London 2012: Finchley boxer Anthony Joshua fights his way into Olympic quarter-finals
Finchley’s super heavyweight Anthony Joshua emerged victorious from his first Olympic fight tonight, progressing into the quarter-finals after the narrowest of victories over Cuba’s Erislandy Savon.
World No3 Joshua, who started his sporting career at Finchley Boxing Club in 2008, was up against the World No4 in Savon – and the north Londoner triumphed by a single point, with the five judges scoring the contest 17-16 to the Brit after three three-minute rounds.
Joshua, 22, who lives in Golders Green, took the first round 6-5 against Savon, the nephew of the three-times Olympic champion Felix Savon.
The Cuban upped his efforts in the second round but Joshua doubled his lead at 14-12 at the end of the second period and, despite being rocked by a powerful combination with 30 seconds of the bout remaining, held on to win 17-16.
The No2 seed, who won the silver at the 2011 World Championships, said: “Cuba’s got good pedigree but GB’s on the rise as well and we’re putting Britain on the map.
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“We were both whacking each other with shots, we kept fighting to the last bell and let the judges do the scoring.
“Savon’s a tidy boxer and, with that being my first Olympic fight, I think that will stand me in good stead. I’m glad to get it out of the way.”
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Joshua will face China’s Zhilei Zhang in the last eight on Monday (11.15pm).