Cernoga and Bouafia surprised their rivals in the opening day at the 36th Boxam Tournament

09 March 2022 News

The 36th edition of the Boxam Elite Tournament opened with 14 contests in Oropesa del Mar, Valencian Community, Spain where several stars are attending in the event. Slovenia’s Tadej Cernoga and France’s Soheb Bouafia were the heroes of the first competition day in the traditional competition.

Belgium, Cape Verde, England, EUBC Team, France, Hungary, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, host Spain, Slovenia, and Wales registered to compete in the new edition of the Boxam Elite Tournament. Altogether seven females and thirteen male champions will be crowned at the 36th Boxam Elite Tournament in Spain which is a preparation event for the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and several other big events.

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the vaccines control, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Spain to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Boxam Elite Tournament.  

The bout of the day

Slovenia’s Tadej Cernoga surprised the experts at the Belgrade 2021 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships where he advanced to the last 16 and eliminated top boxers in the Serbian capital. The 26-year-old Slovenian progresses years by years and he arrived to the Boxam Tournament as a secret favourite of the lightweight (60kg). Cernoga felt the tempo better than Mexico’s Gustavo José Rivera Rio in the first round and he managed an advantage after three minutes. The Mexican is a young talent with good skills but the Slovenian eliminated his technician rival in Oropesa del Mar.

The surprise of the day

France had difficulties at the heavyweight (92kg) in the previous years, their EUBC European Youth Champion Wilfried Florentin is a top talent but another boxer, Soheb Bouafia represents the country at the Boxam Elite Tournament. The French boxer met with England’s EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships silver medallist Lewis Williams in the first day of boxing and he proved his rapid development. Bouafia surprised the tall English boxer and his aggressive style of boxing delivered a surprise in the first day of the Boxam.

The Round-up

Spain’s Gabriel Escobar is the defending European Games winner who reached the quarter-final at the Tokyo Olympic Games too. The top Spaniard had a narrow loss to Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov in the first preliminary round of the Strandja Memorial Tournament therefore he was highly motivated against Belgium’s Zakaria Boudhi. The local bantamweight (54kg) star used his unpredictable movements and landed his beat weapon, the left-handed hooks effectively to beat the Belgian on Day1.

France’s Enzo Grau will be turning to 23 this year and following his bronze medal at the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, he had several difficulties but he returned to the national team with excellent performance. The French light welterweight (63.5kg) boxer used excellent footwork against Belgium’s Yassine Arfa and he controlled their contest in the Boxam Tournament. Grau took the lead on the scorecards in the first round and he was able to keep his level until the last gong.

Scotland’s Reese Lynch impressed as a youth boxer in 2018 and in 2019 when he defeated several stars including Thailand’s Youth Olympic Games winner Atichai Phoemsap. The Scottish boxer reached his best ever result at the Belgrade 2021 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships where he reached his nation’s first ever medal. Lynch opened his campaign at the Boxam Tournament successfully, his speed decided his contest against Spain’s Fernando Pino.

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