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Olympic Super Heavyweights: In a Wild One, Joshua Pleases Crowd With Comeback (and Countback) Performance

Posted on 08/12/2012

Anthony Joshua, who saw himself needing to come up with a big effort in the final round of his Olympic super heavyweight final against Roberto Cammarelle of Italy, reached back and found it, giving Great Britain a third boxing gold medal in the Games and pleasing a wild crowd who had come out to see somebody close out the boxing competition big for the home country.

This was not necessarily going to be an easy thing for Joshua. For one thing, Cammarelle was the defending Olympic champion in the weight class, having won the gold over Zhang Zhilei of China back in 2008. He has won a pair of world championships, and even competed in the 2004 Olympics, winning a bronze. Joshua had credentials as well, however, winning a silver medal in the 2011 World Championships.

The style of Cammarelle is problematic for most people. It is awkward, to say the least. He is a southpaw and is crude, coming in winging punches, and the right hook can come from anywhere. It indeed did, and in the first round he clocked Joshua good with one, which was one of the factors that gave him a 6-5 advantage.

In the second Cammarelle continued to confound Joshua with his approach. The right-handed Brit, who was born in London, just could not get something consistent going, and with the judges giving the Italian a 7-5 edge there was going to be a three-point deficit for Joshua to make up in the third and final round.

Well, he became more aggressive and did exactly that. It’s hard to tell exactly what goes into the scoring criteria of the judges, but the hometown boy needed three points to knot things up and that is what he got. So as the decision was announced as an 18-18 tie, the countback proved to be the difference that gave the less experienced Joshua the gold. The 32-year-old Cammarelle was disappointed, but he gets himself a “triple crown” of sorts in the Olympic Games, winning a gold, silver and bronze. That’s not bad for a guy who doesn’t have a lot of classic boxing skills.

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