Send us news, start your message Messenger News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Boxers ready for gold medal clash
5:17pm Friday 10th August 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
Luke Campbell will square off against old foe and family friend John Joe Nevin as he aims to fulfil his lifelong ambition of winning an Olympic gold medal in the men's bantamweight final at ExCeL tomorrow.
The Hull 24-year-old eased past Japan's Satoshi Shimizu 20-11 in their semi-final to set up a third career meeting with Ireland's Nevin - a stunning 19-14 winner over Cuba's reigning world champion Lazaro Alvarez Estrada.
But the dream is over for Lowestoft middleweight Anthony Ogogo, who must settle for picking up a bronze medal tomorrow after he was floored twice on his way to a 16-9 defeat to powerful Brazilian Esquiva Falcao.
Campbell's relationship with Nevin goes beyond their two previous bouts, in which Nevin triumphed comfortably in the 2009 EU Championships and the Hull man edged their last meeting on countback at last year's World Championships.
Campbell said: "I've got family in Ireland who know Nevin's family. We all know he's a great fighter, and he's always been one of my major threats. I expected this final before the tournament, and it's all about me getting it right in the ring tomorrow."
Campbell has improved with every fight in the competition and started a heavy favourite against Shimizu, who was fortunate to reach the last four at all after having his farcical apparent loss to Magomed Abdulhamidov in round two overturned on appeal.
The 26-year-old had made the most of his second chance, reaching the medal rounds with a close win over Algeria's Mohamed Ouadahi, but world silver medallist Campbell was strongly favoured to progress.
Campbell, who had started sluggishly in his opening win over Jahyn Parrinello, dispatched a straight left in the opening moments but it was immediately clear the gangly Shimizu was not going to prove a pushover.
Few other bantamweights tower over Campbell, and Shimizu used his extra reach to good effect behind a ramrod jab, making it hard for the Hull man to employ his usual counter-punching style to such winning effect.
A jolting left did hit home in the dying seconds of the opening round, giving him a solid 5-2 advantage, and Campbell was much improved in the second, finding his range to better effect as he soared into an 11-6 lead.
And Campbell looked even more dominant in the last, landing shots from either hand with ease as Shimizu seemed to accept his fate, Campbell finishing in style with right hooks that jolted the Japanese fighter's head back.
Campbell added: "It's always the case that I get better in each fight in a tournament, and it all depends what style you've got in front of you. It's important that you are able to adapt in order to beat them all.
"It's all about the gold medal for me now, but I'm proud of what I've done so far and I'm happy to make my family proud and my little lad and my home town of Hull. The support I have received from home and in the arena has been amazing."
Ogogo, whose Olympic build-up was marred by a serious illness suffered by his mother, admitted he would find some pride in taking home a bronze medal after going down to Falcao, the man who also beat him in last year's World Championships.
After two cagey rounds which the Brazilian edged by three points, Ogogo was decked by a straight left seconds into round three, and was fortunate to see out the contest after also being dumped by a flurry as the Brazilian ran out an easy winner.
Ogogo said: "I was bit tired because I've had such a tough journey to get here. It's disappointing because I've beaten better fighters than him, but he boxed well and nobody could fault me for my effort today.
"Getting here was an ordeal for me, and then getting such a tough draw was also an ordeal. He's had easier fights and you could tell that today. I'm gutted that I couldn't bring home a medal but maybe it will happen next time.
"Obviously I've found it very hard and mentally tiring, but I'm not blaming that. It made it harder but I didn't turn up on the day. I have to look at it that I'm taking home a bronze medal, and that's something a lot of very good fighters haven't got."