Bright lights of Las Vegas have Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo excited for his big fight
Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo will fight under the bright lights of Las Vegas for the first time on Saturday – as his drive to become a “massive” boxing star moves up a gear.
Ogogo, who won middleweight bronze at the London 2012 Olympics, is on the undercard of undefeated WBC welterweight world champion Floyd Mayweather.
The American superstar fights WBA champion Marcos Maidana in a unification bout at the MGM Grand, with Britain’s Amir Khan also on the bill, fighting Luis Collazo in what is seen as his audition for a future big-money fight with Mayweather.
It is a long way from Lowestoft for 25-year-old Ogogo, who has been treated to the glitz and glamour of Vegas already this week.
“I cannot explain how big this is,” Ogogo said. “For example, two days ago they snuck me out of the back of the MGM into a golden limo and drove me round literally 10 yards to the front of the hotel and I got out and there was a red carpet and photographers there.
“I felt like I was on the set of a massive film premiere, that’s how big it is over here.”
The fight is only Ogogo’s sixth as a professional after deciding not to fight on the undercard of Mayweather’s bout against Saul Alvarez in Vegas last September because of an Achilles problem.
He beat Greg O’Neill, 60-54 on points, in Glasgow on the undercard of Ricky Burns’ unsuccessful WBO World Lightweight defence against US rising star Terence Crawford in March.
Now Ogogo, who has been sparring with IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch, is looking to make his mark on the big stage.
“I didn’t box last year at the end of September because it’s such a big deal that when I fight I want to look good and do myself justice,” Ogogo continued.
“Because I was half injured, I didn’t want to come over here and only put on a half decent display because first impressions are really important and the American boxing market, that’s where if you want to become a massive star, you have to conquer.
“That’s what I want to be, so I wanted to come over here with a good training camp behind my back and that’s what I’ve done this time, so it was a good decision to pull out last year and now I’m fine and I can’t wait to get in the ring and do my thing.”
Ogogo added: “This is only my sixth fight and hopefully by the time I’m having my 26th fight it’ll be me top of the card in Vegas, like Mayweather, and like Amir Khan, who is also on the card, I’ve got guys like that to look up to.”
Puerto Rico fighter Jonel Tapia stands between Ogogo and his dream rise in the sport continuing tomorrow night and the 24-year-old is expected to provide a tough test.
I was sparring in California and there were a lot of Latin-Americans down there all last week and the reason they are so tough and they breed them so hard is because a lot of them come from nothing,” Ogogo said, talking to BBC Sport.
“Obviously coming from nothing in Britain and coming from nothing in Peurto Rico is two completely different things and when they fight, when they train and when they spar, it’s like a war.
“So you have to be bred tough over there, so I know he’s a tough little cookie, he’s had 12 fights, he’s won eight, he’s had five knockouts and for a five-fight novice like myself, that’s a good fighter to be taking on.”