Harrison: Joshua has great gold chance

Anthony Joshua, left, has been praised by both Audley Harrison and David Price

Anthony Joshua, left, has been praised by both Audley Harrison and David Price

First published in National Sport © by

Former Olympians Audley Harrison and David Price are confident Anthony Joshua can secure his reputation as Great Britain's next super-heavyweight star by sealing gold at London 2012.

Joshua is one of five Team GB boxers to be guaranteed a medal after reaching the semi-finals of the Olympic boxing competition. Speaking to promote their bout in Liverpool yesterday, both Harrison and Price found time to throw their weight behind 22-year-old Joshua, who meets Kazakhstan's Ivan Dychko next.

"I rate him a lot," Harrison said. "He's young and hasn't got a lot of experience, but what he has is tremendous ability and I'm really looking forward to him going all the way."

He added: "He has a great chance of winning the gold. He's got to go out there and earn it - they're not going to give it to him - but he has a great chance. The world's at his feet. I'm going down there for the semis and the finals and I'm really looking forward to seeing our boxers perform."

"I think Joshua's got his name on the medal - he's destined to win that medal the way things have gone with him," Price said, with Joshua's narrow round-of-16 triumph over skilful Cuban Erislandy Savon in mind.

"He's a great talent. To be an Olympian in its own right is a fantastic achievement, so to get a medal and potentially win the gold after such a short period of being a boxer, he is, without doubt, a massive talent."

Nicola Adams takes on China's three-time world champion Ren Cancan in her bid for flyweight gold on Thursday, while bantamweight Luke Campbell, welterweight Fred Evans and middleweight Anthony Ogogo are in last-four action on Friday alongside Joshua.

Although Great Britain's boxing team will take a record-equalling five medals away from the London Olympics, the feat was tinged with sadness after a heart-breaking light-welterweight defeat for Thomas Stalker at ExCeL.

World number one Stalker lost a quality contest against veteran Mongolian Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg, leaving himself too much to do in a frantic final round and ultimately coming out on the wrong end of a 23-22 verdict.

If it was one of the finest men's contests of the competition so far, it will come as no solace to Stalker, who was clearly heartbroken as he left the ring, and whose team's appeal of the verdict was rebuffed by AIBA's competition committee.

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