Delicious Orie takes encouragement from Joshua as Commonwealth quest rolls on

Delicious Orie takes encouragement from Joshua as Commonwealth quest rolls on

Anthony Joshua was the man who made Delicious Orie believe he could reach the top of super heavyweight boxing.

The 25-year-old will face New Zealand’s Leuila Mau’u in today's semi-final after unanimous points victory over Trinidad and Tobago’s world bronze medallist Nigel Paul.

Orie, 25, was born outside Moscow to a Nigerian father and Russian mother with the family moving Birmingham when he was just seven and spoke no English.

At 6ft 6ins, basketball was his first sporting calling until he took up boxing at 18 having been inspired by Joshua, also a latecomer to the ring, winning his first world title before going on to spar his idol.

Orie said: “AJ is a great inspiration and I’ve told him that in person. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here.

“He made me believe it’s possible and I want to carry on that message and pass it on to any children in the crowd or watching at home. It’s possible to achieve these things if you set your mind to it.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

New Zealand’s Mau’u knocked out St Lucia’s Leran Regis in sickening style to reach the semis.

Orie is not concerned as he looks to upgrade the bronze he won at this year’s European Championships.

He added: “I’m eyeing up that gold medal, I want to take it one step at a time.

“Every opponent is dangerous, especially in the super-heavyweight game. All it takes is one punch and I’m aware of that.

“I take every fight one step at a time. But you will see me there in the final, I believe that.”

Orie is aiming to become the third successive English fighter to take the Commonwealth title in his weight category after Joe Joyce and Frazer Clarke, with the latter now mentoring him on his journey.

An incredible back story plus prodigious talent is ordinarily a sure-fire recipe for a pressure cooker, but the man named Delicious appears to have the appetite for the big stage.

“I wouldn’t call myself an athlete if I didn’t have that pressure on my shoulders,” he explained.

“I’ve accepted it, I’ve embraced it, and I know this is what I’ll be living with for the rest of my boxing career. But I cannot wait, I’m all up for it.”

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