Olympics boxing: Joshua, Evans & Campbell to fight for golds

 

Great Britain could take their boxing gold medal haul to four this weekend, with Anthony Joshua, Fred Evans and Luke Campbell competing in finals.

On Saturday, bantamweight Luke Campbell fights Ireland's John Joe Nevin.

On Sunday, welterweight Fred Evans faces Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan, before super-heavyweight Joshua meets reigning champion Roberto Cammarelle of Italy.

Leeds' Nicola Adams won women's flyweight gold on Thursday.

Britain's Luke Campbell boxes into bantamweight final

Great Britain now remain on course for their best showing in an Olympic boxing ring since 1956, when they won two golds, a silver and three bronzes in Melbourne.

However, middleweight Anthony Ogogo lost his semi-final 16-9 to Brazil's Esquiva Falcao and had to settle for bronze.

If the meeting between Katie Taylor and Natasha Jonas in the women's competition is a gauge, the Anglo-Irish clash between Campbell and Nevin will bring the house down.

The pair have history, with Campbell beating Nevin on countback at last year's World Championships semi-finals and Nevin beating Campbell convincingly at the 2009 EU Championships.

"It's all about the gold medal for me now and it's always the case that I get better in each fight in a tournament," said Campbell, who finished with silver at the 2011 Worlds in Baku.

"But I'm proud of what I've done so far and I'm happy to make my family proud and my little lad and my home town of Hull."

Athens silver medallist Amir Khan's verdict on his former room-mate Luke Campbell

"I think he will go all the way and win a gold medal. To win a semi-final by nine points is a massive margin and that will only give him confidence.

"It will be a close fight against Nevin but I really think Luke has got his number. He's the better boxer, he's more skilful and has more technique in his style. It's going to be a fantastic fight."

Nevin is one of four Irish boxers to have won a medal - Taylor took lightweight gold in the women's competition, while Paddy Barnes (light-flyweight) and fellow Belfast boxer Michael Conlan (flyweight) won bronze.

That is an extraordinary return for a six-strong team - especially as Ireland have won only one other medal in London, a bronze in equestrian.

The British tally of five medals is two more than the team won in Beijing four years ago, while Amir Khan, who won lightweight silver in 2004, was the only boxer from these shores to qualify for Athens.

Much of the credit must go to performance director Rob McCracken, who has not been in the fighters' corner during the Olympics because of a ban arising from his professional boxing affiliations.

"The atmosphere here is unbelievable, you can't help but get caught up in it," said McCracken, trainer of three-time super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch.

"We're hopeful a few of our boxers will go all of the way but at the same time we know how difficult it is."

Beaten Ogogo settles for bronze

In terms of overall medals, Britain are the most successful team at the Games, along with Ukraine and Russia.

Ireland's tally of four puts them level with traditional super-power Cuba, one ahead of China and two ahead of the United States.

Ogogo, who beat world champion Ievgen Khytrov in the second round, gave it all he had against his rugged Brazilian opponent but was ultimately outgunned.

With Ogogo chasing the fight going into the third, he found himself on the canvas twice early in the round and was never in the contest from that point on.

"I was a bit tired after my journey getting to this stage, beating the world champion and my last fight took a lot out of me," said Lowestoft's Ogogo.

"I'm just gutted I didn't bring a gold medal back to the country, I wanted to unite the nation but it wasn't to be. Maybe next time."

Saturday's finals (all times BST):

  • 20:30: Men's Light Flyweight (49kg): Shiming Zou (Chn) v Kaeo Pongprayoon (Tha)
  • 20:45: Men's Bantamweight (56kg): Luke Campbell (Gbr) v John Joe Nevin (Irl)
  • 21:15: Men's Light Welterweight (64kg): Sotolongo Iglesias (Cub) v Denys Berinchyk (Ukr)
  • 21:45: Men's Middleweight (75kg): Ryota Murata (Jpn) v Florentino Falcao (Brz)
  • 22:15: Men's Heavyweight (91kg): Clemente Russo (Ita) v Oleksandr Usyk (Ukr)

Sunday's finals (all times BST):

  • 13:30: Men's Flyweight (52kg): Carrazana Ramirez (Cub) v Tugstsogt Nyambayar (Mon)
  • 13:45: Men's Lightweight (60kg): Soonchul Han (Kor) v Vasyl Lomachenko (Ukr)
  • 14:15: Men's Welterweight (69kg): Fred Evans (Gbr) v Serik Sapiyev (Kaz)
  • 14:45: Men's Light Heavyweight (81kg): Adibek Niyazymbetov (Kaz) v Egor Mekhontcev (Rus)
  • 15:15: Men's Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Anthony Joshua (Gbr) v Roberto Cammarelle (Ita)