Earlsfield’s Joe Joyce welcomed his place in history as he won gold in the super heavyweight class at the first ever European Games in Baku today.
The 29-year-old Commonwealth Games gold medalist beat Russia’s Hasan Gimbatov 3:0 in a fiery encounter.
As a result of reaching the final, Joyce qualified for the World Championships in Doha later this year, another step towards next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.
“I won the European Games and became a part of history. I’m the first super heavyweight champion of the European Games,” he said.
“It feels great. Brilliant. This is really good stuff.
“I knew that he was much shorter than me, so I had the reach advantage. It is the first time I have beaten a Russian boxer. It’s something to build on.”
Joyce looked shaky at the start, with the fourth seed Russian landing several heavy punches to take the first round with unanimity.
But, despite a free pass through the semi-finals due to Azerbajan’s Magomedrasul Majidov’s injury, Gimbatov began to look fatigued as Joyce fought back to take the second round.
The third round saw 6’6” Joyce take a clear advantage with some incessant jabs, taking the round by three points to win the bout and claim Great Britain’s 16th gold medal and 40th overall of the Games.