Gold for super heavyweight Joshua
August 12, 2012 18:14 pm
Anthony Joshua rounded off Britain's most successful boxing performance at a Games for over 100 years in the most dramatic fashion imaginable, making up a three-point deficit in the final round to claim super-heavyweight gold on countback.
Amid extraordinary scenes at ExCeL, Joshua blazed out for the final round against Italy's reigning champion Roberto Cammarelle, and after the pair had exchanged bombs for three minutes, the decision for Joshua - after an 18-18 draw - brought the house down.
Joshua had started well but walked into too many big right hands from the Italian, who went into the last round with a three point lead to force a furious finale, in which Joshua narrowly failed to make up the deficit.
Joshua had started looking entirely undaunted by the reputation of the man in the opposite corner, and it was no surprise having beaten Cammarelle in their only previous meeting in the quarter-finals of last year's World Championships.
Still a relative novice in super-heavyweight terms, Joshua had improved enormously in every bout in the competition so far, and the left jab with which he dominated Ivan Dychko in the semi-final was once again in evidence here.
But if Joshua controlled the majority of the opener, he entered dangerous territory in the last 30 seconds when he was caught in the Italian's corner and clattered by four consecutive right hands by Cammarelle.
Chastened by the experience, Joshua started the second in more cautious fashion, allowing the bulkier Cammarelle to dictate the pace of the contest and once again land the cleaner shots in the final moments of the round to extend his lead to three points.
It was no surprise that both men went at it in the last, Joshua suddenly finding more success with big rights, one of which clearly rocked his opponent, and the crowd roared him through the final few seconds before the drama unfolded.
The Italian corner appealed the decision but the appeal was rejected.
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