‘The next Anthony Joshua’ is targeting Olympic Games glory with AJ’s old trainer | Boxing | Sport

'The next Anthony Joshua' is targeting Olympic Games glory with AJ's old trainer | Boxing | Sport

One man will have been watching extra closely when Anthony Joshua took on ex-UFC champion Francis Ngannou on Friday night. That is Delicious ‘DJ’ Orie, who believes he can emulate AJ by winning Olympic gold for Team GB and becoming heavyweight champion of the world.

Born in Moscow to a Nigerian father and Russian mother, Orie’s family moved to London to escape racism and to seek a better life when he was seven. It is a remarkable backstory, but boxing didn’t turn Orie’s life around – or keep him out of trouble.

“The way I see it, you don’t have to be a brute to become a champion,” says Orie.

This scrapper is a A*A student at A-Level and holds a first-class honours degree in Business and Management.

“In boxing, you don’t have to come from a background where you’re disobedient in school and can’t pay attention, because I wasn’t that kind of person.

“Sometimes you’ve got to grit your teeth and fight but I’m trying to push out the message that as long as you are dedicated and focused, you can achieve great things in this sport.”

Orie and Joshua have sparred together, and both came to boxing very late, with Orie starting aged 18, as well as sharing Nigerian heritage.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned from AJ is that anything is possible,” Orie says. “I’ve also learned that one of the biggest things in your career is who you have around you.

“What’s your primary goal? Is it the big commercial deals or just reigning as heavyweight champion of the world for as long as you can? It really matters who you listen to.

“I’m not saying he’s made any right or wrong decisions because I don’t know him well enough personally to say that, but there are lots of things I’ve taken from his career.”

Every British super heavyweight boxer that has competed at the Olympic Games has won a medal. Orie is hoping to become the seventh to reach the podium on the biggest stage and is the next cab off the rank in the division, building on the legacy of Joshua, Audley Harrison, David Price, Joe Joyce, and Fraser Clarke.

Orie is being guided by GB Boxing supremo Rob McCracken, who coached Joshua through the professional ranks until they split in 2022.

“Rob understands me,” says Orie, who is an ambassador for Aldi, who are proud Official Partners of Team GB & ParalympicsGB, supporting all athletes through to Paris 2024.

“Outside the ring, he’s seen talent from the beginning, and he knows how to polish that talent and make it the finished article. I’ve got full confidence in him, and the team and I know I’m part of the best programme in the world.”

Orie has an evangelical belief in keeping things simple, devoting every waking thought to how he might improve his ring craft.

“I have three big square meals every day with some protein shakes in between,” said Orie, who is supported by supermarket ALDI. “It’s the same habits throughout every week. If I’m not thinking about what I’m choosing to eat, I can focus on my training and what’s really important.

“I have two pairs of black jeans and a few white tops. It keeps it simple; I’m not thinking about what to wear. I go to the barber and ask for the same haircut every time.”

Orie, who describes his fighting style as ‘controlled aggression’, secured his place in Paris through an impressive victory at June’s European Games in Krakow.

He is dead eyed in his plan to win Olympic gold, turn professional immediately after and start the road to becoming heavyweight champion of the world.

“My parents are my reason why,” he says. “They’ve struggled all their lives, but they have made sure that I was okay to give me a solid foundation.

“I need to make sure I do everything I can to succeed and make them proud, but I’m making sure I’m making Great Britain proud as well.”

Aldi are proud Official Partners of Team GB & ParalympicsGB, supporting all athletes through to Paris 2024

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