England earned half dozen of titles in the Gee Bee Tournament where Alexiusson, Gustafsson and Khataev won their fantastic finals10 March 2019
The fourth and final day was held in the 38th edition of the Gee Bee Tournament in Finland’s capital in Helsinki where 12 winners have been crowned. England claimed incredible six male gold medals in the Gee Bee Tournament where Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson, Thailand’s teenager Thitisan Panmod, furthermore Finland’s duo Elina Gustafsson and Arslan Khataev performed strongly.
The Gee Bee Tournament was a strong preparation event for the upcoming Minsk 2019 European Games and for the Bangkok 2019 ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships. The Gee Bee Tournament was stronger than in the previous years following many of the top nations including Russia, France, England, United States of America, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Australia, Canada, Finland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Kyrgyzstan and India attended in the event.
Bout of the day
England’s Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Luke McCormack dominated his fights during the road to the final of the light welterweight (64kg). For the title he had to face against a promising youngster, Russia’s Youth Olympic Games winner and EUBC European Youth Champion 18-year-old Ilia Popov. The EUBC European Union winner McCormack started the final contest better than his teenage rival but southpaw Popov did not give up their fight and tried to catch the quick English boxer. The final verdict was split decision to Luke McCormack but the five-year younger Popov was also impressed in his first elite tournament.
Surprise of the day
Finland’s defending EUBC European Women’s Champion Mira Potkonen eliminated her compatriot boxer Anni Viantie in the semi-final of the lightweight (60kg) therefore the dream final has realized with Sweden’s former AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Agnes Alexiusson. The Swedish boxer was quarter-finalist in the New Delhi 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and tried to keep longer distance to avoid Potkonen’s powerful attacks in their respective final. Alexiusson surprised Finland’s No.1 in mainly in the second round with her effective counter-attacks and she was able to keep the same level until the final bell delivering the biggest surprise of the Gee Bee Tournament.
Finland’s defending EUBC European Women’s Champion at the welterweight (69kg) Elina Gustafsson eliminated Poland’s Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Elzbieta Wojcik in the semi-final and met for the title with Russia’s Darima Sandakova for the title. The Russian National Champion moved down one category and tried to work more on feet than the attacking Gustafsson. The Finnish boxer, who claimed bronze medal at the Astana 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, was never stop attacking and her right-handed hooks worked well in the final. Following Potkonen’s unexpected loss the powerful Gustafsson kept the gold medal at home.
Finland’s best future male hope Kolobrzeg 2015 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Arslan Khataev eliminated top rivals during his road to the final of the lightweight (60kg) and proved strong development in all aspects of boxing. The 20-year-old boxer has been attending in the international events since 2014 and he had a well-built tactic against India’s two-time Olympian Shiva Thapa in the final. The five-year younger Khataev was quicker than his Indian opponent and he was able to keep his focus until the end of the final bell which delivered for him a title in Helsinki.
Luke McCormack’s twin brother Pat also claimed silver medal in the Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships but since then he won almost all of his contests at the welterweight (69kg). The Commonwealth Games winner English star knocked down his Indian rival Dinesh Dagar in the first round ruled the middle of the ring. The referee had to count the Dagar twice following McCormack’s serious combinations and the Indian ringside abandoned their unequal final fight.
England’s 19-year-old Mark Dickinson claimed gold medal at the 2017 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships in Antalya and moved up to the middleweight (75kg) in the recent months. England’s new sensation eliminated another teenager Kazakhstan’s AIBA Youth World Champion Nurbek Oralbay in the semi-final and met for the title with Russia’s Vadim Tukov. Dickinson’s left-handed jabs were dangerous for the Russian boxer who tried to land hooks from closer distance. The English teenager’s speed and strength controlled the final round which decided their narrow final in Helsinki.
Following Benjamin Whittaker’s impressive success in the final of the light heavyweight (81kg) England’s next title was achieved by Cheavon Clarke who earned silver medal at the Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships. The 28-year-old heavyweight (91kg) boxer defeated powerful Asian rivals as India’s London 2012 Olympian Sumit Sangwan and Kazakhstan’s Youth Olympic Games winner Aibek Oralbay on his top appearances at the heavyweight (91kg).