Arnold Vanderlyde won gold for the Netherlands after 40 years of break at the Torino 1987 European Boxing Championships24 July 2020
The 27th edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in the Torino, North Italy where the Soviet Union returned to the top of the medal table. The host country of the event the Italians achieved only five bronze medals, all of their semi-finalists were eliminated. Netherlands’ Arnold Vanderlyde was the lone Western European boxer who won gold medal at the Torino 1987 European Boxing Championships.
Milan hosted the European Boxing Championships twice in 1937 and in 1951 while Rome welcomed the participants in 1967. Torino became the third Italian city which could host a European Boxing Championships.
The first competition day of the 1987 European Boxing Championships was May 30 in Torino while the finals were held on June 6. The rest day of the competition was held after the semi-finals on June 5. There were two rounds of preliminaries at the featherweight (57kg), at the lightweight (60kg), at the light welterweight (63.5kg), at the light middleweight (71kg) and at the middleweight (75kg) in the 1987 European Boxing Championships.
The total number of the boxers in 12 weight classes was 178 in the Torino 1987 European Boxing Championships. The following 25 nations attended in the 1987 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, England, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, West Germany and Yugoslavia.
Five Eastern bloc countries as Bulgaria, East Germany Hungary, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia attended with maximum number of 12 boxers in the Torino 1987 European Boxing Championships. Belgium and Switzerland returned to the competition following their absence in the previous editions.
The Soviet Union earned five gold, five silver and one bronze medal which meant only one boxer Anatoliy Filippov was unable to get a podium place out of the 12-strong team. The East Germans achieved five gold medals in 1985 and their boxers won four in the 1987 Torino edition.
Bulgaria ranked No.3 in the medal table with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals while the Dutch delegation also won one weight class in Torino. Hungary, Poland, Italy, Romania, Denmark, Finland, Yugoslavia, England, Sweden and Turkey were also on the medal table increasing the number of successful nations up to 14.
Soviet Union’s Armenian boxer Nshan Munchyan won their National Championships and following that success, he was able to beat Bulgaria’s Krasimir Cholakov in the final of the light flyweight (48kg). East Germany’s Dieter Berg won the title of the flyweight (51kg) in 1985 and his teammate who replaced him, Andreas Tews claimed the gold two years later. He was only 18 and half during the Torino 1987 European Boxing Championships but his skills were enough to beat Italy’s favourite Andrea Mannai and Hungary’s Moscow 1980 Olympic Games bronze medallist Janos Varadi in the final phases of the event.
Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Hristov was silver medallist in the 1985 edition which he changed into gold in 1987. The Bulgarian bantamweight (54kg) boxer defeated East Germany’s European Champion Rene Breitbarth in the semi-finals and continued his winning path against Soviet Union’s AIBA World Champion Yuriy Aleksandrov. The Soviet Union’s second title was achieved by another Armenian boxer, Mikhail Kazaryan who controlled his final over Hungary’s Laszlo Szoke at the featherweight (57kg).
Soviet Union’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Orzubek Nazarov was 21 during the Torino event but he had all of the experiences to beat Hungary’s Abel Csikos, Ireland’s Michael Carruth, Romania’s Daniel Maeran and Bulgaria’s two-time defending champion Emil Todorov Chuprenski. The Kyrgyz boxer knew his Bulgarian opponent in the final and celebrated the gold medal of the lightweight (60kg) in Torino. The next Bulgarian finalist Borislav Abadzhiev succeeded who changed his previous bronze from Budapest into a gold in Torino after beating Soviet Union’s Belarusian Vyacheslav Yanovskiy.
East Germany’s Siegfried Mehnert claimed the gold medal of the light welterweight (63.5kg) in 1985 and advanced to the final of the welterweight (67kg) in Torino. The 24-year-old East German boxer was near to beat Soviet Union’s Vasiliy Shishov in their hectic final but the experienced Russian landed enough punches to celebrate his third European title. In the next Soviet Union vs. East Germany final the result was the opposite, following Enrico Richter defeated Viktor Egorov at the light middleweight (71kg).
East Germany’s best boxer Henry Maske earned silver in 1983 and gold in 1985 therefore he was the main favourite at the middleweight (75kg) in Torino. The 23-year-old No.1 defeated Poland’s lone finalist Henryk Petrich for the title while Finland’s tough Esa Hukkanen claimed bronze medal in the event. Soviet Union’s Nurmagomed Shanavazov won the light heavyweight (81kg) in 1985 and his replacement Latvia-based Yuriy Vaulin continued the winning path of the boxing power in Torino.
Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games bronze medallist Arnold Vanderlyde eliminated Bulgaria’s promising Svilen Rusinov in the semi-finals and he was better than Soviet Union’s Grozniy-based Ramzan Sebiyev in the final of the heavyweight (91kg). The 24-year-old Dutch southpaw became the only Western European boxer who claimed gold medal in Torino. Vanderlyde’s gold medal was the first for the Netherlands after 40 years of hiatus when Hennie Quentemeijer won title for the Dutch team.
AIBA World Champion Aleksandr Yagubkin claimed third-in-a-row European title at the heavyweight (91kg) between 1981 and 1985. The 26-year-old Ukrainian boxer moved up to the super heavyweight (+91kg) and advanced to his fourth European final in Torino. He had to meet in the final with East Germany’s Ulli Kaden who eliminated Italy’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Biaggio Chianese in the semi-finals. Yagubkin gave in everything but the experienced Kaden was slightly better in their fantastic final.
List of the winners in the 1987 European Boxing Championships
- Light flyweight (48kg): Nshan Munchyan, Soviet Union
- Flyweight (51kg): Andreas Tews, East Germany
- Bantamweight (54kg): Aleksandar Hristov, Bulgaria
- Featherweight (57kg): Mikhail Kazaryan, Soviet Union
- Lightweight (60kg): Orzubek Nazarov, Soviet Union
- Light welterweight (63.5kg): Borislav Abadzhiev, Bulgaria
- Welterweight (67kg): Vasiliy Shishov, Soviet Union
- Light middleweight (71kg): Enrico Richter, East Germany
- Middleweight (75kg): Henry Maske, East Germany
- Light heavyweight (81kg): Yuriy Vaulin, Soviet Union
- Heavyweight (91kg): Arnold Vanderlyde, Netherlands
- Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Ulli Kaden, East Germany
In featured image: Arnold Vanderlyde