Desmond and Gavae are among the winners at the Golden Belt Tournament

11 April 2022 News

The last edition of the Golden Belt Tournament took place in Galati on September 2018 but the strong international event returned to the boxing map after four years of break. The second part of the women’s finals and all of the male title contests were held in the fifth day. Ireland’s Christina Desmond is back on track after a break but she returned with an impressive gold medal while Romania’s Andrei Valentin Gavae caused his second sensations in the event.

Ireland, Germany and Romania earned the first gold medals of the Golden Belt Tournament in Targu Mures in the fourth day of boxing. Uzbekistan, Germany, Ireland, Romania, Georgia, Spain, and Ukraine bagged the titles in the last competition day. The Technical Delegate of the Golden Belt Tournament was Mr. Dragoljub Radovic of Montenegro.

The Golden Belt Tournament was a preparation event for the upcoming EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships and the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Romanian Boxing Federation hosted the Brasov Youth & Junior Open on February but there is not any stoppage in their boxing agenda. Their next competition after the Golden Belt Tournament will be held in Gheorghieni for the youngest age groups next month. 

The recent editions of the Golden Belt Tournament were taking place in Constanta, in Chiajna, in Craiova, in Iasi and in Galati. Following the decision of the Romanian Boxing Federation, the Golden Belt Tournament moved to the city of Targu Mures.

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the vaccines check, the mask wearing and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Romania to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Golden Belt Tournament.   

The bout of the day

Ireland’s Christina Desmond joined to the national team as elite seven years ago following her strong youth career. The former Youth Olympian Irish light middleweight (70kg) boxer was not active in the international stage in the recent period but she looked in top shape during the Golden Belt Tournament. The experienced Irish met with younger, promising and technician opponent, Leonie Mueller who is also tall in this weight class. The 22-year-old German used her long distance tactic against the Irish fighter but she received punches from closer distance. Desmond had strong stamina in their contest and she was able to manage to win this narrow final in Targu Mures.

The surprise of the day

Romania’s Andrei Valentin Gavae is not a well-known boxer in the international stage yet but as a dark horse he managed to beat all of his rivals in the Golden Belt Tournament. The Romanian boxer caused the first sensation when he defeated Uzbekistan’s Asian Games silver medallist Shunkor Abdurasulov in the semi-finals. The young Romanian lightweight (60kg) boxer met in the final with another top rival, Spain’s Tokyo Olympian Jose Quiles. Gavae exceeded all of the previous expectations once again and reached his career highlight in the Golden Belt Tournament.

The Round-Up

Spain’s Laura Fuertes had several injuries in the recent years as Jose Quiles, but in 2022, she is well enough to win important contests in the international stage. The Spaniard had a smaller but energetic German rival, Maxi Kloetzer who has done also impressive job during her road to the finals of the light flyweight (50kg). Fuertes was slightly better in the exchanges and celebrated her tournament title in Targu Mures. Spain’s second gold medal in the event was achieved by Jennifer Fernandez who bowed out Ukraine’s Valeria Yeroshenko winning the bout by unanimous decision.

Ukraine’s Rio 2016 Olympian Tetiana Kob is a hard-working boxer who never stops attacking and moving forward. The Ukrainian veteran impressed in the day of the finals once again and defeated Spain’s Maria Gonzalez at the flyweight (52kg) which was her preparation tournament before the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Germany’s female title was taken by Lena Buchner at the lightweight (60kg) who performed well against Hungary’s 18-year-old Rebeka Dobos in the final.

Belgium’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Victor Schelstraete was a big name in the Golden Belt Tournament but he does not have any easy opponent in the final of the cruiserweight (86kg). He eliminated Artyom Yordanyan in the semi-finals but he was defeated by another Georgian boxer, the returning Giorgi Kushitashvili in Targu Mures. Another Georgian hope, former AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Giorgi Tchigladze moved down one category to the heavyweight (92kg) but he was able to beat Uzbekistan’s Diyorbek Uralov in a tight final.

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