• London 2012 - Boxing

Joshua claws his way back for GB's 29th gold

ESPN staff
August 12, 2012
Anthony Joshua just did enough for glory © PA Photos

Anthony Joshua claimed Great Britain's 29th gold medal of London 2012 after winning a pulsating super-heavyweight final against Italian Roberto Cammarelle.

Medal Table

Joshua, who beat Cammarelle at last year's world championships in Baku, trailed after two rounds before coming on strong in the third. The judges subsequently scored the contest 18-18, with Joshua getting the decision via countback.

After a cagey beginning, Joshua rocked his foe with a couple of big shots before a quick-fire combination in reply had the Brit reeling against the ropes. Cammarelle - 10 years Joshua's senior - tagged his rival more frequently and rightfully edged the opener 6-5.

The two men traded blows in the second, Cammarelle enjoying success with his fearsome right and Joshua serving notice of his raw power with a punishing left, although it was the Italian who took the honours, extending his advantage to three points.

In need of a big finish, Joshua came out swinging in the third and both fighters traded in the centre of the ring. Cammarelle faded as the round wore on, therefore inviting more pressure from the clearly fitter Joshua, who impressed the judges enough to haul himself on level terms.

With the judges unable to separate them, a countback was needed and Joshua was proclaimed the victor. The Italian's camp launched an appeal but the decision stood.

"Once again, there are no easy fights in these Olympics," Joshua told BBC Sport. "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. I want to gain more experience and keep on pushing. 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."

Fred Evans fell short in his bid for glory as Serik Sapiyev became the third Kazak in a row to win the Olympic welterweight title with a dominant performance.

Evans, who shocked world No. 1 and reigning world champion Taras Shelestyuk of Ukraine to earn his shot at gold, struggled to contain the more elusive Sapiyev, whose better workrate proved key in a thoroughly deserved 17-9 victory at the ExCel Arena.

It was the veteran Kazak who started with more purpose and, although not many of his attacks found a way through, he did more than enough to lead 4-2 on the cards after the opening round.

Serik Sapiyev gets through Fred Evans' defence © PA Photos

Cardiff's Evans needed to up his workrate to get closer to his opponent but, perhaps a little overawed by the occasion, his footwork never allowed this to happen. Sapiyev's lead after two rounds was 10-5, leaving the British man needing a minor miracle in the finale.

Realising his dream was slipping away, Evans upped the tempo in the final round, throwing more and increasing his aggression. However, Sapiyev was rarely troubled and a cracking late left only helped to put the seal on a majestic display.

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