Lowestoft’s Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo on football, swimming and playing the piano....

DISCIPLINED, dedicated and determined to reach the very top.

They are just three of the key factors that have personified Anthony Ogogo's rise through the amateur boxing ranks in the past 11 years.

The two-times junior ABA winner made a seamless transition into the seniors - twice winning the ABA senior title before he became a Commonwealth Games silver medallist in 2010.

And now the Olympic bronze medallist has reflected on how he progressed as a boxer - after excelling in sport as a youngster.

The talented sportsman used to combine swimming, football and boxing. He excelled at both swimming and football, swimming for Suffolk and captaining his county in football.

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A central midfielder, Ogogo turned his back on football though despite playing for a few years at higher age groups - such was his level of skill.

After starting swimming when he was 'six or seven,' Ogogo said: 'I just loved competing and still to this day that is the same - whether it is football, swimming or boxing. I learned my discipline and will to win through football and swimming.'

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This steely determination to succeed had been instilled to him from his football and swimming coaches - and many hours of hard training, particularly in the swimming pool.

He said: 'I did swimming competitively and competed at the Suffolk championships with my sisters. I actually saw Karen Pickering (former Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist from Ipswich) the day I arrived in London and she wished me all the best.

'She said its so great to see me do so well in boxing and said that she always remembered me from when we went swimming in the Suffolk championships, she swam for Ipswich and was brilliant, She said she would always see me and I had like a little aura around me, even at that age she thought I was going to be special

'Maybe she was just saying that....I don't know, but that was nice and we had a good on the first day of the Olympics in London.'

Ogogo said he was crowned as the top boy within swimming, winning the title two years on the trot.

'I enjoyed it, I enjoyed winning,' he said. Before I even laced a pair of boxing gloves I enjoyed doing that as I liked to win and hated losing - that is definitely where I got my competitive nature from and where I trained hard, spending lots of hours training in the pool.

'I used to love football but I remember a game that sticks out where I eventually had to pick one or the other. I won the National boxing championships in 2004 on the Friday night,

'I had stopped swimming by then, but then on the Saturday morning I was playing in Ipswich captaining Suffolk at football against Essex. We were getting beat and I was trying really hard, but at half time - with my face marked, neck stiff and being all achy after a hard fight, the manager had a go at me,' he admitted. The elation I felt by becoming the national champion so much outweighed getting shouted at, when I was really actually trying hard. Nobody was playing well but I was getting shouted at and that is when I felt this isn't for me now - I was 14.'

So Ogogo stopped mid-season playing football for Suffolk and concentrated on boxing - while occasionally playing football with his mates and best friends at school and for Burnt Hill.

Now having made the decision to follow the boxing route to the top, Ogogo is looking forward to some relaxation time over the next weeks.

He said: 'First and foremost over the next few weeks I am a 23-year-old from Lowestoft. I want to have a nice time spending time with my girlfriend and family seeing my friends and go out and have a beer watching Monday night football down the pub with my mates, just relaxing and doing the kind of things that a normal person does as I haven't done that in god knows how many years.'

The Lowestoft Town FC and Manchester United fan 'loves' all sport - but among the recent hobbies he has revealed is how he is keen to return to playing the keyboard and piano!

he said: 'I had lessons last year learning the piano, for something to do to keep my mind occupied. But then I hurt my shoulder so I want to go back to learn to play the keyboard and piano again.'

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