There can’t be a more versatile character on the whole England team at next month’s Commonwealth Games than a man named Delicious.
Delicious Orie, a 6ft 6in super heavyweight with over 16 stone, will be one of the boxing team’s gold medal favorites.
And there can be no greater role model than Orie, 25, for every immigrant child in this country trying to integrate and overcome adversity.
Delicious certainly comes from a Technicolor background. He was born in Moscow, his father Justin is Nigerian and his mother Natalie Russian. The family suffered from obscene and sometimes violent racism on a daily basis.
After being attacked on public transport, Justin uprooted his family from Russia and came to the UK to settle in Wolverhampton.
Delicious said: “I was only seven when I came here and not knowing a word of English caused some cultural problems.
“But life in Moscow was much tougher – some people just didn’t like me because of the color of my skin.”
It didn’t take young Orie long to overcome his problems and thrive in his new surroundings. He won a place at Aston University and graduated with a 1st class honors economics degree.
In his early teens his sport was basketball and he had no interest in boxing until he saw Anthony Joshua in the TV knockout Charles Martin, who won the IBF World Heavyweight title.
Delicious told me, “From that moment on, AJ became my idol and I was addicted to it. I went and joined the Jewelery Quarter Boxing Club in Birmingham and found I was a pretty good boxer.
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“They say never meet your idols because you will be disappointed. Not only have I met him, I have fought with him on numerous occasions and he could not have been more supportive.
“He’s been an invaluable help in so many ways – finding my balance, perfecting my jab and educating me about nutrition.
“People have been telling me I’m the new AJ, but I still want to be better than him.”
Considering he only started boxing when he was 18, Orie has made remarkable strides under trainer Mick Maguire, losing just 5 of his 45 bouts despite a lack of youth experience.
He says he relies on his speed and is more a Muhammad Ali than a Mike Tyson.
More than a year ago, he received his British citizenship, a style that earned him a bronze medal at the European Championships in Armenia.
With his academic credentials, it’s no surprise that Delicious is articulate and extremely level-headed. Even if he takes gold in the finals at the NEC Arena on August 7th, he will ignore all incentives to go pro.
With hard work and the right breaks, Delicious can achieve anything, AJ
Coach Mick Maguire
Ortie said: “I want to box for Great Britain at the Paris Olympics in two years. I’ll be 27, which is young for a heavyweight. Since I started so late, I lack experience.
“The way I see it, Fury and Usyk will retire when I think I will be good enough to be an AJ pro.
“And if boxing doesn’t work out, I can fall back on my studies and get into business.”
Maguire, who has coached many promising youngsters, predicts: “With hard work and the right breaks, Delicious can do anything that AJ has and I think probably surpass that.”
The only dark cloud in Orie’s life is the war in Ukraine. He revealed: “I have family in Russia and Ukraine and I find this terrible war soul-wrecking.”
I couldn’t resist asking him if his first name, which his parents had given him, had in any way saddened or embarrassed him growing up, as country and western icon Johnny Cash called it “boy.” Sue” sang.
Laughing, he said: “Not at all – I actually like Delicious better. It is different. But I prefer to be called DJ by my initials.”
If he manages to become Commonwealth Champion, you can bet money on the Golden Delicious headline.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5579183/colin-hart-delicious-orie-commonwealth-games/ Colin Hart: The recipe for success is delicious as Commonwealth Games hope Orie is the ultimate role model for immigrant children