Joyce digs deep to set up final with Gimbatov

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Baku, June 25, AZERTAC

Great Britain's Joe Joyce needed to dig deep and be patient to beat France's Tony Yoka and reach the super-heavyweight (+91kg) final on Thursday.

Joyce could not repeat the first-round victories he achieved in his two previous wins, as Yoka proved a far more elusive target.

The British boxer stalked the Frenchman through the first two rounds and although Yoka rallied in the third, Joyce had already built up to a safe points win.

"Yoka's been around forever, he's very experienced, skilful and slick, so I had my work cut out to close him down," said Joyce. "He's the best fighter I've met in this competition."

Joyce will face Gasan Gimbatov in the final after the Russian progressed on a walkover when world champion and tournament favourite Mahammadrasul Majidov of Azerbaijan failed the pre-bout medical exam because of a cut eye.

The women's light welterweight (60-64kg) semi-final saw a repeat of the 2014 world championship final – and the same result.

Russia's Anastasiia Beliakova out-punched Great Britain's Sandy Ryan and will face Valentina Alberti, one of four Italians to reach finals, for gold.

Italy's Marzia Davide will compete for the women's bantamweight (51-54kg) crown, while compatriots Vincenzo Picardi and Vincenzo Mangiacapre reached the men's flyweight (52kg) and men's light welterweight (64kg) finals, respectively.

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