Britain’s Anthony Joshua is Olympic super heavyweight champion after beating 2008 gold medalist Roberto Cammarelle, of Italy, in a gripping final bout at the 2012 Games in London on Sunday.
Before another sell-out at the 15,000-capacity ExCel Arena, the 22-year-old from nearby Finchley took gold via a countback after the five judges scored the clash 18 points apiece.
That was a considerable achievement given Joshua, runner-up at the 2011 world championships, had trailed 11-8 at the end of the second round.
But in a storming last three minutes, the Englishman seized control, rocked 31-year-old Cammarelle several times and wiped away the deficit.
It was Team GB’s third boxing triumph at the Games and ensures that the hosts finish atop that particular medal table. It also sparked more wild scenes of euphoria among the partisan fans.
Yet even then the drama was not over as all celebrations were put on hold for 15 minutes amid an Italian appeal. It was rightly rejected, leaving Joshua to become the last man, for now, to win the super heavyweight title at an Olympics. Weirdly, considering its appeal, the category will not feature in Rio 2016.
“Once again there are no easy bouts at the Olympics. I pulled it out the bag, my heart is still pumping with adrenalin, ” said Joshua, who only took up the sport four years ago and now boasts a record of 40-3.
“The supporters here have been immense. Sunday is a holy day and I am blessed. This medal represents my journey in life.”
Photo / Scott Heavey – Gettyimages