9:36am Thursday 2nd August 2012
Anthony Joshua followed in the footsteps of team-mate Luke Campbell and secured a place in the quarter-finals at the ExCeL Arena late last night as Team GB’s boxing team emerged triumphant in their biggest day of the Olympics so far.
The loudest reception of the day was reserved for the biggest man in the talent-laden boxing ranks as Watford-born super heavyweight Joshua took on Cuban contender Erislandy Savon - the nephew of three-time Olympic gold medallist Felix Savon - in the final contest of the evening.
Joshua, who fights for Finchley ABC, was aiming to match the wins already posted by Anthony Ogogo, Fred Evans, Josh Taylor and most recently Campbell, who ground out a victory over Italian Jahyn Vittorio Parrinello only hours earlier.
As thunderous chants of "Team GB" reverberated around the venue, Joshua was powerful and bright as he immediately set out to command the centre of the ring and edged the opening round 6-5.
Joshua landed some stinging right hand shots in the second round but Savon, to his credit, returned those with similar force but less accuracy as the former claimed the round 8-7.
The third and final round descended into some salivating back-and-forth exchanges as the two super heavyweights threatened to unleash their undoubted power in front of a vocal crowd.
Joshua lost the round as the judges scored it 4-3 to Savon but had done enough to win the fight 17-16.
"It's all about staying calm," said the 6ft 6ins, 16-stone Joshua.
"Even though it's your home crowd you get in there and you zone in on something different. The atmosphere definitely spurred me on, but I was calmer than I thought in there.
"We were both whacking each other with shots, we kept fighting to the last bell and let the judges do the scoring.
"Savon is a tidy boxer, that being my first fight will put me in good stead for the rest. The atmosphere is unbelievable out there and I have to give them great respect."
Joshua steps back between the ropes on Monday to face Zhilei Zhang of China, who stopped Australian Johan Linde in the second round of their bout.
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