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Rio Olympics: Disappointed Joe Joyce sees no silver lining in final defeat

By Mark Staniforth

Joe Joyce fell short in his bid to become Great Britain's 28th and final gold medallist of the Rio Olympics after losing his super-heavyweight final to Tony Yoka at Riocentro.

The ringside judges favoured Yoka's cleaner work over Joyce's strength and aggression by split decision, and the verdict was greeted by a number of boos.

Yoka's greater accuracy found the favour of the judges leaving Joyce with little hope in the last but to press for a knockout.

Joyce's style had been derided by Yoka in the build-up to the final, with the Frenchman describing him as a "robot" and questioning his punching power.

The pair had unfinished business after a controversial World Championship semi-final in Doha last year, when Yoka was controversially given the verdict and went on to win the title.

Joyce was the aggressor in the opener, landing first with a nice right hand, and pushing forward looking to squeeze shots through his opponent's tight guard.

The heavier shots continued to come in from the Briton, but Yoka enjoyed persistent success behind his left jab, which was enough to shade it on two of the three judges' cards.

Joyce continued his relentless push forward in the second, with Yoka a little looser and relying more on snaking counter-shots, again catching the judges' eyes.

It effectively meant Joyce needed a knockout to win the last, and despite his best efforts Yoka survived to take the victory on two of the three judges' cards.

Joyce could not disguise his disappointment at missing out on a final Team GB gold medal.

He said: "I thought I would be in a different mood coming in to here but I am walking away with a silver medal so just disappointing. I thought I'd be walking in here loud and proud with a gold.

"I gave it my all I thought, I landed the shots, penetrated his guard. I'm not sure what they were scoring. I thought I landed a lot more shots.

"I've come a long way, I've walked away with a medal."

Belfast Telegraph


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