By Rob Maul, courtesy of The Daily Star
JOE JOYCE was last night robbed of Olympic super heavyweight boxing gold - says Anthony Joshua.
Joyce failed in his quest to end Team GB’s Olympic gold rush in style by losing a split decision to France’s Tony Yoka.
Joshua, the IBF heavyweight world champion, was victorious in this class four years ago at London 2012.
And rated Joyce – who he spars with on a regular basis – was te winner, saying: “For me, Joe is Olympic champion. I have never seen a lightweight – let alone a heavyweight – throw so many punches in a fight before.
“We talked about counter-punching and being aggressive. Well, Joe was aggressive, making the fight. The power that he possesses, there is no way that you can block those shots. He is penetrating gloves and penetrating the body. In spirit, he’s the champion.”
Joyce beat world no.1 Yoka in the semi-finals of the 2015 European Games in Baku but then lost on a split decision at the world championships.
The portrait painter and ex-removal man lost 30-27 29-28 28-29 on the cards to settle for the silver medal.
Turkish judge Emre Aydin gave all three rounds to Yoka while the Hungarian official Roland Juhasz gave the first two rounds to the Frenchman.
Joyce, 30, is now expected to turn professional and try to copy his good friend Joshua’s success.
Joyce said: “It was the last bout of the night, the last medal of the Olympic Games and I thought that gold was mine.
“I will have to watch it back and see where I went wrong, if I went wrong. I was told in the corner that I was down and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I am disappointed, it’s all about the medals. I wanted the gold, I expected it, but it wasn’t to be.
“People only remember a gold medal more than the silver. It makes me feel good to be the last GB medallist. We’ve beaten our target. I am look forwarding to the next Olympics – though I’ll probably just be watching. I’d love to be there in Tokyo to see it.”