After Freddie Evans was embarrassed at the hands of Serik Sapiyev by a score of 17-9, in the Welterweight Final at the Excel Center on Aug. 12, it looked as though the British faithful were going to go home disappointed.
“He just beat the piss out of Freddie,” Adrian Downing said of Sapiyev as the Gold medalist made his victory lap around the ring.
“You’d think with how loud this place was for him (Freddie), he could have at least put on some kind of a show,” Downing’s brother Tom added.
Downtrodden, the British faithful had almost forgotten the mountain of a man who was fighting in the last match of the night, the Super Heavyweight final.
Standing 6′ 6″ with biceps that look as if they had been sculpted by the Italian sculptor Michaelangelo is Anthony Joshua. In his way was athe defending Olympic champion and two-time world champion Robert Cammarelle.
Early on, Cammarelle showed everything that made him a heavy favorite. Dipping and ducking, while throwing occasional jabs Cammarelle dominated despite Joshua’s huge size advantage. Joshua looked clumsy and oafish as Camarelle went up 13-10 after 2 rounds.
The final round started with much of the same, before Joshua went into desperation mode as the crowd willed him on with chants of “Joshua! Joshua! Joshua!” Despite the dominating round, nearly everyone in the arena — including the Italian coach who began celebrating and pumping up the crowd during deliberation, thought Cammarelle had won.
Shockingly, the judges made their decision as an 18-18 split decision to much murmuring from the crowd. That murmur became an absolute roar when three judges awarded the match to Joshua.
Lennox Lewis, Britain’s greatest Super heavyweight attended the match as did current World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko.
British boxing fan Tony Williams could not help but look at Joshua’s victory as a passing of the torch.
“With Lennox here, and the Ukranian here, it’s big. When Joshua turns pro, he’s going to make us proud,” Williams said.