Akraa, Yordanyan and Kiss delivered the main sensations of the quarter-finals at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships

22 June 2021 News

The fifth competition day was held at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy where the event continued with 36 quarter-finals. Akraa, Yordanyan and Kiss delivered the main sensations of the day in Roseto.

The men’s flyweight (52kg), bantamweight (56kg), lightweight (60kg), light welterweight (64kg), welterweight (69kg), middleweight (75kg), light heavyweight (81kg), heavyweight (91kg) and super heavyweight (+91kg) boxers were in action at the fifth competition day in Roseto. The winners of today’s contests advanced to the last four and all of them are guaranteed medallist in the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships.

The total number of U22 boxers is 285 in the first European continental event of the year including 92 young ladies. The Technical Delegate of the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships is Mr. Maxim Cherticovtsev of Moldova.

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales sent their boxers to the event.

The bout of the day

Hungary’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Levente Kiss is the youngest super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer in the competition but he has the rhythm against all of the boxers. The 19-year-old Hungarian was patient in the first round against Russia’s four-years-older U22 National Champion Ramazan Karnukayev. After the opening tactical round, Kiss turned up the heat in the beginning of the second round and he landed the better punches in their top contest. The Russian had similar tactic and tried to use his height advantage but Kiss reached him with quick hooks and jabs. The third round delivered a fantastic period between them and the younger Hungarian was able to beat the Russian in an amazing contest.

The surprises of the day

Netherlands’ Mustafa Akraa is a newcomer in their national team but he exceeded all of the previous expectations with his performance in Roseto degli Abruzzi. The Dutch lightweight (60kg) boxer used in-fighting style against Armenia’s Zhorzhik Marutyan and he tried to handle their quarter-final from close distance. Akraa, who trains with coach Waleed Shekho, had strong weapons against the more experienced Armenian and his skills were enough to control all of the three rounds. The new hope secured a medal for the Netherlands which was highly unexpected in the championship.

Georgia’s Artyom Yordanyan is an experienced boxer in the international stage but he had to meet with France’s EUBC European Youth Champion Wilfried Florentin in the quarter-finals of the heavyweight (91kg). The 20-year-old French has got extreme tempo in comparison to his opponents but Yordanyan surprised him with an intense rhythm in the first round. The Georgian landed tough hooks and jabs in the first minutes and he tried to follow that impressive game play in the second. The Georgian boxer felt the rhythm also in the third round and eliminated the gold medal contender in Roseto causing a surprise.

The Round-Up

Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Youth Champion Yasen Radev lost his first preliminary contest in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce two months ago therefore he arrived with strong motivation to Roseto degli Abruzzi. The 19-year-old Bulgarian had a hard job first against Spain’s Joan Manuel Torres Valdez but he proved stronger performance in the quarter-finals against Italy’s Patrick Cappai. The Bulgarian flyweight (52kg) boxer worked from longer distance despite of the fact he was smaller than the Italian but his tough job guaranteed for him a success.

Azerbaijan’s former EUBC European Youth Champion Ruslan Rustamov and Germany’s David Gevorgian has got same fighting style therefore both boxers were patient in the first round of their light welterweight (64kg) quarter-final. The more experienced Azeri boxer started the first round slightly better but Gevorgian found the best fighting distance in the second and he had some advantage before the last three minutes. Rustamov received a warning in the second round which increased his motivation in the third and he was able to turn back their tight battle in Roseto.

France’s Ibrahim Boukedim claimed bronze medal at the 2019 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships and proved strong developments this year. The 20-year-old French flyweight (52kg) boxer used his special stance and quick footwork against Ukraine’s Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Maksym Halinichev in the first round which delivered tiny differences between them. The Ukrainian tried to control the bout better in the second and he landed his counter-punches with perfect timing. Halinichev produced his best round in the third and eliminated one of the favourites in the U22 championships.

Belgium’s Zakaria Boudhi stopped his first rival in the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships but he expected a more difficult fight against Romania’s Cosmin Girleanu who qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The former AIBA Junior World Champion Romanian had the same tactical job as Russia’s Akhtem Zakirov, he had to keep the Belgian on short range to catch him. Girleanu, who uses the competition as active preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games, had tough hooks and jabs in the first round. The 22-year-old Romanian proved strong performance in Roseto degli Abruzzi and secure a medal for his proud nation.

Italy’s Gianluigi Malanga proved his confident style in the previous rounds of the welterweight (69kg) in Roseto degli Abruzzi and the 23-year-old boxer tried to keep the best fighting distance against Armenia’s Armen Mashakaryan. The Italian, who was member already of their national team at the Yekaterinburg 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships, kept his focus and used his longer hands well. The 22-year-old Armenian moved ahead without any stoppage therefore Malanga was busy until the end of the final gong. The Italian controlled the last round well enough and claimed a medal for the host country.

Georgia’s Artyush Gomtsyan is the Seed No.1 at the lightweight (60kg) who proved that he is a better boxer than Moldova’s Victor Vacula. The experienced Georgian claimed bronze already at the 2018 European Union Boxing Championships in Valladolid and he is now a medallist once again in a big event. Gomtsyan was smaller than his Moldovan rival but he moved closer to his opponent several times to land dangerous hooks. He produced his best round in the second and his clear dominancy paid off in their unequal contest.

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