x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Olympics: British 'warrior' wins super heavyweight boxing battle

Italian champion Camarelle's protest on countback ruling in vain as Evans and Ogogo also medal for the hosts.

Anthony Joshua only started boxing four years ago but wants to remain amateur.
Anthony Joshua only started boxing four years ago but wants to remain amateur.

Britain's Anthony Joshua won the men's Olympic super heavyweight gold on countback against the defending champion Roberto Cammarelle of Italy after their bout finished 18-all yesterday.

Italy immediately appealed the decision after Joshua overturned a three-point deficit heading into the final round to clinch the narrowest of victories, but after a review by the judges - the second time it happened in the day - the decision stood.

"I feel I've lost even though I got a silver medal to go along with the gold in Beijing and the bronze in Athens," said Cammarelle.

"But I feel it was an unfair score because I was winning."

Even the countback had failed to decide the winner in the light heavyweight category bout between Russia's Egor Mekhontsev and Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan. Eventually the five judges voted for their choice, Mekhontsev.

The Russian was the world champion heavyweight in 2009, but moved down one weight class for London.

Joshua only took up boxing four years ago, but the 2011 world silver medallist added Olympic gold to his collection with victory in the final bout of the London Games.

Joshua earned Britain's third boxing gold and their fifth medal in London following on from Nicola Adams and Luke Campbell, who both took gold.

As Freddie Evans won a silver and Anthony Ogogo a bronze, Britain have had their best return in the Olympic ring since the 1908 London Games when they won 14 of the 15 boxing medals.

"That medal represents my journey and the support from the team," Joshua said after taking the third round of the bout 8-5.

"It's much more than a gold medal, it's a life experience.

"He is an Olympic champion. Once again, there is no easy fight in these Olympics and I pulled it out of the bag. The third round is always a good round.

"I'm a warrior. I watch Leonidas from Spartans all the time before I fight and one thing [I learnt] is never give up."

The 22 year old said he has no plans to turn professional. "I want to get more experience," he said.

"I just want to keep pushing as an amateur. I am an amateur."

Earlier, Ukraine's world champion Vasyl Lomachenko won a second successive Olympic gold medal when he added the lightweight title to the featherweight crown he captured in Beijing.

Lomachenko, 24, who won the lightweight world title last year, eased to a 19-9 win over South Korea's Han Soon-Chul.

"I wouldn't differentiate between the two medals and how much they mean to me," said Lomachenko, comparing his London gold to his Beijing victory.

"The first one I was an unknown quantity, but here I was the defending champion and was the scalp everyone wanted.

"I managed to see all of them off and I am truly delighted to have won this very special medal. But both are equally precious."

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