Castillo Martinez 13-16 on his Olympic debut on Saturday.
But Team GB’s performance director Rob McCracken is sure 23-year-old Ogogo has what it takes to reach the quarter-finals at the ExCeL.
However, he has issued a warning to the Lowestoft ABC ace, telling him to remain calm in the front of a vociferous home support.
“The Ukrainian is the world champion and an extremely tough opponent, and it is going to be tough at the Olympic Games whoever you face,” said McCracken.
“The home crowd were absolutely brilliant against Martinez and spurred him on and hopefully Anthony will settle down now.
“I’m confident he can win for sure. It will be difficult because the Ukrainian is a tremendous boxer.
“Anthony has got to get it right, he has got to be calm, professional and smart.
“If he is, there is no reason why he can’t win because although it is a tough draw we have a really good team.
“It is all about being calm and focused on the job in hand and not letting anything else come into play.”
It has been a difficult journey to London 2012 for Ogogo, having only clinched his spot at the Games by reaching the final of the Olympic qualifying tournament in April, soon after returning from shoulder surgery.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist has also had to contend with difficulties in his family, with mum Teresa currently recovering from a brain haemorrhage.
McCracken revealed Ogogo has been lifted by his mum’s recovery, and he is backing him to pull off what would be a fine victory over Khytrov.
“It was terrible what happened with Anthony’s mum, and thankfully she has responded well,” said McCracken
“He calmed down a little bit once she started to pick up and he has been much brighter ever since, so that will help him.
“He had a great start to the tournament with the Dominican, who is a very difficult south paw. But Anthony used the home crowd well and they spurred him on.
“That is what you are going to get as the home fighter, and it can help make you go 30 per cent more in the closing stages.
“Anthony is a smart kid and he understands the level of the opposition he is up against in the Ukrainian, but there is no reason why he can’t go and win.
“I think he is quietly confident. Anthony has a bit of size, reach and some speed and balance and I think he has every right to be confident.
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