Anthony Ogogo was once a rising star in the world of boxing, with an impressive Olympic bronze medal under his belt and a promising professional career ahead of him.
However, in recent years, Ogogo has largely disappeared from the public eye in the UK, leaving many fans wondering what happened to the talented athlete.
Instead, he went over to the United States and became a professional wrestler, rejecting the advances of the WWE and signing for AEW, in hopes of becoming a big star, like Big Daddy.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the life and career of Anthony Ogogo, exploring the highs and lows that led to his current situation and examining what the future may hold for this boxer-turned-pro wrestler.
What Happened To Anthony Ogogo?
Anthony Ogogo last wrestled in AEW since August, 2022. He last match was against Luke Kurtis, a jobber talent who was brought in for the show.
He defeated Kurtis by knockout, hitting his trademark hook to knock him down for the count, in just 43 seconds.
He has been out for some times, due to a litany of eye surgeries, but for the rest of 2022, Ogogo was seen wrestling on the independent circuit in the United Kingdom.
He recently took had a huge match in Progress wrestling, flanked by a big star in the UK.
Anthony Ogogo wrestled against Malik at Progress 145, on October 23rd 2022. For the match, the former Olympian was managed by Adebayo Akinfenwa, a former lower-league footballer known for his immense strength and body type.
The match was a “knock out match”, assigning faux-boxing rules to the bout, to which of course Ogogo picked up the victory (with help from Akinfenwa).
Anthony Ogogo was trained in the Nightmare Factor by Dustin Rhodes, after retiring from boxing.
He was a big star in the UK due to his boxing career, and had big-money offers from the WWE to sign to a deal with NXT.
However, Ogogo turned down their advances, instead joining AEW and being made a commentator on AEW Dark, as he learned to wrestle.
Anthony Ogogo’s first AEW match was quite an introduction to the Olympic bronze medallist. He faced Cole Karter in his AEW Dynamite debut, as part of QT Marshall’s faction “The Factory”.
Cole Karter is an independent wrestler who had a couple of matches in AEW, including against Death Triangle and Lance Archer.
The match lasted slightly less than one minute. The pair grappled in the ring for dominance, before Ogogo got the upper hand in the lock up.
He pushed Karter into the corner, before the pair locked up again. Karter got the upper hand, before Ogogo saw red, and launched a huge right hand into the gut of Karter.
The referee stopped the match then and there, as Cole Karter writhed around in pain on the floor. This helped showcase the immense power of the former Olympian, and showed his punch as a deadly weapon to be feared in AEW.
Cody Rhodes Feud
Anthony Ogogo’s biggest rivalry so far in AEW was his feud with Cody Rhodes.
The match showed how expertly AEW had hid Ogogo’s flaws in the previous match. He was clearly inexperienced in ring, owing to the fact that this was Anthony Ogogo’s 3rd match in AEW, and 4th in his entire career.
The match plodded along, with one of the slowest paces of the show. The crowd were largely pro-Cody, but the storyline made for the match did not do it justice. Fans were rightly confused about Cody Rhodes being overly patriotic and frankly xenophobic towards the proud Englishman Ogogo.
Ogogo had criticised facets of the American society, but they were not unwarranted.
He commented on their attitudes toward foreigners, and lack of national health care like in the UK.
All valid points, which Cody countered by talking about his half black daughter meant that he now has the power to end racism. To the black Anthony Ogogo. It was patronising to pretty much every demographic that watched it.
In the end, Cody picked up the win with a vertebreaker. It is nice to see someone win a match with a move not normally a finisher, but it was really just a sweet release for most of the fans. The match was poor, and it was unclear whether you wanted Ogogo or Cody to win.
Why Did Anthony Ogogo Retire?
Anthony Ogogo was forced to retire from boxing due to eye injuries that have left him legally blind.
The Olympic bronze medallist was forced into early retirement in 2019 after just 12 professional bouts after he suffered a fractured eye socket in defeat to Craig Cunningham.
The Englishman has had a series of surgeries on his eye, some botched, which left him with limited eyesight, unable to drive his own care.
However, he learned to wrestle after retirement, joining up with AEW as their attempt to build a home-grown star who is well-known in the United Kingdom.
Speaking to PA News Agency, Anthony Ogogo revealed why he retired, describing how he paid over £100,000 trying to regain his eyesight and continue his boxing career.
“I’d like to think I was half-articulate but I can’t start to articulate the feelings that I felt,”
“I retired on March, 11 2019, I remember it like the back of my hand, my last fight was basically three years before – October 2016 – and there was no conceivable way that I was thinking I’ve walked to the ring as a 27-year-old, as a baby, entering my prime, for the last time.
“I spent £100,000 on surgeries in America, that was everything I earned in boxing, and much more beside. I sold my car, remortgaged my house to pay for surgery that didn’t work.
“Then I had an injection in my eye, it was a Botox injection to weaken the muscle to try to bring the eye to a better position – it missed the intended muscle and permanently paralysed the nerve in my left eye.”
What happened to Anthony Ogogo and his eye surgeries is horrific, but he turned that pain into positive, and is now one of the up-and-coming wrestlers for All Elite Wrestling.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.