Boxing: Luke Campbell leads way in strong line-up for Team GB

 

Luke Campbell will lead out three other British boxers today in the semi-finals of the men's boxing knowing it is the best effort by a British squad since 1956.

Campbell fights Japan's Satoshi Shimizu at bantamweight aware that, on paper and going by form at previous major championships, he starts as a big, big favourite. Shimizu was actually eliminated earlier in the tournament but the Japanese officials complained about the referee and the decision was overturned.

The next British fighter in the ring, at middleweight, will be Anthony Ogogo, whose progress has surely defied the expectations of even his most loyal fans.

He beat the reigning world champion and No 1 seed here in his second contest and overcame a quality German to reach today's semi-final.

Ogogo's fights have been played out against a dramatic backdrop, with his mother in hospital the whole time and in intensive care for part of the time. "It's not been easy," admitted Ogogo – and it will not get any easier for him today when he fights Brazil's Esquiva Falcao, who beat Ogogo last year at the World Championships.

The evening session starts with Welshman Fred Evans, the current European champion but unseeded here, at welterweight. He meets Ukraine's Taras Shelestyuk, who is the No 1 seed.

Evans starts as an underdog, not for the first time in this competition, and would need to produce the best performance by a British boxer so far to make Sunday's final.

The last man in the ring will be Finchley's Anthony Joshua at super-heavyweight and he will close the show at 11pm tonight when he fights Kazakhstan's Ivan Dychko.

Joshua has so far come through two hard fights to reach the semi-final and insists that he still has plenty left in the tank to go all the way and win gold.

"At the World Championships I won four times before the final," Joshua said yesterday. "I'm fine, I just want to get that gold."

Joshua has to be cautious tonight in the pit that is the ExCeL, control his heart and emotions, think before rushing in and, if he does that, he should end the night memorably.

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