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Joe Joyce: ‘I thought I did enough’

David Haye
Action Images/Peter Cziborra
Joe Joyce is left to endure a bitter defeat to Tony Yoka in the Olympic super-heavyweight final, writes John Dennen

THE Olympic boxing tournament ended bitterly for British super-heavyweight Joe Joyce. He pressed France’s defensively-minded Tony Yoka, clattering hooks round his guard and powering the odd heavy cross through. Tony did tuck up tightly and pop out of his shell to land single jabs or right hands. It seemed that Joyce landed the greater weight of blows but by the last round was forced to chase the contest. The decision was split, but went to the Frenchman.

Joyce, understandably deflated, was adamant the victory should have been his. “I was working him to the body, working him to the head. I thought I was penetrating his guard. Maybe towards the end of a round he would nick a few shots but the majority of the work was done by me, working to the head and body,” Joe said. “I’d prefer to be the Olympic champion. I thought it was close [between them] at the World championships [in 2015]. I wasn’t as fit that time and I thought this time I was ready to put more than 100 per cent in but I didn’t come away with the gold medal.

“I thought I was landing a lot of shots at long range and then I was going in in close and hitting him with shots too. I thought I won the rounds, I will have to watch it back and that will give me a clearer opinion but I thought I did enough to win the gold medal.

“I thought I took it to him and I thought I would be coming back over the moon. People remember a gold medallist a lot more. We have beaten our target, we have beaten London, so in that respect it has been a great Games [for Team GB].”

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