Agejev, Sapun, Morovati and Croft boxed over their previous levels and marched to the next stage in Yerevan

25 May 2022 News

Top quality of preliminary contests were held in the second competition day of the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia. Serbia’s Artjom Agejev and Ukraine’s Ivan Sapun eliminated seeded boxers in the championship but Wales’ Garan Croft and Finland’s Sam Morovati also impressed on Day2.

Boxers at the bantamweight (54kg), light welterweight (63.5kg), welterweight (67kg), light middleweight (71kg), light heavyweight (80kg) and super heavyweight (+92kg) competed in the second day of boxing. The winners at the bantamweight (54kg) and at the light heavyweight (80kg) are already quarter-finalists in Yerevan.

Altogether 219 boxers from 39 nations are fighting for the 52 available medals in the Armenian capital. The EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships holds at the 13 official weight categories: 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63.5kg, 67kg, 71kg, 75kg, 80kg, 86kg, 92kg and +92kg. Mr. Adam Kusior of Poland is the Technical Delegate of the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan.

The EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships will continue with two sessions and 35 Round of 16 bouts at the Karen Demirchyan Sports Complex on Wednesday.   

The bout of the day

Switzerland’s lone boxer in Yerevan, Adam Messibah is also a 19-year-old talent at the light middleweight (71kg) as Finland’s Sam Morovati. The Swiss boxer won several youth tournaments last year and he is one of their biggest talents from the recent years but he looked nervous in the first round against Wales’ EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships silver medallist Garan Croft. The 21-year-old Welshman is taller than many of the opponents but Messibah’s physical skills are very similar therefore Croft had to change his tactics. Messibah have never boxed such top rival as Croft but he adopted the rhythm and performed strongly in the second round. The Welshman had to keep his focus in the third round to win this difficult contest and eliminated Switzerland’s only hope in Yerevan.

The surprise of the day

Spain’s Gazimagomed Jalidov was seeded No.1 at the light heavyweight (80kg) and he opened the first round against Serbia’s Artjom Agejev with strong punches. The experienced Spaniard had the advantage in all of the scorecards after three minutes but the ex-Russian Agejev had strong attempts in the second round. Both boxers landed strong hooks in the same time during the second round and Jalidov went down to the floor. That moment was the turning point of their contest today and the confident Serbian managed to win the decisive third round eliminating the top boxer of the weight class. Ukraine’s Ivan Sapun bowed out another seeded boxer in this weight category, Slovakia’s EUBC European Union Champion Andrej Csemez.

The Round-Up

Armenia’s Janik Sahakyan lives and trains in a small town at the countryside and he needed almost 10 years to be selected to the top national team. Following his silver and bronze medals in the National Championships, Sahakyan finally earned gold this year. The Armenian bantamweight (54kg) boxer had the strong motivation to show his skills in front of the local fans today. His opponent, Ukraine’s Yelmir Nabiyev had different strategy, he tried to land counter-punches in the first round from longer distance. The Armenian is newcomer in the international stage, he had the strong fighting spirit and stamina but Nabiyev’s tactics worked better today.   

Slovakia’s Viliam Tanko opened the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships with a success on Day1 and his teammate Michal Takacs was planning to continue that pathway in the second session of the event. The 25-year-old Slovakian moved up to the light middleweight (71kg) and he expected a hard battle against Armenia’s youngest team member, Narek Zakharyan. Takacs moved a lot on feet to avoid the attacks of the 19-year-old Armenian boxer and his game plan worked well in the first round. The Armenian teenager felt the distance better in the second but Takacs had the fantastic comeback in the third to win their tight bout today.

Finland’s Sam Morovati is a fantastic 19-year-old talent who won their Elite National Championships after his junior and youth successes. He was confident in the recent international competitions but this EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships is his first major event. The Finnish teenager had some difficulties in the first round against Serbia’s Sandro Poletan but from the second, he found his best rhythm and proved better boxing in their light middleweight (71kg) meeting. Morovati landed several nice combinations and his defensive skills were better than the Serbian boxer which delivered Finland’s first success in the event.

Moldova’s Davron Bozorov has excellent technical skills and he found his best category the light middleweight (71kg). After a few years of hard work, the Moldovan received the right to participate in such a big event as the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships. The 22-year-old boxer started strongly against Estonia’s Pavel Kamanin and he landed shots from all of the possible angles. Following the impressive first round, the Baltic boxer returned to the contest in the second and remained his chance alive to win the bout. Bozorov was fresh in the third round to increase his tempo and eliminated the Estonian today. His teammate, Alexei Zavatin eliminated Bulgaria’s Cuban-descent Yordan Alain Hernandez and marched to the last 16 at the super heavyweight (+92kg).

Italy’s Salvatore Cavallaro is a well-known name in the international championships but another boxer joined their elite national team with the same name. Salvatore Cavallaro II represented Italy in all of the major youth championships in 2018 and in 2019 and Yerevan is his debut among the elite boxers. The Italian light middleweight (71kg) boxer shocked Scotland’s Stephen Newns in the first round when the referee counted his rival. Cavallaro received punches from the Scottish boxer in the second when Newns changes his tactics therefore the final verdict depended on their performance in the last round.

Netherlands’ Tony Jas won two contests at the 2015 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships and after five years of break, he returned to the world of boxing. The Dutch light middleweight (71kg) boxer was confident in the first round against Montenegro’s Stefan Savkovic and he had the advantage on the scorecards. Jas landed the stronger shots in the second round and caught the Montenegrin in the middle of the period. The ringside doctor finished the contest due to Savkovic’s injury and Jas will now meet a strong English rival in the next Round of 16. His teammate, EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships silver medallist Gradus Kraus advanced to the last eight of the light heavyweight (80kg) during the evening session after beating his Greek rival.

England’s Joseph Tyers is member of their next generations and he had strong results in the preparation tournaments this year. The English faced Ireland’s Brandon McCarthy in a unique contest at the light welterweight (63.5kg) and he found his rhythm earlier than his young rival. The Irish boxer was aggressive in the second round but Tyers handled this tactical change in time to win the second round too. McCarthy had excellent years in 2018 and in 2019 among the youth boxers but Tyers’ technical skills were too much for him today.

Hungary’s Istvan Gerzsenyi and Koppany Feher won their contests in the afternoon session and their teammate, Milan Fodor continued the winning path. The experienced welterweight (67kg) boxer started the first round slowly against Bulgaria’s Vensan Kirkorov but he found the best distance in time in the beginning of the second. The 29-year-old Hungarian wanted to win this fight, he had the strong motivation today and his third round was impressive. Fodor destroyed Kirkorov’s defence in the final minutes, the referee counted the Bulgarian twice which determined the result of the contest.

Dmitri Cosciug defeated AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Andrei Chiriacov in the final of their annual Moldovan National Championships and after that success, he was selected to attend in Yerevan. Cosciug was more than 10cm taller than Armenia’s Hambardzum Hakobyan and he used his distance effectively in the first round. The Armenian caught Cosciug with tough body shots in the middle of the second round and his physical condition was the difference today. The smaller Hakobyan produced a remarkable last round against the exhausted Cosciug and marched to the quarter-finals in Yerevan.

The quotes of the day

“There was only one strategy for the fight, to go and win it. We know what we are fighting for and we know what these victories are for. It is important for all of us to show Ukraine’s strength in this championship. I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent my country in this fantastic arena,” commented his success Ukraine’s Yelmir Nabiyev.

“We checked our Armenian opponent yesterday and my coaches knew what could be successful against him. After the second round my coaches calmed me down and I changed my tempo to win this contest. I needed this strong final round to eliminate my young Armenian opponent,” said Slovakia’s Michal Takacs after the bout.

“I am still a beginner in this elite level but I will try to do my best in this championship and to be a top name in the future. I turned to 19 only last week and I know that I have to still learn a lot. I had excellent preparations in Assisi and in the United Kingdom where I met strong sparring partners. The Serbian was so experienced but I managed to win this difficult contest,” said Finland’s new teenage hope, Sam Morovati.

“The opening bout is always very difficult in any of the championships and I was nervous today. The first round was good enough but my Swiss opponent came back with good shots in the second. It was a tight and hard opening but I am looking forward to my next fight in Yerevan,” said Wales’ Garan Croft after his tough opening.

“This is my first championship and I am so happy that I can represent Moldova in this event for the first time. I was nervous and my second round was not the best but I found the way in the third to win my contest,” added Moldova’s Davron Bozorov.

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