Alen Rahimic and Shpetim Bajoku are the best boxers at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament24 September 2019
The next edition of the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Talijan Memorial Tournament was held in the capital city of Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo in the recent days. The tournament was held at the Dom Mladih Skenderija which is the traditional venue of the event. Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Alen Rahimic and Kosovo’s Shpetim Bajoku proved the best performances in the finals of the tournament.
Mustafa Hajrulahovic Talijan was Bosnia & Herzegovina’s hero in the end of the last century and a new boxing tournament was named after him which shows his high popularity in Sarajevo. Bosnia & Herzegovina hosted the Euro Cup on March and the Mostar International Youth Tournament on May this year while their third international competition was the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Talijan Memorial Tournament.
Bout of the finals
Alen Rahimic started his boxing career in Germany but he has been representing Bosnia & Herzegovina in the international competitions since 2017. The 21-year-old talent, who attended in the last editions of the European Games and all EUBC Championships, eliminated Slovenia’s experienced Tadej Cernoga in the semi-finals of the lightweight (60kg). Following that superb success, Rahimic was able to repeat that performance against Kosovo’s Besfort Merlaku in the final of the tournament. The young Bosnian used his aggressive and pressurizing tactic to land clear punches and not only defeated his Kosovan rival but defended his throne and he was awarded the Best Boxer Trophy as well.
Surprise of the finals
Montenegro has got strong junior and youth boxers who are competitive in the top international events but their elite squad is still young and inexperienced. Their 19-year-old Milovan Sekulovic could be one of their future prospects who lost to Kosovo’s strong Besart Pireva in the Vllaznia Memorial Tournament in Albania this April. EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships bronze medallist Sekulovic had to meet in the final of the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament with Pireva once again but this time his tactic worked better and has done a revenge due the previous loss.
Kosovo’s Shpetim Bajoku joined to the elite age group only this January but he was quickly selected to represent his country at the Minsk 2019 European Games. The 19-year-old teenager has been attending in the international events since 2015 and his excellent footwork paid off in the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament as well. The Kosovan boxer moved up to the light welterweight (64kg) and controlled his fights against Turkey’s Osman Kadara and Croatia’s Dominik Gubo achieving the Best Boxing Technique Award besides to his gold medal.
Kosovo’s Patriot Behrami is also a young prospect who attended in the Minsk 2019 European Games and many other big events in spite of his age of 20. The Kosovan welterweight (69kg) boxer claimed bronze medal in the last edition of the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament which he changed into gold this time. Behrami was enough strong to beat Germany’s Dave Junior Omar Obas which final was one of the best fights of the whole tournament.
The Croatian teenagers produced excellent performance in the 2018 edition of the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament and two of their boxers won the titles in Sarajevo over the weekend. Zvonimir Rebolj was too strong for Germany’s Daniel Wolski in the final of the heavyweight (91kg), before EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships bronze medallist Luka Pratljacic defeated Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Rijad Karic in the title bout of the super heavyweight (+91kg).