LONDON: Anthony Joshua handed Britain the perfect end to the Olympic boxing tournament Sunday with super heavyweight gold, as the hosts played their best games in the ring for 104 years. After Nicola Adams earned women’s flyweight gold Thursday, teammate Luke Campbell took Saturday’s bantamweight final before Joshua’s finale of a dramatic tie-breaker win over defending champion Roberto Cammarelle.
As Welshman Freddie Evans lost Sunday’s welterweight final to take silver and Anthony Ogogo’s middleweight bronze, Britain enjoyed their best Olympics in the ring since the 1908 London Games when they won 14 of the 15 boxing medals.
Joshua’s third gold for Britain came after some drama as he clawed back a three-point deficit going into the third and leveling the bout at 18-all before being awarded the contest on countback, a tie-breaker.
Italy appealed, but the decision stood after a review and only four years after taking up boxing, Joshua was crowned Olympic champion.
“That medal represents my journey and the support from the team,” said the 22-year-old.
“It’s much more than a gold medal, it’s a life experience.”
There was some British disappointment as Evans was crushed 17-9 in the welterweight final by Kazakhstan’s Serik Sapiyev. Evans, the European champion, failed to cope with Sapiyev’s impressive workrate as he worked his jab throughout the three rounds and never let the Briton find his range.
“I am very glad to be here, this victory is for the whole of Kazakhstan,” said Sapiyev, who added Olympic gold to the world silver medal he won last year.
Ukraine’s lightweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko won a second successive Olympic gold medal when he added the lightweight title to the featherweight crown he captured in Beijing four years ago.
Lomachenko, 24, who won the lightweight world title in Baku last year, eased to a 19-9 win over South Korea’s Han Soon-Chul.
“I wouldn’t differentiate between the two medals and how much they mean to me,” said Lomachenko, comparing his London gold to his Beijing victory.
“I managed to see all of them off and I am truly delighted to have won this very special medal. But both are equally precious.”
Cuban teenager Robeisy Ramirez, 18, won the men’s Olympic flyweight gold with a 17-14 win over Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar, 20, in a composed display.
“The moment I heard I won I fell on the floor because it was overwhelming. I am 18 years old and I am already an Olympic champion,” said the teenager, who danced around the ring when the result was announced.
Like Joshua, Russia’s Egor Mekhontcev also won Olympic gold on countback as he took the light heavyweight title over Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov after their gold-medal bout finished 15-all.
Mekhontcev, who won the heavyweight division at last year’s world championships and the European title in 2010, beat the world light heavyweight silver medalist by the narrowest of margins.