Daly, Konovalov and Cuadrado guaranteed the full of surprises at the European Games on Day328 June 2019
The third preliminary day of the European Games, which is the annual EUBC European Elite Boxing Championships, saw another day of surprises in Minsk, Belarus. Ireland’s Regan Daly, Serbia’s Aleksandar Konovalov and Spain’s Miguel Cuadrado delivered the major upsets of the day while the Top3 seeds of the light flyweight (49kg) were eliminated in Minsk.
Altogether 317 boxers including 59 women are attending in the European Games from record number of 44 nations in Minsk, Belarus. The following nations are taking part in the European Games: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great-Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
The bout of the day
Georgia’s Lasha Guruli was EUBC European U22 Champion in 2018 and this year he fully focused to the European Games. Guruli tried to compete also at the welterweight (69kg) but after a few challenges he moved back to the light welterweight (64kg). The 23-year-old Georgian had to meet in the preliminary stage with Moldova’s Dmitri Galagot who is his nation’s No.1 boxer. Both boxers arrived to the venue of the European Games as medal contenders and gave in everything to their fight. Guruli tried to use his longer reach from the first seconds and avoided Galagot’s attacks. The Georgian boxer’s counter-attacking style paid off in their narrow fight and Guruli bowed out a potentially strong rival in Minsk.
Surprises of the day
Ireland’s Regan Daly is absolutely newcomer in their national team who was involved at the very first time to their line-ups. In spite of his lack of international experiences the light flyweight (49kg) boxer exceeded all of the previous expectations with his hard work. The Irishman was a dark horse in the category and surprisingly trashed Russia’s defending European Games winner Bator Sagaluev on Day3.
Serbia’s Aleksandar Konovalov switched from kick-boxing into boxing only two years ago and following his national titles in his homeland, he arrived to the venue of the European Games in top form. Konovalov was in lack of international experiences as the above mentioned Irishman but his stamina decided his match and eliminated Germany’s favourite Wladislaw Baryshnik.
Spain’s Miguel Cuadrado is attending in his first big continental event and following his gold medal at the Boxam Tournament, he delivered another sensation within short period of time. The Spanish middleweight (75kg) boxer met with Hungary’s European Games bronze medallist and two-time Olympian Zoltan Harcsa. The Hungarian boxer was too tired in the third round of their preliminary contest and Cuadrado used that period to turn back the fight eliminating the medal favourite.
Georgia’s Sakhil Allakhverdovi was gold medallist in the 2017 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships and his triumph over Germany’s Seed No.1 Salah Ibrahim was not a big sensation in Minsk. Armenia’s Rio 2016 Olympian Artur Hovhannisyan achieved silver medals in two top international events in 2019 as the Cologne Boxing World Cup and the Governor Cup and he continued his winning path against Belarus’ Yauheni Karmilchyk. Spain’s Martin Molina defeated Ukraine’s Nazar Kurotchyn which means the Top3 seeds of the light flyweight (49kg) were eliminated in Minsk.
Ireland’s Michael Nevin claimed the gold medal at the 2015 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships in Kolobrzeg but since that competition he was not able to repeat that performance among the elite boxers. Nevin eliminated England’s EUBC European Youth Champion new sensation Mark Dickinson in the first preliminary round. Irish middleweight (75kg) boxer was confident following that success and overwhelmed his next top rival Azerbaijan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Kamran Shakhsuvarly.
Ukraine’s Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Champion and the reigning EUBC European Champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak returned to the world of boxing after a short break and arrived to the venue of the European Games as the main favourite of the middleweight (75kg). Ukraine’s star eliminated Finland’s Muhammad Abdilrasoon as first and controlled all of the rounds against Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan advancing to the Top8.
Italy’s Mediterranean Games winner and EUBC European Union Champion Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine had perfect record in 2018 and lost only one bout this year following that he moved back to the heavyweight (91kg). The Italian youngster is only 21 but he is among the bests in the category which he demonstrated against Germany’s Eugen Waigel using his raid attacks to land punches.
Belarus’ Uladzislau Smiahlikau is a key boxer from the host country’s squad and worked well against Finland’s Krenar Aliu on Day3. The Belarusian heavyweight (91kg) boxer dominated their fight landing clear jabs and eliminated his Nordic rival in the front of the home crowd after Great Britain’s Seed No.1 Cheavon Clarke won his bout against Estonia’s Ainar Karlson in this category.
Netherlands’ two-time EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Peter Mullenberg moved up to the heavyweight (91kg) but his strength was still enough to beat Turkey’s 12-year-younger Berat Acar in Minsk. His teammate Enrico La Cruz dominated his first fight against Azerbaijan’s Bakhtiyar Gazibayov and advanced to the next stage of the light welterweight (64kg).
The first female fights of the European Games were held on Day3 when boxers from the lightweight (60kg) impressed. Italy’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion Irma Testa dominated her opening fight against Moldova’s Cristina Cravcenco. Two Northern European hopes as Denmark’s Ditte Frostholm and Sweden’s super talented Agnes Alexiusson also advanced to the last eight.