Joshua secures super heavyweight gold for Team GB with thrilling win
Sunday, 12 August 2012
August 12 - British boxing star Anthony Joshua produced a stunning final round to claim the superheavyweight Olympic gold medal against Italy's defending champion Roberto Cammarelle to delight a hugely partisan crowd here.
The 22-year-old from Finchley only took up the sport four years ago but underlined his immense promise with a silver medal at the World Championships last year and has now taken the biggest title in the sport at amateur level with a win that seemed unlikely until the third and final round.
In a rematch of their fight at the World Championships last year, which Joshua surprisingly won, Cammarelle came out fast in a bid to overturn his defeat to the Briton and several huge shots gave him a narrow 6-5 lead.
That lead was extended to 13-10 in the second round as the Italian police officer continued to land the cleaner shots and going into the last round, it appeared he was well on course to claim retain his Olympic title.
But inspired by the frenzied crowd at ExCeL, Joshua threw caution to the win in the third round and he came out swinging with the majority of the blows getting through the Italian's guard to the delight of the fans.
Cammarelle responded with some big shots of his own in the closing stages to leave a nervous wait for the result.
It was then agonisingly announced that the bout was 18-18 before it was revealed Joshua had won on countback to send the crowd delirious.
The win makes Joshua the first British superheavyweight champion since Audley Harrison at Sydney 2000, who was ringside watching the bout.
Also in the crowd was Ukrainian heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, the Atlanta 1996 Olympic champion, who could have been watching a future opponent for his crown.
"Once again, there are no easy fights in these Olympics," said Joshua, whose future earning could go into the millions following the win.
"I have pulled it out of the bag and my heart is pumping with adrenaline.
"The third round is always a good round for me.
"Again and again, the crowd have come out.
"Sunday is a holy day and I have been blessed."
Joshua was awarded his gold medal after a failed appeal from the Italian's and despite the fact there will now be professional promoters in his direction, Joshua indicated he will not be immediately turning professional.
"I want to gain more experience and keep on pushing," he said.
"I am still an amateur.
"That medal represents my journey and the support from my team.
"It is much more than a gold medal, it is a life experience.
"It is not just me; it is my fallen soldiers and the ones who have made it."
There was not such good news for Welshman Fred Evans in his welterweight final as the 21-year-old went down to the superb Serik Sapiyev of Kazakstan 17-9 in a one-sided bout.
However, Evans' silver medal makes him the most successful Welsh Olympic boxer, beating Ralph Evans' bronze in Munich in 1972.
"I have had four hard fights and that was the fifth," he said.
"No excuses, he was sharper and I did not stick to my plan correctly.
"I am still young at 21, so I have done well and I am over the moon."
Today's results mean that the British boxing game have claimed three gold medals, a silver and a bronze from London 2012, their best ever display at an Olympic boxing competition.
August 2012: More British boxing gold as Campbell beats Ireland's Nevin
August 2012: Campbell, Evans and Joshua secure Team GB "at least" three boxing silver medals
August 2012: Briton Adams claims women's maiden boxing gold as Taylor and Shields also write history