Super-heavyweight Delicious Orie is confident that his first experience of a major tournament last year in Serbia will set him up for a successful run at the European Championships, which get underway this week in Armenia.
Orie will get his tournament underway on Thursday against Poland’s Oskar Safaryan and he is well aware of what could potentially be facing him throughout the tournament after having the benefit of seeing his future opponents in Serbia. It is not lost on Orie how difficult this will be but he has stated he is more than ready for the challenge ahead.
“It’s a tough tournament but I’m looking to go all the way. We didn’t have long after the Olympics before we went in to the World Championships, but now I feel like I’m more prepared after that experience. I know what my opponents are all about and I’m ready to compete in this tournament.
“I’ve already been in with some of the guys that are there and I’m ready to mix it up with them and show that this is the level I belong at. It has been non-stop since Tokyo and I feel like I’m physically and mentally ready for this tournament.”
GB have a strong recent history of securing medals in major tournaments and that is no more evident than in the super-heavyweight division. Orie will be following in the footsteps of the likes of Anthony Joshua, Joe Joyce and Frazer Clarke and he is confident he can continue the tradition.
Orie puts a lot of his faith in the unrivalled setup the squad have in Sheffield and he has all the confidence in the coaches who will be on hand to push him towards fulfilling his ambitions.
“Following a strong tradition of super-heavyweights is the sort of healthy pressure I like. They all medaled on the biggest stage and I want to be the next one. Because of the success, the coaches are well aware of what it takes to produce top fighters at the weight and that gives me so much confidence.
“It allows me to push on in training and strive to get to that next level. They are on top of me in training and keep me focused. How can you not be with the facilities and resources we have at our disposal?”
Orie has also had the added benefit throughout his development of training alongside former Team GB captain Frazer Clarke, who left the Tokyo Olympics with a bronze medal. Clarke is highly regarded by all at GB following his time in the squad and Orie has described him as a mentor.
The 24-year-old prospect is still benefiting from that relationship with Clarke, who has since turned over to the pro ranks and is making the most of having a well-respected figure like Clarke to guide him on his own journey.
“Frazer is an amazing guy and a mentor to me. There was no better person to be captain and his character just pushed everyone on. Even before I was on GB and just fighting domestically, I was sparring with him constantly and was consistently improving.
“So now, I’m following in his footsteps and he has brought me on so much. It’s great to have someone like Frazer and even though he is a pro, the work hasn’t stopped with us and he still helps me out all the time.”
Being from Wolverhampton, Orie would be lying if he stated he has not thought about what could be at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which take place near to his home in Birmingham in the Summer.
Orie has stated fighting at the Games so close to home has been a dream for him since it was announced but he is not going to think about with a tournament as tough as the European Championships coming up.
“The Commonwealth Games are a huge incentive for me being from Wolverhampton. I remember first hearing about it when it was announced and it became a dream before I had even won an ABA title. It’s creeping up on us and there are less than 100 days to go but I can’t concentrate on it just yet.
“The European Championships are so tough and I can’t take my eye off the ball. It’s so important to focus on what is ahead and not look past it, so I’m looking at getting my name in the books as a European champion and then I’ll start thinking about the Commonwealths.”