After winning the Super Heavywealth gold at the Commonwealth Games 2022, Delicious honey is being touted as the next big thing in British boxing.
The 6-foot-6 Mountaineer aims to be in the Paris 2024 Olympic Gamesbefore turning professional and following up with his first champion in the sport, a gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympics Anthony Joshua.
“I want to go as far as I can in the amateurs, and that means making the Olympics, winning a medal and racking up rounds against all the best boxers in the world,” Ori, 25, continued to tell Olympics.com. 25 years old. Birmingham 2022.
“After I turn pro, I’ll take them back in the long rounds of pro boxing, and I know by then I’ll be ready to go all the way at world title level.
“I play the long game; this is an investment economy. The experience will accumulate and the interest will be paid back over the next few years.”
If Ori doesn’t look like your average heavyweight boxer, that’s because he isn’t.
The Wolverhampton striker is humble, quick on his feet and has a first degree in economics and management.
But while his rise in boxing has been meteoric, his achievements are the result of consistently overcoming obstacles since the age of eight.
Delicious Orie (blue) clashes with India’s Sagar Sagar in the super heavyweight gold medal fight at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
Photo by Eddie Keogh
Ori’s delicious upbringing in Russia
Born to a Nigerian father and a Russian mother, Ori first grew up in Moscow.
His father struggled to make ends meet and subsequently found it difficult to find work.
There is a moment in the boxer’s life that he still remembers well.
“I grew up in a very kind family. “All my mother’s sides live in Russia, and I was just a young Russian,” he continued.
“The best thing I remember is being completely different physically. I accepted the culture, but I was different from other kids because of the color of my skin, hair and little things.
“Dad wanted a better life for me and my sisters and looked for a way out.”
Ori’s father decided to move the family to Wolverhampton, near Birmingham, in England – fittingly the scene of his son’s Commonwealth Games victory 17 years later.
After arriving in the Midlands, Ori Junior could not speak a word of English. It was the beginning of a difficult journey.
“Since I was eight years old, life has been like an intense battle,” he said.
“It started with a language barrier. I had to learn English from scratch at the age of eight. I remember thinking how hard it was to make new friends in a completely different culture that I now had to accept.
But sports, initially basketball, helped Ori integrate into his new environment, and he quickly picked up the language.
However, it was only when life began to calm down that the next step reared its head.
Ori’s goal was to get a basketball scholarship to college in the United States, but his complicated citizenship situation proved an obstacle.
And without a British passport, his American dream was gone.
He needed a new plan. After watching Joshua, who also has Nigerian roots, on TV in 2016, Ori was inspired to try boxing and quickly fell in love with the sport.
Ori: Training with Anthony Joshua and Olympic medals
The young pugilist quickly rose through the British ranks and enrolled at Aston University, where he achieved a first class despite his intense academic commitments.
During this period Ori had the opportunity to spar with world champion Joshua as well as other British stars such as the Rio 2016 silver medallist. Joe Joyce and Fraser Clarkewho won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
And it was at university that he met the lawyers who ended up working with Team GB and the Home Office to get him the documents he needed.
This hard work and discipline while avoiding the temptations of student life paid off when Ori’s British passport finally arrived in 2021. A year later, he won bronze for England at the 2022 European Championship.
This achievement secured her place at the Commonwealth Games, where she won her first gold medal in front of a raucous home crowd at Birmingham’s NEC Arena.
When Ori thinks back, the trials and tribulations that Ori had to endure on her way to the top were definitely an important part of her success.
“It’s not unusual for me to go through these things and face these things that I’ve been dealing with all my years as a teenager and young adult,” he said.
But while Ori wants to inspire others to overcome their obstacles, he is also steadfast in his message that good boxers don’t have to come from difficult backgrounds.
“I want to change the stigma that all boxers have to let go of that anger because for me it’s all about personality,” he said.
“Everybody can hit, everybody can hit them well, but not many of them have the ring skills and the IQ. That’s why I want to stand out.
“As a child, I always avoided fights and fights and things like that. You don’t have to be the guy on the street to achieve this. “
Family care in Russia and Ukraine
Recently, there was another obstacle that Ori had to overcome outside the ring.
Despite having many family members living in Russia and Ukraine, the conflict in that region was never far from his thoughts.
“All of my mother’s family lives in Russia, and I actually have family that lives in Ukraine as well,” he said.
“So it’s a broken family. My mother always told me that Russia and Ukraine are like that (snaps fingers).
The conflict in Ukraine and the global lockdown during the pandemic taught Ori to enjoy every moment of his boxing career.
Not only that, but he wants to use sports to inspire others and bring joy into their lives.
“When I get in the ring, it’s about being the best version of me.
“It’s hard to put into words the feeling of stepping into the ring, but with everything that’s happened, I make sure I’m living in the moment.
“It’s about doing the best I can, bringing people together and celebrating the sport of boxing.”
England’s delicious butter is celebrating St George’s Day ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Image courtesy of 2022 Getty Images