London 2012 Olympics: Middleweight Anthony Ogogo assured of medal
ANTHONY Ogogo joined Luke Campbell and Nicola Adams in guaranteeing a boxing medal for Great Britain with a 15-10 win over Germany’s Stefan Hartel in the middleweight quarter-finals at ExCeL last nght.
Ogogo battled well against a tough opponent who had some success with right hands in the opening round, but the Lowestoft man’s solid guard and crisp counter-shots gave him an early 5-2 advantage on the judges’ cards.
Ogoego extended his lead by a further point as he produced the cleaner work in the third, a right and left combination stopping the German in his tracks, although Hartel reminded Ogogo of his danger with a right hand in the dying seconds. Roared on by another capacity crowd, Ogogo succeeded in largely repelling the German’s advances in the third and final round, tying him up in clinches as Hartel bulled forward, swinging shots, then unloading a pair of big right hands in the final moments.
Adams guaranteed Great Britain’s first women’s boxing medal with victory over Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova at Excel, but there was disappointment for Natasha Jonas and Savannah Marshall who both crashed out. Adams boxed superbly to secure a 16-7 win and book at least a bronze medal, with a place in the Olympic final at stake tomorrow when she will face irresistible Indian Mary Kom in a guaranteed flyweight thriller. Jonas produced a proud performance in losing 26-15 to the seemingly unbeatable four-time world champion Katie Taylor from Ireland, in front a crowd whose noise levels were recorded at 113.7 – officially the loudest of the Games so far. But there was a shocking loss for world champion Marshall, rated as the hosts’ best hope of boxing gold, who produced a flat-footed and lethargic performance in going down 16-12 to Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan.
For Adams, victory and a guaranteed medal was rich reward for a fighter who fought for years in the shadows, dreaming of the day she might be allowed to follow in the footsteps of her hero Muhammad Ali and go to the Olympics.
Adams said: “I had to get an ‘Ali shuffle’ in there, I’ve watched so many of his fights and videos. I was enjoying every moment and it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you’ve got to suck up the atmosphere. I haven’t even had time to think about becoming the first British woman to win an Olympic boxing medal. All I know is I’ve got at least a bronze medal in my back pocket and it feels great. But I want to go home with a different colour.”
The Leeds 29-year-old was simply too sharp for her Bulgarian opponent, and will now face five-time world champion Kom in the semi-finals. Jonas said she was proud to be a pioneer for women’s boxing after seeing her Olympic dream shattered by the irresistible Taylor, whose thousands of fans in attendance made ExCeL a corner of Ireland and created an atmosphere to match anything at the Games so far. Jonas boxed bravely against Taylor, holding her own for the first two rounds before the Irish fighter’s sheer tenacity saw her force two standing counts in the last two rounds and ultimately cruise through to the semi-finals.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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