Anthony Ogogo has revealed he initially found it difficult being thrust “behind the curtain” after he transitioned from boxing to wrestling.
Just 12 fights into his professional boxing career Anthony Ogogo was forced to retire from the sport due to a serious eye injury which resulted in him being registered blind.
Since then, despite reported offers from WWE, it was announced that Ogogo had joined AEW in October 2019 as a developmental wrestler where he began training under Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall before making his television debut in March 2021.
During an interview with Alistair McGeorge of Metro, Ogogo discussed some of the comparisons between wrestling and boxing:
“Wrestling doesn’t feel the same, but not necessarily in a bad way. In boxing, the buzz of the crowd every time I walked out to the ring, that is something I can’t articulate no matter how intelligent I think I am. But what I love about wrestling, it is fun. Professional boxing ain’t fun. It is great when you win but no boxer can honestly tell you it’s fun. I was never laughing at that 1000th sit-up of the day.”
“But now, when I’m walking down the ring and I see people snarling and getting angry at me, I’m laughing. Wrestling is very different but it’s very fun. I have more fun than I did as a boxer.”
Explaining some of the aspects he has learned in AEW, Ogogo admitted it took time to adapt to being “behind the curtain.” He said:
“You can’t just unapologetically be you. You might p*ss off the wrong person and they don’t want to work with you. If they don’t want to work with you, you never get opportunities. I was always a fan from the other side of the curtain. All of a sudden, I was thrust behind it and I didn’t always know what to do, I didn’t get it. I struggled quite a bit early on but I’m finding my feet. People like me now. I think.”
The Guv’nor also stated that “Boxing is harder” but revealed, “not by much.” Ogogo continued:
“Boxing is harder, especially at the level I was at. You’re getting punched in the head by elite fighters, killing yourself in camp. It’s harder, but not by much.”
“Everyone knows boxing is a top sport and people still discredit wrestling as this silly fake s**t. It is extremely tough, extremely physical. I’m walking around with a bad back, my left knee is buggered, I’ve a sore neck, a sore shoulder and that was from a 20-second match last week.”
The former boxer also described how everyone thinks they understand what it is like to compete inside a wrestling ring, but fans underestimate how physically demanding wrestling can be:
“Everyone is an expert too. People are like that in boxing and it’s, even more, the case in wrestling. Not many people know how hard it is when you hit that mat. No one knows when you bounce off the ropes, how much those cables dig into your ribs. Every time you hit the ropes, it is like a punch to the kidney. No one knows how high the top rope is. Yet every single motherf****r has got an opinion on what people should and shouldn’t do.”
‘It’s annoying. You have to contend with it. But I’m very proud to be living a second childhood dream.”
Anthony Ogogo is currently a member of AEW’s The Factory alongside fellow faction members QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solo, and Cole Karter.