Escobar and McHale eliminated key rivals at the AIBA World Boxing Championships

01 November 2021 News

One of the longest competition days were held in the fifth day of boxing at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade. Boxers at the bantamweight (54kg), lightweight (60kg), light middleweight (71kg) and heavyweight (92kg) competed for the last 16 today. Spain’s Gabriel Escobar and Scotland’s Matthew McHale won the top contests of the fifth competition day.

Following five preliminary competition days, 254 bouts are concluded in the AIBA World Boxing Championships where the total number of boxers is 510 from 88 nations representing four Confederations. Among the 88 countries, 38 arrived from the European continent which competes with 246 boxers in Serbia’s capital city. The Technical Delegate of the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships is Mr. Marko Marovic of Croatia.  

The bout of the day

Spain’s European Games winner Gabriel Escobar defeated Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Champion Daniel Asenov three-times out of their five previous contests and the two stars had to meet each other once again in a unique re-match. The two top boxers decided several finals in the previous four and half years and their meeting is always one of the excited moments in an event. Both moved up to the new bantamweight (54kg) and arrived to Belgrade after a hard preparation. Escobar trusted on his speed in their re-match and moved a lot on feet to all directions to catch the experienced Bulgarian. Asenov moved forward more this time but this strategy was perfect for Escobar who demonstrated his impressive counter-punches. The Spaniard was faster today and his strategy worked better while Asenov could not catch Escobar with effective punches today.

The surprise of the day

Scotland’s Matthew McHale competed already national events nine years ago but he never attended in any EUBC European Boxing Championships, Commonwealth Games or AIBA World Boxing Championships yet. He adopted the atmosphere of a big event very quickly and after the tactical first round, he increased his speed in the second against Russian Boxing Federation’s Kurban Bairanbekov. The 25-year-old Scottish has been preparing to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and invested all of his power and stamina to win this preliminary bout in Belgrade.

The Round-Up

Turkey’s Muhammet Sacli is a 19-year-old talent who won several national events since his schoolboys age up to the elite age group in the recent six years. The Turkish is a newcomer in the international competitions but he had the youthful enthusiasm to show his power in his debuting contest in Belgrade. The Turkish bantamweight (54kg) boxer shocked Kenya’s Hassan Shaffi Bakari in the first round of the bout and his aggressive attacks were not only decisive but delivered an RSC triumph for Sacli.

Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine claimed gold medals at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships, Mediterranean Games and European Union Boxing Championships in 2018 but he was not enough successful following those successes. The currently 23-year-old Italian worked hard this year to regain his place among the top boxers and his outstanding motivation delighted the experts on Day5. Mouhiidine was faster and used better footwork against Croatia’s Toni Filipi in their heavyweight (92kg) contest and the Italian outpointed his experienced rival.

Georgia’s Giorgi Tchigladze moved down to the heavyweight (92kg) in the recent months and the former AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist felt the distance well against Germany’s new debutant Dariusz Lassotta in their meeting. Following Tchigladze’s success, Moldova’s National Champion in this weight class, Andrei Zaplitnii worked hard also to beat Fair Chance Team’s 20-year-old Abdul Ghafar in the next contest of the afternoon session. 

Russian Boxing Federation’s Vsevolod Shumkov claimed silver at the Budapest 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and after his successful youth career, he turned to elite in 2020. Shumkov won the last edition of the Russian National Championships and won his first contest in Belgrade where he met as second with Belarus’ Artur Tuniyeu who is also one of their young prospects. The Belarusian had good technical skills but he received hooks from the Russian boxer and Shumkov advanced to the last 16.

Serbia’s 19-year-old Semiz Alicic won the Anapa 2018 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and this is the first year when he can box among the elite boxers. The local lightweight (60kg) teenager dominated the first round against Laos’ US-based Walter Sarnoi Oupathana and continued it in the same strong way through the whole contest. The Serbian talent landed punched whenever he wanted and celebrated his second success in Belgrade after the final gong.

Lithuania’s most experienced boxer in the national team, Edgaras Skurdelis worked hard in the first round to take to lead against Fair Chance Team’s Laisullah Azizi in their lightweight (60kg) contest. The Baltic boxer was impressive in the second and third rounds therefore he could win their contest unanimously. Finland’s Arslan Khataev demonstrated not only his technical skills but his strength against Mongolia’s Tulga Oyunbaatar in another key bout in this weight class. Khataev destroyed the younger Mongolian boxer’s defence and the ringside doctor ended their contest.

Germany’s Magomed Schachidov had to miss the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships due to his injury but he arrived to Belgrade in top form and he is trying to pressurize all of his rivals. The German boxer worked hard against Israel’s Miroslav Kapuler and his high number of punches guaranteed his place in the last 16 of the light middleweight (71kg). Norway’s Don Emini eliminated Croatia’s Filip Kolar in the same weight class continuing their impressive pathway while Albania’s Alban Beqiri eliminated Lithuania’s Saimonas Banys.

Quote of the day

“I had enough rest in the summer to recover my power after the recent top events. The started the trainings again in the end of August. My opponent was a young talent and you have to be very careful with these teenagers because they are motivated in a big event. My tactic worked well and I could win this debuting contest in Belgrade. I am expecting a good next contest where I can use my technical skills,” said France’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Billal Bennama who eliminated Colombia’s teenager, Juan Palacios at the bantamweight (54kg).

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