• London 2012 - Boxing

Joshua and Campbell earn shot at gold

ESPN staff
August 10, 2012 « London Olympics 2012 LIVE! | Chartbeat test »
Anthony Joshua is through to the super-heavyweight Olympic final © PA Photos
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Anthony Joshua is guaranteed a silver medal after an inspired display saw him beat Kazakhstan's Ivan Dychko to book a place in the super-heavyweight gold medal bout.

A sharp right from Joshua in the opening exchanges was the pick of the action in a tight first round, with the judges marking the contest 4-4 at the bell.

The Brit showed more intent at the start of the second, pumping out the jab and out-manoeuvring his taller opponent. However, in the final minute he seemed to stray away from the tactics that were serving him well, a lack of footwork allowing Dychko - who won bronze at last year's World Championships in Baku - to regain parity.

Roared on by a charged crowd at the ExCel Arena, Joshua bloodied the nose of his opponent and a late flurry of combinations swung the bout in the Briton's favour, a 13-11 success paving the way for a crack at defending Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle on Sunday.

Fred Evans booked his place in the welterweight final after shocking world No. 1 Taras Shelestyuk 11-10. The Welshman produced the cleaner work, opening up a three-point advantage after a tight first round. Both men traded in the second and neither were able to assert their authority, meaning Evans carried his three-point cushion into the final round. Reigning world champion Shelestyuk came on strong in the last but Evans had done enough to sneak through.

Evans said: "I had a game plan and had a point to prove. I stuck to the game plan and I knew I had to be on top form and couldn't switch off. As soon as the bell goes and you hear the crowd it gives you a lift. The support is unbelievable."

Bantamweight Luke Campbell has the chance to emulate Nicola Adams and grab gold for GB after beating Japan's Satoshi Shimizu in his semi-final at London 2012.

Ireland's John Joe Nevin awaits Campbell in the final after he pulled out a stunning upset victory to beat Cuba's Lazaro Alvarez Estrada, the world champion and world No. 1, 19-14.

Luke Campbell was too canny for Satoshi Shimizu © PA Photos
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Campbell, the World Championship silver medallist, outclassed Shimizu to triumph 20-11 at the ExCeL Arena. Shimizu had already tasted defeat earlier in the tournament, only to be reinstated following a successful complaint against the referee.

But he was too crude for the Brit, steaming forward and piling on the pressure, all the while leaving himself far too open to counter-punches - and Campbell took full advantage of the opportunities.

"I was in a very tough bout, he was relentless but I got the clean punches in and I was snapping his head back," Campbell said.

"I didn't know it was five points after the second round, I thought it was one or two because that's what my corner told me so I need to fight every round, be focused and sharp. You can't switch off at this level. Nevin is a top fighter and it's going to be a great final."

Meanwhile, the Anthony Ogogo fairytale ended with a bronze courtesy of a 16-9 last-four defeat to Brazil's Esquiva Falcao. Ogogo sent shockwaves through the competition when he knocked out world No. 1 Ievgen Khytrov of Ukraine in the round of 16, but ultimately he could not go all the way.

The bout with Falcao was extremely close until the last 20 seconds of the second round, when Ogogo was wobbled by a stiff shot, and never fully recovered. He took two standing counts in the third as the chance of victory slipped from his grasp.

There was disappointment for Irish light-flyweight Paddy Barnes, whose countback loss to China's Shiming Zou, following a 15-15 score at the end of three rounds, left him settling for bronze.

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