Boxing: Dreams come true as Anthony Joshua lands gold in final contest of London 2012

 

The Excel

Great Britain's Anthony Joshua is the Olympic super-heavyweight champion after just 43 fights and four years in the boxing game.

In the ring yesterday he won the gold, deposing Italy's Roberto Cammarelle, the reigning champion, and completed what can only really be called a modern fairy tale.

Joshua you see, was so far from the Olympic podium a year ago that any suggestion that he would fight at the Olympics, let alone win a gold, was pure fantasy.

"This is a medal for everybody that has ever helped me and for everybody to start their own dream," Joshua said. "I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles but I never stopped dreaming of the Olympic medal. I played it over and over in my mind."

At the end of yesterday's final gold medal clash, which was bout No 272, the scores were identical, stuck at a tantalising 18-18 each. There was a pause as the announcer then added the sentence which most of the 10,000 fans here wanted to hear: "The winner on countback and new..." On countback Joshua was the winner with a score of 56-53.

The Italian cornermen went berserk, screaming and shaking their fists in disgust and the Italian delegation did lodge an official appeal, which was accepted. Thankfully, the decision remained in place after the appeal, which meant that the uncomfortable 15-minute wait for the fans who remained to witness the medal ceremony was not in vain.

"I'm a warrior and I needed a big last round to get this medal round my neck and I had it," said Joshua, who is just 22 and only took up boxing five years ago. "Sunday is a holy day and I was blessed." The Italians said something similar, shouting late into the East End night that their man had been robbed blind; it was close but nobody was mugged in Silvertown yesterday.

Joshua started slowly and looked awkward at times in the opening round. It was no surprise when Cammarelle started the second round in the lead (winning by a point at 6-5), and the veteran of three Olympics, who at 32 was boxing at his last Games, was still winning by 13-10 going into the last.

"I love the last round," joked Joshua, who kept fiddling with his gold medal, seemingly needing to reassure himself that it was actually around his neck and not on the other side of a dream.

Joshua won the last round 8-5 to set in motion both the countback, which will not feature in Rio in four years' time, and scenes of rapture inside the sweaty venue. "It was a close fight and it has made me realise I need more experience at the top level," Joshua admitted. "I will stay amateur and fight at the World Championships. I have time on my side and right now I just want to enjoy this beautiful medal.

The Championships take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, in October next year and Joshua would still only be 24 when they end.

However, it is the end of the road for Cammarelle, who said that he just wanted to go home: "Maybe I want to cry." The big Italian was in good company yesterday as thousands were left weeping once again by the exploits of another athlete in yet one more dramatic win.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas