“When the announcement came, everything just went white,” says Ike Ogbo, recalling the moment he was declared England Amateur Boxing Super-Heavyweight champion and his senses were on overload. “I don’t remember anything that happened for two or three minutes after that…”

Ogbo’s unanimous points victory over the Sussex fighter, Harvey Dykes, saw the Carlisle-based Border City ABC fighter claim a belt won by such as Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Audley Harrison, Derek Chisora and Joe Joyce over the years.

It was a magnificent achievement for fighter and club – and Ogbo laughs when he remembers how he failed to fulfil his intention to be calm at the result. “All I was thinking was, ‘Win or lose, Ike, I want you to conduct yourself with the composure, grace and good character of an ambassador for this club…represent yourself well’.”

The roar he let out belied this inner calm. “In that ten-second reaction it’s the years of work that have gone in, the stress and anticipation, being aware of the time that’s been dedicated by my coaches,” he says. “All these expectations piled on.

“When the decision came, it was a flood of all of those feelings.”

Ogbo says the scale of his victory in London, a first for amateur boxing in Cumbria, would take time to “process” – a task he must balance with the serious and clear-minded requirements of his day job.

News and Star: Champion boxer Ike Ogbo is also an A&E doctor at the Cumberland InfirmaryChampion boxer Ike Ogbo is also an A&E doctor at the Cumberland Infirmary

The 28-year-old boxer is also an Accident & Emergency doctor at the Cumberland Infirmary. It may appear a remarkable contradiction, but Ogbo is ready for my questions about how a man trained to heal people can also be drawn to pugilism.

He took up the sport whilst at university in Exeter and found that, as well as enjoying an aptitude for boxing, it helped him “decompress” from the stresses of his medical studies. After arriving in Carlisle three-and-a-half years ago, Ogbo sought out Border City to further his passion. In a quiet room in the club’s Shaddongate headquarters, he intelligently considers the philosophical issues at play.

“On the surface, it’s a paradox, being a doctor and a boxer,” he says. “But when you look deeper into it, you can dig out compelling reasons to get involved.”

Ogbo, who is originally from Bolton, talks about the “very robust safety framework” inherent in the England boxing scene, like medical assessments, proactive refereeing, equipment that aids shock absorption and the fact the amateur sport in particular is about points-scoring and skill rather than force and violence.

News and Star: Ike Ogbo with coach Dean Jopson at Border City ABC in CarlisleIke Ogbo with coach Dean Jopson at Border City ABC in Carlisle

Dean Jopson, the experienced coach who sits in on our chat, points out that more injuries are suffered on a football pitch than in a ring. Ogbo nods, and adds: “Then there are the benefits you can gain from competing in a sport like boxing. The inherent dangers are more than offset by the things you get from it from a psychological standpoint: getting young kids off the street, teaching them focus, determination, being part of a community of like-minded people, with coaches that care about not just their boxing ability but general development as human beings.”

Does this, though, satisfy the moral dilemma? The principles of football, after all, are not based on the punching of another person. “That’s a good question,” Ogbo says, “because when it comes to that, it’s all about the intent – is the intent to hurt? In my case, and in this sort of environment, it is an intent to display the skills, to score the points, and win the contest.

“Whilst there will be an unfortunate side effect – there will be some pain and hurt involved – that is similar to many other physical sports. That’s part of the whole package.”

Ogbo is a charismatic man and smiles when I ask the stupid question of whether his boxing ever crops up at work. “It’s not something that comes up much with my patients in A&E,” he says. “They’ve got bigger problems and the focus is on them…”

He says his employers have been understanding and supportive of his sideline – and insists he is not tired of having to explain the doctor/boxer conundrum.

“To be fair, it’s a question that I don’t mind,” he says. “It forces me to always revisit the question and make sure I’m doing it for the right reasons, and making sure I am making the right decision.

“Having to re-examine it constantly, and have people ask me the question over and over again has really made my motivation a lot more watertight. I have to thank people for constantly asking me. It’s given me that wherewithal to be rock-steady with it.”

News and Star: Ogbo pictured at Border City ABC with his national title belt, as young fighters sparOgbo pictured at Border City ABC with his national title belt, as young fighters spar

Ogbo is not the boxing cliché of a young person saved by the sport. His father is a doctor and his mother a social worker and magistrate. Boxing, he says, is not in the blood but he was attracted to the sport when watching stars such as Joshua and Nicola Adams winning gold for Team GB at the Olympics. “I was not immune from being infected by that,” he says.

As a teenager, he says he “dabbled” in martial arts – “I quite liked the focus on the mental attributes needed, being able to control that physical expression” – before being drawn to boxing at university, where national competition was available.

“I went to a session, and they thought they could do something with me. Two months later, I was in for my first match. Everything about it – the training, dedication, atmosphere, variety, visceral nature – came together. In that moment, when all your hard work has paid off, the feeling’s intoxicating.

“People always asked me how I found the energy for the intensity of training for boxing after all the time studying. Paradoxically, it helped me to decompress: it gave me something else to focus on.

News and Star: The prestigious England amateur boxing title belt won in December by Carlisle's Ike OgboThe prestigious England amateur boxing title belt won in December by Carlisle's Ike Ogbo

“It also gave me a new set of friends. Medicine’s all consuming – we even had our own sort of campus, so you were very much around other medics and in our own little bubble. Boxing was a way of breaking out of that bubble.”

Ogbo had often visited the Lake District on school trips and so, when a doctor’s position at Carlisle’s infirmary came up, he found Cumbria attractive. His long-term goal is to specialise in cardiology, having spent the last year and a half in A&E.

Dean Jopson, who has worked closely with Ogbo at Border City, remembers the day the doctor first walked into the gym and announced an interest in joining. He showed a nimble aptitude with a skipping rope, and soon demonstrated his skill in the ring.

“I thought, ‘He’s got something, this lad’,” Jopson says. “I’ve boxed with a lot of lads in Cumbria, and you could see Ike had done it before. It was my instinct straight away – and he just seemed to gel with us. You can tell if someone has got a knack, and if he’ll also listen and put into practice what you ask them.

News and Star: Ogbo hopes to emulate past winners of the England amateur title, like Anthony Joshua, by going on to box for Team GB in the Olympics (photo: PA)Ogbo hopes to emulate past winners of the England amateur title, like Anthony Joshua, by going on to box for Team GB in the Olympics (photo: PA)

“That gets them to a certain level – and then it comes down to dedication to go further. And I haven’t seen anybody as dedicated as Ike.”

Ogbo is in the Carlisle gym several days a week. Where does that dedication some from? “I can only say from my upbringing,” he says. “With my parents, it was almost the unspoken deal that you just get your head down, work hard, and earn everything that you want to work for.

“My mum and dad have worked tooth and nail to give myself and sisters the opportunities we’ve had. It’s almost impossible not to inherit that off them by osmosis. I also think it’s a bit of a personality quirk – when I was interested in something, I would obsessively work at it, whether it was positive or less productive.”

How do his parents – not least his dad, as a fellow medic – feel about their son boxing? “When I first started doing it, they were very worried and it was a sense of, ‘Is this safe, is this something you should be doing?’ But as time’s gone on, and they’ve seen how I was progressing through the sport, and the more conversations we’ve had, the more they realised I have thought about it – it wasn’t something just impulsive or that I was rebelling.

“That made them more at ease over time. And funnily enough, the more I talked to my dad, I learned that, back in the day, he and my mum used to watch all the old boxing tapes – Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson. They loved the entertainment factor of boxing. They just don’t like their son doing it! But they understand and support me in everything.”

News and Star: Ogbo says he was inspired by past Team GB Olympic boxing stars like Nicola Adams (photo: PA)Ogbo says he was inspired by past Team GB Olympic boxing stars like Nicola Adams (photo: PA)

Ogbo says he is also supported by his girlfriend Laura, who is studying midwifery as well as being an amateur bodybuilder. “It helps having a partner who not only shares a similar career with me, but also similar sporting aspirations,” Ogbo says. “It means we understand each other and the challenges we all face when comes to time management and the stresses we feel.”

Jopson chuckles. “After the result [in London], the cameras managed to pan round and Laura was screaming, live on the BBC…”

Ogbo says the hardest thing about competitive boxing is not the gruelling physical aspect, but the “waiting”. As super-heavyweight, his bout with Dykes was last on the card in London.

“You have all that time to catastrophise and sit with your demons,” he says. “You get these highs of supreme confidence followed by these lows of crushing self-doubt. It’s about not letting the adrenaline surges sap you of all the energy before you get there.”

The final came a week after he had boxed his way through the quarter and semi-finals in Birmingham. When the fight finally came, it was against an opponent who had beaten Ogbo two years previously.

“We discussed that a few times,” Jopson says. “I said that after he got beat, Ike would have replayed that fight 100 times in his head, but Harvey Dykes might only have thought about it once or twice, because he won. Our strategy was going to be so much more ready, because we’d looked at this bout for so long.”

News and Star: Ike Ogbo pictured with Border ABC coaches Dean Jopson, left, and David HowesIke Ogbo pictured with Border ABC coaches Dean Jopson, left, and David Howes

Ogbo says the idea of settling the score was on his mind, but only “in the periphery” as he stepped through the ropes. At the forefront was his tactical approach against the dangerous Dykes.

“It was the furthest thing from straightforward. Harvey Dykes is one of the slickest, most skilful operators that I’ve ever shared the ring with. He’s very tricky, very awkward, his footwork is very good and he’s deceptively fast and nimble. Pinning him down in one place, in order to actually score points, is very difficult. If you’re not careful and rush in, it’s very easy for him to slip out of the side-doors and look very good in doing so. It’s very much a bull and matador situation.

“We managed to make a strategy to pin it down and make it more difficult for him. It was tough. It was close. It’s always hard to tell in the ring how you’re doing unless there really is a big difference. You just have to keep going and see how things pan out.”

Ogbo succeeded – and his involvement in the final means Team GB will now assess him. He freely admits that progressing on a national basis, and performing in the Olympics, is a big goal.

“That’s something I would commit to fully,” he says. “When it comes to boxing and my [medical] career, the boxing is very time sensitive. I’m only going to be in my prime and eligible for limited time. I’m going to be a doctor, God willing, for decades. It’s something I could put on hold for a few years.”

Ogbo talks warmly about Border City ABC, saying they have provided him with a “home away from home”. When he walked into the gym for the first time after winning the national title, a cluster of young fighters stopped and applauded.

The champion smiled bashfully. “I didn’t really know anybody when I came up here,” he says. “This club provided a family, a base, and have invested countless hours in me. We’ve all grown and learned from each other."

Flippantly, I say that stories of people behaving badly when admitted to A&E – perhaps after a night out gone wrong – would be unlikely to take their anger out on Dr Ogbo if they knew of his particular skills. He responds seriously. “People come in with a big variety of problems, but the commonality between them is that, at the end of day, they don’t really want to be there, and they’re scared.

“That fear for your health can bring out the worst in you. It’s one of those areas where you do deploy a bit of empathy. The ability to be able to keep yourself calm in professional environments, especially if you have people yelling abuse, being difficult, threatening, is important.

"Boxing doesn’t just help me decompress, but develops that confidence and ability to stay calm and disengage, and know how to remove yourself from certain situations and, God forbid, protect yourself long enough before help comes.”

Ogbo is a thoughtful man, and the story of the boxing doctor may have further fascinating chapters. “I know the assumptions about boxing are there for a reason, and if I hadn’t set foot in a gym, or spoken to boxers, and just based it on what I saw on TV on social media, it would be easy to see why people adhere to stereotypes,” he says.

“The lesson, I suppose, is to be a bit open-minded and you might be surprised. More often than not you will be.”