Delicious Orie has already been described as the next Anthony Joshua. The weight of expectation on his shoulders will only grow if he is successful at the Commonwealth Games in his Birmingham hometown.
Joshua, an Olympic gold medallist before he became a world heavyweight champion and boxing superstar, inspired Orie to take up the sport. He’s followed in Joshua’s footsteps to become the number one super-heavyweight on the GB programme and is targeting the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
At Birmingham 2022 Orie will have to shrug off the pressure that comes with being billed as the next Joshua.
“Initially I was inspired by Anthony Joshua. It was something I wanted to be like, I wanted to emulate that. So I just kind of expected it. It’s not really a surprise to me because I’ve worked so hard to be able to achieve these things,” Orie told Sky Sports.
“There will be pressure there, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like all athletes, top athletes, they go through this pressure and that’s what differentiates them from the others. It’s being able to handle the pressure and perform at a high level.”
He also intends to forge his own path and continue developing his own style as a boxer
“I’m starting to feel this myself. I’ve been boxing competitively between five and six years and I can feel I’m making my own sort of style, what suits me and obviously going out to compete all over Europe with GB boxing has helped me a lot,” Orie said.
This competition begins for him on Thursday when he has his opening contest against Nigel Paul of Trinidad and Tobago.
“When we’re in the ring nothing changes. It’s stick to the game plan and get that win,” Orie said. “I stick to the game plan, I get the job done and celebrate afterwards and soak up the experience beforehand.”
Fluent in Russian, Orie was born in a town near Moscow and moved to Birmingham with his parents when he was a young child. He’s immensely proud to represent England at the Commonwealth Games boxing tournament at a venue five minutes away from the university he studied at and 20 minutes from his home.
The atmosphere he’s certain is going to be electric, especially if he reaches the 92+kgs final. “It really is exciting to have it here. Friends and family have no excuses not to come,” Orie said.
“A lot of support. Especially in the final, I know that’ s going to be packed. I know there’s going to be no space at all whatsoever. So it’s definitely going to be a night to remember. But I’m taking it step by step. Obviously it’s the final where I want to be but I’m taking it step by step.
“I’d like to say I’m mentally prepared for it, in terms of the crowd and the cheering and the support but it’s something I’ve never experienced before.
“I’ll never forget this moment.”
It’ll be a far cry from the last time he boxed in the UK. That was in nearby Cannock in 2019 when he boxed for England against Scotland against Nick Campbell, a heavyweight who’s now pro.
“That was one of our many bouts that we’ve had together. I think that was our fourth and last bout, and the fourth time I beat him. That was the last time I boxed in England. It’s a long time, it’s a really long time. Having [the Commonwealths] not just in England, it could have been anywhere it could have been in London, it could have been up North but no it’s here in Birmingham so it’s really exciting.
“This event is something I’ll look back on for many, many years.”
He is favoured to win gold in Birmingham but, under the advice of Frazer Clarke, the Olympic bronze medallist and former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, is treating it as the “hardest tournament and the toughest tournament you’ve entered”.
“It pushes you in camp and makes sure you don’t leave any stones unturned in training,” Orie explained. “That’s the mentality I’ve had towards this.”
Clarke has been his “mentor” for this competition.
“With me and Frazer we’ve been talking about this Commonwealth Games, this specific Commonwealths before the Olympics,” Orie said.
“He was telling me how much opportunity this Games would provide and how much opportunity it provided him and he was saying the fact that I’ve got it here in my hometown, I couldn’t be in a better position.
“I’ve had a lot of advice from Fraze. I’m going to replicate what he’s done in the Commonwealth Games when he was getting the gold medal.”
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