East Germany topped the medal table with five gold medals at the Budapest 1985 European Boxing Championships

21 July 2020 News

The 26th edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in the Hungarian capital in Budapest where 12 champions have been crowned as in the previous editions. The East Germans topped the medal table in 1985 at the very first time while Soviet Union’s Aleksandr Yagubkin claimed his third European title. Among the East German winners Henry Maske and Michael Timm impressed with their fantastic performances.

Budapest was the host of the European Boxing Championships in 1930 and also in 1934 and the event returned to the city after 51 years of break. The first competition day of the 1985 European Boxing Championships was May 25 in the Budapest while the finals were held on June 2. The rest day of the competition was held after the semi-finals on June 1. There were two rounds of preliminaries at the light welterweight (63.5kg) and at the light middleweight (71kg) in the 1985 European Boxing Championships.

The total number of the boxers in 12 weight classes was 169 in the 1985 European Boxing Championships in Budapest. The following 23 nations attended in the Budapest 1985 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, England, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, West Germany and Yugoslavia.

Bulgaria, host Hungary, Romania, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia attended with maximum number of 12 boxers in the Budapest 1985 European Boxing Championships. Top nations such as England and Scotland returned to the level of the European Boxing Championships after a few years of hiatus.

East Germany sent 10 boxers to the event in 1985 but among them six advanced to the finals of the European Boxing Championships. The East Germans claimed finally five gold medals ahead of the Soviet Union which earned only four titles in Budapest. The East Germans broke the Soviet Union’s previous hegemony with their impressive performance in the Hungarian capital.

The third best team in the medal standings was the Hungarian with one gold, three silver and three bronze medals. Bulgaria and Yugoslavia took the remaining 11th and 12th gold medals in Budapest. Finland, Poland, Italy, Romania, Denmark, the Netherlands, England, Ireland and Sweden were also on the medal table.

The Bulgarians dominated the smallest two weight classes in the previous two editions of the European Boxing Championships but their hegemony was stopped in Budapest. East Germany’s 19-year-old Rene Breitbarth eliminated one of the favourites Soviet Union’s Kazakh hope Karimzhan Abdrakhmanov in the semi-finals and continued his winning path against Bulgaria’s Ivailo Marinov. Breitbarth’s teammate another 19-year-old talent Dieter Berg won the title of the flyweight (51kg) after beating Italy’s Andrea Mannai.

Los Angeles 1984 Olympian Ljubisa Simic claimed Yugoslavia’s lone gold medal at the 1985 European Boxing Championships. The Serbian boxer defeated Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Hristov in the final of the bantamweight (54kg) in Budapest. Samson Khachatryan regained his place in the national team of the Soviet Union and the Armenian boxer controlled his final over Yugoslavia’s Dragan Konovalov at the featherweight (57kg).

Bulgaria’s Emil Todorov Chuprenski had a surprise gold medal at the Varna 1983 edition and he repeated that tough performance in Budapest. One of the favourites of the lightweight (60kg) Soviet Union’s Kyrgyz boxer Nurlan Abdykalykov lost his semi-final to East Germany’s Torsten Koch. The Bulgarian was slightly better than his East German opponent and celebrated his second European title.

Favourites of the light welterweight (63.5kg) Soviet Union’s Belarusian boxer Vyacheslav Yanovskiy and Yugoslavia’s Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mirko Puzovic lost their semi-finals in Budapest. They were eliminated by East Germany’s Siegfried Mehnert and Hungary’s AIBA World Cup silver medallist Imre Bacskai in the last four. The younger East German boxer found the best fighting distance against the Hungarian and claimed the gold medal of the weight class.

Following Serik Konakbayev’s and Petr Galkin’s successes, the gold medal of the welterweight (67kg) claimed by the Soviet Union once again. Armenian Israel Akopkokhyan controlled the final over Finland’s Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games bronze medallist Joni Nyman. East Germany’s Schwerin-based light middleweight (71kg) sensation Michael Timm dominated the category and claimed his first European title after beating Soviet Union’s Babken Sagradyan. Currently Michael Timm is one of the coaches of the German national teams.

East Germany’s 21-year-old Henry Maske was silver medallist in 1983 which he changed into gold two years later. He controlled his final over Hungary’s Zoltan Fuzesy and claimed the gold medal at the middleweight (75kg). Soviet Union’s Dagestan-based Nurmagomed Shanavazov was only 20 by the time of the Budapest 1985 European Boxing Championships but he dominated all of his fights at the light heavyweight (81kg).

The Soviet Union’s fourth gold medal was achieved by AIBA World Champion Aleksandr Yagubkin who claimed his third-in-a-row European title at the heavyweight (91kg). The 24-year-old boxer had to meet with Hungary’s Gyula Alvics in a re-match but he managed to win his next title. Hungary’s Ferenc Somodi took silver medal in the 1979 edition but he reached his career highlight in Budapest six years later. The Hungarian super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer was slightly better than Soviet Union’s Vyacheslav Yakovlev and celebrated the host nation’s lone gold medal.

List of the winners in the 1985 European Boxing Championships

  • Light flyweight (48kg): Rene Breitbarth, East Germany
  • Flyweight (51kg): Dieter Berg, East Germany
  • Bantamweight (54kg): Ljubisa Simic, Yugoslavia
  • Featherweight (57kg): Samson Khachatryan, Soviet Union
  • Lightweight (60kg): Emil Todorov Chuprenski, Bulgaria
  • Light welterweight (63.5kg): Siegfried Mehnert, East Germany
  • Welterweight (67kg): Israel Akopkokhyan, Soviet Union
  • Light middleweight (71kg): Michael Timm, East Germany
  • Middleweight (75kg): Henry Maske, East Germany
  • Light heavyweight (81kg): Nurmagomed Shanavazov, Soviet Union
  • Heavyweight (91kg): Aleksandr Yagubkin, Soviet Union
  • Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Ferenc Somodi, Hungary
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