Shropshire Star

Golden boy Delicious Orie aims to inspire next generation

Delicious Orie hopes to inspire the next generation of British boxers after capping a landmark spell with European Games gold.


The Black Country super heavyweight last Friday achieved a career-long ambition of qualifying for the Olympic Games by securing his place in Paris next year courtesy of reaching yesterday’s final in Poland.

And Bilston star Orie, 26, went one better as he claimed gold on a unanimous decision victory against Mahammad Abdullayev of Azerbaijan, before being selected to carry the Union flag at the closing ceremony in Krakow yesterday evening.

It has been a remarkable and rapid rise for Orie after his Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham last year. He has long spoken of a burning ambition to follow in the footsteps of his idol Anthony Joshua and he realised one dream by booking his ticket for Paris 2024.

The confident victory over Abdullayev followed Friday’s Olympic-clinching success over Bulgaria’s Yordan Hernandez and Orie believes his hard work has paid off.

“It means everything to me,” a delighted Orie said. “I got the qualification the other day and now the cherry on the cake, we’ve got that gold medal.

“I can’t put it into words, what I’ve achieved, I don’t know what to say! Hard work really does pay off, I’ve been working very hard and come up against really tough guys who wanted it in the ring.”

It remains early in Russia-born Orie’s career and, as expectation continues to build with headline competitions ahead, the 6ft 6ins fighter has an eye on continuing to pave the way with British boxing.

“A couple of years if somebody would’ve told me I’d achieve all this I have so far I’d have said ‘that’s a huge ask’,” he added. “But when I see the accolade of boxers Team GB have produced and the medals over the years it only cements the confidence and I believe in myself, the coaches and GB boxing.

“We’re producing more medals and I hope it inspires the next generation, the next super heavyweight, the next British female, whoever, to dominate the scene. It’s all about inspiring and motivating the next generation for me.”

Orie plans to spend much of the next year prior to Paris polishing and honing his craft, with a focus on relaxing and throwing more shots in the ring.

Elsewhere, Darlaston’s rising star Ben Whittaker was pleased to further his experience and know-how with an eighth-round stoppage of Slovakia’s Vladimir Belujsky in Manchester.

Whittaker jinked and exuded typical confidence as he proved far too nimble and complete for Belujsky to move the Commonwealth silver medallist 4-0 as a professional.

There was no shortage of the usual theatre from 26-year-old, who got the AO Arena punters going with an array of signals to the crowd, dance moves and even the offer of a free shot to the head for the unwilling Slovak.

Whittaker’s in-ring antics polarise opinion and once more drew some complaints from boxing fans, who described his showboating as ‘embarrassing’ and ‘disrespectful’.

An onslaught of body shots jolted Belujsky before a four-shot combination to the head rocket the visitor and the referee saw enough in the eighth to declare the win.

“I wanted to show I can fight with discipline, I can jab and break them down,” Whittaker said. “I didn’t want someone I could just bang out, my career is a longevity career, I want to get to the very top. I went through the rounds, hurt him earlier, but I know I couldn’t get him straight away. I broke him down and the referee saw enough.

“It’s baby steps, I know I could jump in with these guys now, but the more learning I get, the more dangerous I become.”

Kirstie Bavington, meanwhile, was left to rue a seventh-round knockdown as she lost by the finest of margins by April Hunter.

The super welterweight opened up the show with a grudge match against Newcastle’s Hunter, who Pensnett’s Bavington delivered a sole career defeat in 2021.

But it was disappointment in Manchester this time for Bavington as she was edged out 76-75 on points.

An intriguing and hard-fought scrap lived up to the contentious pre-fight build-up but a big right hand in the seventh from Hunter proved the difference as it momentarily sent Bavington to the canvas when a draw could well have been on the cards.

It leaves the 30-year-old’s record from 14 career bouts at seven wins and five defeats, with three consecutive defeats this year including May’s British title defeat to Olympic champion Lauren Price.