Boxing: Joshua comeback delights home crowd
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Anthony Joshua produced a big comeback to beat Italian Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle to the super-heavyweight title on Sunday, capping an impressive performance by the host nation in the ring.
Joshua, ten years Cammarelle's junior and heavily fancied for gold before the final, came from three points down going into the last round to win the final bout of the London Games on countback to the delight of the home crowd.
The Italians opposed the decision, delaying the medal ceremony, but their protest was denied to cheers from an arena packed with partisan support.
The 22-year-old Britain, one of the tallest men in the competition at 198 centimeters (six feet six inches), bossed the early stages of the first round but Cammarelle landed five big hooks in a row in the closing seconds to take a narrow lead.
Joshua, who came out of nowhere to win a silver medal at last year's world championships, beating Cammarelle in the process, seemed stunned as the second round began and the 32-year-old Italian continued to outfox the young Briton.
But the Italian policeman, twice a world champion at the heaviest weight in amateur boxing, was forced to try and hang on after Joshua launched a torrent of big shots from all angles.
Joshua was able to run 100 meters in 11 seconds when he was 15 and his swift feet showed as, despite questionable defense, he was just about able to level the contest before the 48-45 win on countback brought the house down.
Cammarelle's corner screamed at the judges in disgust as Joshua left the arena waving a British flag, having added to Luke Campbell's gold on Saturday to match the two each won by the men of the boxing strongholds of Cuba and Ukraine.
"Joshua really dug in the last round. He really needed to, and I think he deserved the win," Campbell told the BBC.
Losing semi-finalists Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan and Magomedrasul Medzhidov of Azerbaijan took bronze.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Matt Falloon)
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