Bulgaria, Spain and Kosovo earned gold medals in the 6th Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament12 March 2022
The new 6th edition of the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament finished with its finals in Sofia, Bulgaria. The host nation’s prides won several gold medals and surprised their opponents in the third competition day but Spain and Kosovo earned titles too.
The Bulgarian Boxing Federation has just hosted the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament with great success and their youth international competition followed that huge competition. The Bulgarian Boxing Federation will be the host of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in April and their international tournament could be a test before that.
The tournament is dedicated to Mr. Emil Jechev the former President of the European Boxing Association and AIBA Vice-President. Mr. Academician Prof. Emil Jechev passed away in Sofia in July 2015 at the age of 88. Mr. Academician Prof. Emil Jechev devoted his whole life to serve Bulgaria’s and the world’s boxing life. Boxers who were born in 2004 and in 2005 were eligible to attend in the new edition of the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Bulgaria to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the 2022 Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament.
The bout of the day
Bulgaria’s Dimo Toniev was a successful junior boxer and joined to the youth national team where he could be their No.1 at the featherweight (57kg). The 17-year-old Bulgarian had several bouts in the recent months and these ring experiences paid off in the final of the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament. Toniev faced with his teammate, Pavel Manev in the final which was selection for them before the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. Toniev had a difficult job against his main national rival but he managed to win that difficult contest in Sofia.
The surprise of the day
Bulgaria’s Lyuboslav Metodiev has experiences from international competitions but he had to meet for the title of the bantamweight (54kg) with Spain’s defending EUBC European Youth Champion Rafael Lozano Serrano. The Spanish No.1 competed not his best weight category in the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament but he was the high favourite of the event. The smaller Spanish boxer launched quick attacks in the final while Metodiev tried to keep his best distance from the opening seconds until the very end. Two top boxers met in this remarkable final and the judges selected Metodiev as winner of the bout.
Bulgaria’s Toni Iliev is another experienced youth national team member who is aiming for a medal in the upcoming EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. The Bulgarian lightweight (60kg) boxer faced with a top Swiss talent, Marwan Maslard who had several medals in various tournaments last year. Iliev followed the instruction of his coaches and managed to win their final contest by unanimous decision.
Spain’s Enrique Kakulov joined to their national team in 2020 as a junior talent and competed in the recent editions of the EUBC Championships. The Spaniard won the Boxam Youth Tournament and he also impressed at the Brasov Youth Open last month. Kakulov met with Romania’s Albert Irimescu in the final of the light welterweight (63.5kg) and he knew his opponent well enough to handle that tactical contest in Sofia achieving a gold medal for the Spanish delegation.
Kosovo’s Dior Berisha had a few difficulties in the first round of his light middleweight (71kg) final against Bulgaria’s Kristiyan Mitev but from the second he stepped into the gas. Berisha had powerful combinations in the second round and the referee stopped the final bout confirming his RSC triumph. Bulgaria’s Stelian Strahilov and Georgi Stoyanov won the remaining gold medals in the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament.