GREG O’NEIL is geared up to give Anthony Ogogo “the hardest fight he’s ever had”.
The exciting Hartlepool and Horden middleweight has been matched with the Olympic bronze medallist in Glasgow next Saturday.
Ogogo is one of British boxing’s brilliant new talents – recording four straight wins since turning pro after his success at London 2012.
O’Neil has been picked as his next opponent with the pair doing battle over six rounds at the SECC on the Sky Sports-screened show headlined by Ricky Burns’ world lightweight title defence.
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Ogogo’s team, Golden Boy Promotions, the company of legend Oscar De La Hoya, will be expecting another entertaining night from the slick 25-year-old.
But the rugged Gus Robinson Developments fighter has warned them that he’s not just turning up for the money.
“At the end of the day he’s no different to me – he’s got two arms, two legs and one chin,” he said.
“I know who he is and what he’s done and I congratulate him on his achievements.
“But I’m going there to give him the hardest fight he’s ever had.
“Reputations don’t mean a great deal to me.
“Of course I respect him but, while I’m a fighter I don’t really follow boxing – if you asked me who the British champion is in my weight I wouldn’t be able to tell you.
“I’m just a fighter who loves to fight and that’s what I love doing.
“People might think I’m getting chucked in the deep end against an Olympic hero, but I’ll sharp learn to swim.”
O’Neil, trained by Peter Cope at the Gus Robinson Developments gym in West View Road, is something of an old-fashioned fighter.
He’ll fight anyone, any time, any place and he will entertain.
He was floored in the opening seconds of his debut by Simon Jenkinson at the Borough Hall but got up and won in thrilling fashion.
O’Neil was decked again on his way to defeat in a shot at the vacant International Masters (Bronze) middleweight title in Sheffield last March.
The 22-year-old is desperate to put that loss to bed by winning on his return next Saturday – no matter how hard the task is.
“It’s nearly a year since I boxed,” said O’Neil.
“I lost a great fight to Lewis Taylor and I want to get back in and put that defeat behind me.
“I took that bout at short notice and my preparations were not as good as they should have been.
“But since then I’ve been back in the gym and I’m determined to do well.
“I’m hungrier and I’m fitter – I’m doing more road work and trying to make myself a better fighter.
“If Ogogo puts me down it had better be good enough to keep me down because if I get up I plan to be a pain in the backside to him.”