Sports

Delicious Orie has all the ingredients to be a heavyweight star

If Delicious Orie is as tasty as his name suggests we could be looking at another heavyweight superstar rolling off the Team GB production line.

He’s already sparred with Anthony Joshua, so that’s a good start.

Orie’s backstory is as eye-catching as his moniker.

The son of a Russian mother and Nigerian father he came to England from Moscow aged seven.

Though he had the tools at 6ft 6ins to pursue his dreams on the basketball court, and played in the British Basketball League, the opportunities in heavyweight boxing in this country are greater.

Boxing is becoming adept at picking up athletes late in their teens. Orie, now 23, was 18 when he crossed over.

A late developer, Orie gets to work in the Harriett Street gym in Birmingham

Joshua and Joe Joyce were both late starters, won Olympic medals and are at the top of the professional game.

Orie had hoped to pursue his basketball dreams via the American collegiate system but passport complications meant that was not possible.

His application for a UK passport via naturalisation is ongoing. After winning his first national championship in 2019 he has targeted Commonwealth gold and an Olympic medal in Paris three years hence as payback for his adopted country.

His coach at the Jewellery Quarter ABC in Birmingham, Mick Maguire, has tipped him to emulate Joshua’s rise from Olympic gold to world champion.

How far can Orie go? Barry McGuigan sees big things in his future

Starting late is no impediment for heavyweights, who tend to mature at a slower rate than fighters in the smaller divisions. Joyce was 30 years old when he contested the Olympic final in Rio.

For now Orie is in the perfect place. The team GB amateur set up in Sheffield is world class, a real development chamber.

As well as benefitting from a well-funded programme with terrific facilities, Orie is mixing with other elite fighters like Frazer Clarke, Cheavon Clarke and Courtney Bennet.

When I was on the Irish high performance team I was watching what all the other guys were doing. I excelled in that space. I trained like a lunatic.

You feed off each other. The sparring is excellent. You are accountable in that environment, learning disciplines and progressing at the right rate.

We have been spoiled in the last 20 years with Audley Harrison, Joshua and Joyce all excelling at the Olympics.

Ultimately Harrison struggled at the highest level as a pro, but he left his imprint and was great for the sport.

Orie, as his parents guessed, has all the ingredients to make an impression of his own.

Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone @McGuigans_Gym @CyclonePromo




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