Ardian Azemi delivered Northern Macedonia’s first success in the Emil Jechev Youth & Junior Memorial Tournament

03 April 2019 News

The second competition day of the Emil Jechev Youth & Junior Memorial Tournament was taking place in Botevgrad. Three sessions completed the day which saw several top fights on both junior and youth age groups. Netherlands’ Gradus Kraus won the bout of the day while Northern Macedonia won its first bout under the new name of the country.

The tournament is dedicated to Mr. Emil Jechev the former President of the European Boxing Association and AIBA Vice-President. Mr. Academician Prof. Emil Zhechev passed away in Sofia in July 2015 at the age of 88. Mr. Academician Prof. Emil Zhechev devoted his whole life to serve Bulgaria’s and the world’s boxing life. He had an outstanding reputation in the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Boxing Association (AIBA) and all of the regional sport associations in Europe and in Bulgaria.

Eighteen countries from three Confederations arrived to compete in the Emil Jechev Youth & Junior Memorial Tournament including Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, United States of America, India, Brazil, France and Romania. The total number of boxers in the event is 166 and the young hopes are able to attend in 13 junior and 10 youth weight classes.

Bout of the day

Netherlands arrived with a smaller team to the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament but the quality of their boxers is at least European class. Following Brian Vossen’s great opening in the first competition day, their Gradus Kraus also impressed in Bulgaria. The Dutch welterweight (69kg) boxer attended in his first international event still in 2014 but his skills have been developing significantly since last year. The 18-year-old Dutch youth boxer had to meet with Italy’s experienced Salvatore Cavallaro which was a top pair of the preliminary round. Kraus’ effectiveness was higher in their exchanges which decided their narrow fight in the second competition day.

Surprises of the day

India’s Nations Junior Cup winner Keisham Sanjit Singh was named as the Best Asian Junior Boxer in 2018. As he was born in 2003, he is still in the junior age group this year and started road at the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament with a quick success over Bulgaria’s Stefan Marinov. The top Indian boxer had to face in the next round with Kazakhstan’s newly crowned Junior National Champion Bekzat Aldazharov but he was not able to find his rhythm in time. The Kazakh pinweight (46kg) boxer shocked Keisham Sanjit Singh in their contest and delivered a surprise on Day2.

The Round-up

Sweden’s best youth and junior boxers are attending in the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament and following Hampus Broman’s success on Day1 their newcomer Emanuel Ryttersson was strong in the next session. The 15-year-old light welterweight (63kg) talent was better in all aspects of boxing than Bulgaria’s Blagovest Mai and celebrated his triumph on his first big international event.

Northern Macedonia is the new official name of the previously known Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and their boxers are attending in the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament. Their top junior Ardian Azemi, who attended in the last edition of the EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Anapa, controlled the first round against Bulgaria’s Martin Bebov. The North Macedonian heavyweight (+80kg) talent increased his aggressiveness in the second round and the referee stopped the bout following Azemi’s serious blows.

Bulgaria’s William Cholov is a native talent in our sport, he joined to boxing three years ago but since then he became EUBC European Schoolboys Champion and EUBC European Junior Champion. Billy, which is his nickname, attends at the light middleweight (70kg) in the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament and had to box against such strong opponent as Kazakhstan’s Rakhimzhan Shanzharkhan first. The best Bulgarian junior won all of the rounds in each scorecard and marched to the next stage of the event.

United States arrived to the event with their best youth boxers and lightweight (60kg) hope Ernesto Mercado introduced his strength in the second competition day. The US boxer had advantage against Russia’s Danil Gabov after the first round but in the second he knocked out his technician rival. Following Mercado’s KO success another top bout was held in this category which was won by Italy’s Emanuele Massimo Santini against Brazil’s Youth National Champion Reis Oliveira.

Wales amazed all coaches in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament in Lithuania with their three gold medals last month. Taylor Bevan claimed the title of the welterweight (69kg) in Vilnius a few weeks ago and he is attending at the Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament as well. The super strong Welshman dominated the first two rounds against Romania’s Alexandru Badea and finally he was able to stop his opponent. The young Welsh boxer continued his amazing winning path and he has all of the skills and potential to win his weight class in Bulgaria as well.



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