Joe Joyce capped Team GB’s most successful Olympic Games of the modern era at Rio 2016 but it wasn’t the golden ending he was hoping for after losing boxing’s super heavyweight final.
Joyce couldn’t overcome Tony Yoka in the gold medal match as he lost a split decision to see the Olympic super heavyweight title, won by Anthony Joshua at London 2012, stripped from Team GB.
The 30-year-old appeared to do much more in the ring than Frenchman Yoka but did not see the result go his way in what was the last event featuring a Team GB athlete at Rio 2016.
Still Joyce’s silver caps off a record breaking Olympic Games for Team GB at Rio 2016 with the total medal haul of 67 the biggest of the modern era, beating London 2012 by two.
“I was working him to the body, working him to the head. I thought I was penetrating his guard. Maybe towards the end of a round he would nick a few shots but the majority of the work was done by me, working to the head and body,” he said.
“I’d prefer to be the Olympic champion. I thought it was close [between them] at the World Championships [in 2015]. I wasn’t as fit that time and I thought this time I was ready to put more than 100 per cent in but I didn’t come away with the gold medal.
“I thought I took it to him and I thought I would be coming back over the moon. People remember a gold medallist a lot more. We have beaten our target, we have beaten London, so in that respect it has been a great Games [for Team GB].”
Joshua watched on live from Riocentro as Joyce bid to emulate him and the now Olympic silver medallist admitted he would watch the fight again to see if his opinion of outcome would change.
“I thought I was landing a lot of shots long range and then I was going in in close and hitting him with shots too,” added Joyce. “I thought I won the rounds, I will have to watch it back and that will give me a clearer opinion but I thought I did enough to win the gold medal.”