Super-heavyweight Joe Joyce goes for gold tomorrow and says his accomplishment in Baku is the finest of his career.
The 29-year-old, who won Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow last year, defeated France’s Tony Yoka on points in his semi-final bout to guarantee he will take his place in the podium when he returns to the Crystal Hall tomorrow.
And, whether or not the 6ft 6in powerhouse defeats Russia’s Gasan Gimbatov, he has loved his European Games travails.
“I’m over the moon with that and with the chance to fight for that big shiny gold medal,” said Joyce.
“I’ve seen the medals now and they look great.
“They’ll be a great addition to my collection and probably be my favourite achievement to date.
“I had a glimpse of his [Gimbatov’s] fight when I was warming up the other day but we’ll have a look at the video of him and go from there.”
As well as knowing he will take a medal home from the inaugural European Games, Joyce’s place in the final ensures he has qualified for the World Championships in Doha later this year.
That competition will give him the opportunity to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games and Joyce is delighted by his progress.
“Qualifying for the Worlds is great,” he added. “It’s one step closer to qualifying for Rio.
“Yoka is a very good opponent and I knew he’d be on the back foot and very slick with good movement. After watching the video I thought going long-range would work but actually short-range worked better for me.”
© Sportsbeat 2015