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England’s Delicious Orie is hoping a good luck message from former sparring partner and “inspiration” Anthony Joshua will boost his bid for Commonwealth Games gold.
Super-heavyweight Orie secured a medal in his home city on Thursday night with an impressive display against experienced Trinidadian Nigel Paul, a 2021 World Championships bronze medallist.
Orie, one of eight English boxers to guarantee themselves a medal at Birmingham, faces New Zealand’s Leuila Mau’u in his semi-final on Saturday.
WINNER'S INTERVIEW 🥊
🗣️@TeamEngland's @deliciousboxing thanks the hometown crowd for their immense support in clinching a guaranteed bronze medal at the @birminghamcg22 Commonwealth Games 🔥 🏴#B2022 #CommonwealthGames22 #englandboxing pic.twitter.com/ZeG7IO9BxW
— England Boxing (@England_Boxing) August 4, 2022
“If Anthony Joshua sees this I’d say ‘please give me a message’,” said Orie, who was born in Russia before moving to Birmingham with his parents when he was a young child.
“He’s a great inspiration and I’ve told him this in person when I used to be sparring with him in camps.
“If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be here because he made me believe that it was possible.
“I just want to carry on that message to any young kid that it is very much possible to achieve these things if you put your mind to it.”
Mau’u, the powerful Kiwi, knocked out St Lucia’s Leran Regis for a quickfire quarter-final victory.
Orie, 25, said: “I’ve been on it with Team GB for the past two years sparring with the likes of Fraser Clarke and Anthony Joshua, and knew that I was in the best hands in the world.
“I wouldn’t call myself an athlete if I didn’t have that pressure (boxing in Birmingham) on my shoulders. It’s all part of it.
“I’ve embraced it and accepted it and I know this is what I’ll be living with now for the rest of my boxing career.
“I cannot wait and I’m eyeing up that gold medal. But I understand it’s step by step because every opponent is dangerous, especially in the super-heavyweight game.”
British boxers will claim 26 medals in the 16 divisions being competed for by men and women at Birmingham 2022.
England have eight boxers – five men and three women – through to the semi-finals, while Scotland are guaranteed five medals.
Winning is better with a twin..
— Welsh Boxing | Bocsio Cymru (@WelshBoxing) August 4, 2022
Wales’ identical twins Ioan and Garan Croft have both made the last four, part of their six-strong semi-final contingent.
The only other time Wales won six medals in the Commonwealth Games boxing ring was on home soil in 1958.
Seven Northern Ireland boxers are guaranteed medals, four of them women.
Amy Broadhurst leads the charge for Northern Ireland as she hopes to emulate the gold medal she won at light-welterweight at the World Championships in Istanbul.