Big Interview: Golden future awaits with Delicious taste of success
He has a name ready-made for stardom and Delicious Orie is now fighting for a golden future.
The 22-year-old West Midlands hope is aiming for a fast track to stardom by emulating one of Britain’s biggest sporting stars.
Last year, Orie was dubbed the ‘next Anthony Joshua’ and just like the former world champion, Orie took his time before immersing himself in boxing.
He started boxing aged 18 – but at 6ft 6ins, the giant amateur took to it quickly.
And, like Joshua, he wants to secure an Olympic gold before making it big on the professional circuit.
But it could quite easily have been another sporting path taken by the young fighter. “I come from a basketball background,” he said.
“I played for Wolverhampton Slam and West Bromwich Albion.
“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 ?’
“I knew that if I played basketball at university, it wouldn’t be taken too seriously and I always wanted to box.
“I knew there was a gym in Wolverhampton, so I went there and said, ‘I want to box’.
“I didn’t know there was amateur and professional boxing, I just wanted to box. The coaches told me about the different routes I could take – and I thought I would try amateur boxing.”
Although swapping to a much more brutal sport, Orie says that the technical skills in basketball have been easy to transfer to the boxing ring.
“Boxing is a lot more demanding,” he added. “But the footwork and the mindset to win have carried over from basketball. In the super-heavyweight division, I’m one of the fastest out there.
“I don’t want to be too heavy, I train for speed – I have an amateur style.
“I’m in and out, hit and don’t get hit.
“I’m not a plodder, I’m not a toe-to-toe fighter.”
Despite getting a feel for life inside the ropes, Orie, who grew up in Bilston, began a university degree.
Taking up economics and management at Aston University, he was faced with his career in boxing, or a social life.
While juggling his training and studies, his willpower was challenged by friends who wanted to hit the town.
“The Henrietta Street gym in Birmingham (where Jewellery Quarter Amateur Boxing Club is based) was a short walk from campus,” he said.
“The first year at university was difficult because there were so many parties going on. I had to make excuses all the time to get out of going to them.
“I felt like the odd one out. I had to surround myself with good friends who understand what I’m trying to achieve.
“I told them, ‘I won’t be going to parties, I have to do what I have to do.’ I need to be at 100 per cent when I compete.”
His time at university coincided with the time he began to fight competitively and since then his career has soared.
His breakthrough came in his points win over Hosea Stewart in the Midlands final of the Elite championship in Telford in March.
Wolverhampton-born Stewart was Great Britain champion in 2017 – but Orie outboxed him and came away with a unanimous points decision.
He went on to win the title previously won by Joshua with a points win over Gideon Antwi in Manchester in April and added the Tri Nations championship with wins over the Scottish and Welsh champions.
And he’s now been added to the Great Britain amateur squad. The route that Orie is taking is the same as Joshua, and with the pressure mounting for him to be the next AJ, Orie has high hopes for the future.
It also helps when he can study Joshua in person at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
“I see AJ here and there,” he said. “I started boxing shortly after Anthony Joshua won the world title.
“And to be able to get advice from him is a very big deal to me. It’s different level.
“We haven’t sparred yet because I don’t fit the description of his next opponent (Andy Ruiz), but I’m sure at some stage in the future we will.
“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 that If I work hard, I can achieve things.
“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.”
Orie’s next bout sees him take on Scottish champion Nick Campbell at Bar Sport in Cannock on Thursday.
It’ll be the third time that the pair have met, with Orie beating him on the two previous occasions.
But the Black Country boxer isn’t taking anything for granted when the two men mark their trilogy fight.
“He’s very, very big,” Orie added.
“I’ve beaten him twice before, but both times he pushed me.”
The third meeting between Orie and Campbell is part of an England-Scotland international at Bar Sport.
And with that worldwide attention, Orie is expected to draw eyes with his unusual name. “I have a Nigerian dad and Russian mum,” he added.
“And I have no idea why they called me Delicious. I have younger brothers and sisters and they all have normal names.
“My dad just said: ‘I want to call him Delicious’ and that was that.”