DELICIOUS ORIE told Frazer Clarke when they sparred ahead of this year’s England Boxing Elite championship: “In 10 years’ time, we will be doing this for the world heavyweight championship.”
Orie wasn’t joking. “I started boxing shortly after Anthony Joshua won the world title,” said the 22 year old from Jewellery Quarter ABC in Birmingham. “Right from the start I said: ‘I want to be world champion’ and I take extra belief from people like AJ, Joe Joyce and Deontay Wilder.
“They all started boxing late and reading about them made me think: ‘If I work hard, I can achieve things.”
Orie has other options. He is currently in the fourth year of an Economics and Management degree at Aston University and he also showed promise as a basketball player. “It got to the point where I thought: ‘Do I go to Europe or America to try to make a living playing basketball – or do I focus on studying and try to find another sport?’” said Orie, who has a Russian mother and Nigerian father. “I didn’t know there was amateur and professional boxing, I just wanted to box… The ultimate goal is to one day be world champion and I knew that AJ was an amateur and won Olympic gold before he turned professional.”
If he gets where he wants to be, he will look back on 2019 as his breakthrough year. He took a lot of confidence from a points win over 2017 Great Britain champion Hosea Stewart in the Midlands Elite final in March. “I knew that was a big, big fight for me,” he said. “We are both local lads who want to achieve the same thing. I just got my head down in the gym and told myself: ‘I’m winning.’”
Orie has kept winning. His unanimous points victory over Nick Campbell on the same show as the England-Scotland match at Cannock’s Bar Sport was his 20th straight win. That run has brought him the Elite and Tri Nations championships, along with gold at the King of the Ring tournament in Sweden where he repeated a points win over Jeami Tshiveka (White Hart Lane) in the final. Days after that, Orie was back in action unanimously outpointing Campbell, his third win over the 6ft 7in Scot.
With 10 seconds left, he smashed a right hand off Campbell’s jaw that made him hold. Orie said, “I have an in-and-out amateur style, but in the last 10 seconds I like to give the crowd what they want.
“It’s been non-stop and I’ve been winning, which helps!”
Also in Cannock, Adam Azim, European Youth silver medallist, made a winning start up at 64kgs, outpointing Reese Lynch, a rangy southpaw who got on the front foot looking to draw leads and counter. Azim though picked his punches from the outside, making him commit and run onto back hands.
The more compact Sean Spence got the better of the opening round against Triumph light-welter Jamie Edwards – until the dying seconds. Edwards had the Scot on shaky legs after connecting with a clean right hand and then in the second round forced two counts and a stoppage.
Schoolboy Patrick Paton had got Scotland off to a winning start, outpointing Frank Middleton with solid punches. In a junior bout, southpaw Freddie Pullen, making his England debut, got off the floor to edge out Colin Cairney and George Ellis chalked up another win for the hosts, outpointing Ryan Carlin on a split. Southpaw Vlad Matei handed John Casey two counts on the way to a unanimous win before Robbie McKenchie and Sam Hickey pulled back two wins for the Scots. Against McKenchie, Englishman Amaar Akbar lost a technical decision after a cut in the first round. Hickey was too sharp for Lewis Denith, winning unanimously.