By Jake Donovan
Anthony Joshua truly saved the best for last, giving hosting nation Great Britain its third boxing Gold medal in the 2012 Olympics.
The feat came in the very last bout of the competition and in dramatic upset fashion as he was awarded a countback win after an 18-18 tie with defending Gold medalist Roberto Cammarelle of Italy.
Joshua found early success with his lead right hand. However, the absence of a jab left him susceptible to power shots from Cammarelle, who had the Brit out on his feet towards the back half of the round.
The scoring was surprisingly close, with Cammarelle given just a 6-5 edge after one. The fighting cop picked up the pace in the second round, repeatedly landing with right hooks over the top of his opponent's guard. Joshua seemed better prepared for the incoming, even responding with counter rights on occasion.
Through two rounds, Cammarelle was ahead 13-10 and well on his way to his second straight Gold medal. But Joshua refused to allow a partisan crowd at the ExCel Arena in London watch yet another house favorite roll over in the finals.
An hour after watching Freddie Evans bow out with a whimper in the welterweight finals, Joshua went all in for the final three minutes against Cammarelle. The rally was well-received with the judges, awarding him a three-point margin for the round. While the earlier scoring was a bit questionable, the final round undoubtedly belonged to Joshua.
Eventually, the night would belong to him as well. Shortly after the light heavyweight division produced the closest finale of the competition in a double countback, the super heavyweight would come down to a tiebreaker as well. The official announcement declaring the score in favor of the Brit sent the crowd into a frenzy, giving Great Britain its third Gold medalist.
Joshua joins Luke Campbell and Nicola Adams on the Gold medal podium for the hosting nation.
Cammarelle came just short of repeating honors as super heavyweight Gold medalist. The Italian turned the feat by knocking out the house fighter, Zhilei Zhang of China in the 2008 Beijing Games. The absence of a knockout in the 2012 London Games left him at the mercy of the judges this time around.
Still, it's been a hell of a run for Cammarelle, who was also a Bronze medalist in the 2004 Athens Games. A second consecutive Gold medal would have been a fitting conclusion a storied amateur career.
Instead, it was a late rally from Anthony Joshua that provided a storybook ending for Great Britain.
Super Heavyweight Finals (Sunday, August 10):
Anthony Joshua (Great Britain) def. Roberto Cammarelle (Italy), 18-18 (countback)
Super Heavyweight Semifinals (Medal Round - Friday, August 10):
Roberto Cammarelle (Italy) def. Magomedrusal Majidov (Azerbaijan), 13-12
Anthony Joshua (Great Britain) def. Ivan Dychko (Kazakhstan), 13-11
Super Heavyweights Quarterfinals (Monday, August 6)
Magomedrasul Majidov (Azerbaijan) def. Magomed Omarov (Russia), 17-13
Roberto Cammarelle (Italy) def. Mohamed Arjaoui (Morocco), 12-11
Ivan Dychko (Kazakhstan) vs. Simon Kean (Canada), 20-6
Zhilei Zhang (China) vs. Anthony Joshua (Great Britain), 15-11
Super Heavyweights Round of 16 (Wednesday, August 1)
Magomedrasul Majidov (Azerbaijan) def. Meji Mwamba (Congo), RSC-2 (2:09)
Magomed Omarov (Russia) def. Dominic Breazeale (USA), 19-8
Mohamed Arjaoui (Morocco) def. Blaise Yepmou (Cameroon), 15-6
Roberto Cammarelle (Italy) def. Italo Perea (Ecuador), 18-10
Ivan Dychko (Kazakhstan) def. Erik Pfiefer (Germany), 14-4
Simon Kean (Canada) def. Tony Yoka (France), 16-16 (countback)
Zhilei Zhang (China) def. Johan Linde (Australia), RSC-2
Anthony Joshua (Great Britain) def. Erislandy Savon (Cuba) , 17-16
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Tags: Amateur Boxing , Anthony Joshua