Callum French defeated his French rival in the semi-finals of the Algirdas Socikas Tournament

15 May 2021 News

The semi-finals were on the schedule of the 25th Algirdas Socikas Tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania where some of the weight categories have been divided into two parts due to the high number of participants. Altogether 28 contests were held in the second competition day when England’s Callum French defeated his French rival in the bout of the session.

Lithuania hosted the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament in Vilnius on March, their next international activity is the Algirdas Socikas Tournament in Kaunas. Many of the European nations are using the Algirdas Socikas Tournament as preparations for the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and for the EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships. Besides to the European countries, Egypt also sent their best boxers to Kaunas.

Six-time Soviet National Champion Mr. Algirdas Socikas was one of the heroes of Lithuania’s boxing life in the past who won the European Boxing Championships two-times in 1953 in Warsaw and repeated it in 1955 in West Berlin. Lithuania’s most important elite international boxing tournament was named after their national boxing icon. 

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 Lithuania to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Algirdas Socikas Tournament.

The bout of the day

England’s Callum French achieved bronze medal at the Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Boxing Championships and he produced great results also in the World Series of Boxing. The English light welterweight (64kg) boxer won almost all of the major European tournaments in the recent years but he had a tough semi-final opponent, France’s Lounes Hamraoui. The French boxer, who was National Champion already at the age of 19 in 2017, progressed in terms of speed and tactic therefore his English opponent have to increase his rhythm. Callum French used also his longer hands to keep the distance and his close success means that he can box for the gold medal with Netherlands’ European Games bronze medallist Enrico La Cruz.

The surprise of the day

Lithuania’s Gabriele Stonkute is a promising talent at the women’s middleweight (75kg) but she expected a hard battle against Kazakhstan’s Tokyo Olympian Nadezhda Ryabets. Both boxers are strong members of the next generation and their contest was a spectacular one with a lot of punches. Stonkute attacked well against the ASBC Asian Youth Champion and her hard work paid off in the contest, defeated Kazakhstan’s excellent female boxer in the semi-finals of the category.

The Round-Up

Wales’ Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rosie Eccles is one of the key boxers of the women’s welterweight (69kg) who arrived to the Algirdas Socikas Tournament as a favourite. She had to meet with Russia’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Saadat Dalgatova in the second competition day. The Welsh girl was quicker than her veteran Russian opponent and her efforts delivered a success for Eccles in Kaunas.

France’s EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Ibrahim Boukedim could be their next sensation at the men’s flyweight (52kg) besides to Billal Bennama. The 20-year-old talent had a high rhythm contest against Scotland’s Ryan Carlin who was more competitive than expected before the match. Boukedim had enough reserves to increase his tempo and finally he could beat the Scottish boxer by split decision. He will be meeting for the gold medal with England’s Kiaran McDonald who eliminated Lithuania’s veteran Marius Vysniauskas.

France’s Selim Bouaita is one of their boxers from the next generation who defeated Kazakhstan’s Tokyo Olympian Serik Temirzhanov in the Belgrade Winner Tournament last month. The 20-year-old French continued his winning path in the Algirdas Socikas Tournament as well where he bowed out Finland’s Arslan Khataev. Bouaita will be boxing for the gold medal of the lightweight (60kg) with Lithuania’s No.1 Edgaras Skurdelis.

Lithuania’s former EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Vytautas Balsys controlled all of the three rounds well against Germany’s Fredy Knorp. The Lithuanian middleweight (75kg) boxer was highly confident in the semi-final and won the bout by unanimous decision. Balsys will be meeting for the gold medal with Wales’ Garan Croft who is a 20-year-old young prospect.

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