Olympics boxing: Never say die spirit helped Anthony Joshua

By Matt SlaterBBC Sport at ExCeL

A "never say die" spirit was the inspiration for Anthony Joshua's stirring gold medal win.

The Briton trailed Italian Roberto Cammarelle by three points going into the last round of Sunday's final.

But Joshua threw everything at the defending champion and won the gold on countback after judges scored it 18-18.

"I've been watching the film '300' a lot - it's about the Spartans and their moral of 'never give up, never surrender'," he said.

"It was like that in the third round - it got tough, but I never gave up, I kept pushing to the last gasp."

Cammarelle's corner, angry at the result, immediately lodged an appeal, and the victory ceremony was held up for 30 minutes while the cards were re-checked.

When a bout is tied after three rounds, the cards of all five judges are examined, with the top and bottom score each boxer received in each round being thrown out. The remaining three scores for each round are added up to give a countback total.

"I knew I was down, so I had to throw more punches, and I was catching him with straight shots down the middle," the 22-year-old Londoner said.

"There have been a lot of appeals here, but my job is to do the fighting in the ring, and the judges then decide who the winner is.

"I like to dominate fights but all credit to Cammarelle, he likes to do the same and he's a great champion. I'm just very happy to be Olympic champion."

That is some achievement for a man who only took up the sport late into his teenage years.

"I can't remember where I was during the Beijing Olympics, but for sure I wasn't into boxing," he added.

Joshua can now expect plenty of offers from promoters to turn professional, but insists he is in no great hurry to do so.

"Money isn't the main thing, I'm happy," said Joshua.

"These memories from London are priceless, and I'm pleased to have met my team-mates and all the coaches and support staff.

"I just want to box and improve. If that's best done as an amateur, that's great."