Finland’s Arslan Khataev dominated the lightweight at the Algirdas Socikas Tournament18 October 2020
The finals were held in the third competition day of the new edition of the Algirdas Socikas Tournament in the city of Kaunas. Finland’s best male boxer, Gee Bee Tournament winner Arslan Khataev dominated his final in the event where Lithuania’s Vytautas Balsys won the narrowest fight of the last day of boxing.
Six-time Soviet National Champion Mr. Algirdas Socikas was one of the heroes of Lithuania’s boxing life in the past who won the European Boxing Championships two-times in 1953 in Warsaw and in 1955 in West Berlin. He reached the quarter-finals at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games and won the Baltic Championships three-times. Lithuania’s most important elite international boxing tournament was named after their national boxing icon.
Lithuania hosted the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament on March before the Covid-19 pandemic, their next international activity was the Algirdas Socikas Tournament in Kaunas. The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Lithuania to avoid any new Covid-19 cases in the event.
The bout of the day
Lithuania’s EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Vytautas Balsys was the local favourite for the gold medal of the men’s middleweight (75kg) in the Algirdas Socikas Tournament. The 22-year-old Lithuanian met for the gold medal with Czech Republic’s Milos Bartl who attended various international events especially in the recent two years. Balsys felt the fighting distance well in the first round and took the lead on the scorecards but Bartl also adopted the rhythm of the bout. The Lithuanian boxer was slightly better than his Czech opponent and won one of the narrowest final fights in Kaunas.
The quote of the day
“Arslan Khataev had prepared himself well for the Algirdas Socikas Tournament. The long lay-off from international competitions since March did not show in the 60kg final bout against the skilful Mark Andrejev of Estonia. Khataev looked stronger and used his excellent footwork in long distance and his power in close to land series of hard punches. Andrejev was not able to keep up the high tempo and it delivered a unanimous victory for Arslan Khataev in Kaunas,” summarized the fight the coach of the best Finnish male boxer, Mr. Karre Anttonen.
The surprise of the day
Lithuania’s Gilvinas Lukosiunas has done excellent triumphs during his road to the finals of the Algirdas Socikas Tournament. The Lithuanian light welterweight (64kg) boxer was unable to repeat his previous performance in the final against Czech Republic’s young talent Petr Novak. The Czech boxer was able to keep the rhythm in the same level from the first seconds until the final exchanges therefore Novak could win their narrow fight in Kaunas.
Estonia’s Berit Loomagi is the Baltic nation’s best female boxer who competed in the international events more actively this year following her national dominancy. The Estonian boxer met in the final of the women’s welterweight (69kg) with Lithuania’s Augustina Markelionyte in Kaunas. Loomagi landed more punches in their final and she was better in all aspects of boxing achieving Estonia’s lone gold medal in the Algirdas Socikas Tournament.
Lithuania’s Marius Vysniauskas returned to the world of boxing and proved his skills at the Algirdas Socikas Tournament. The 34-year-old veteran boxer had to meet for the gold medal of the men’s flyweight (52kg) with his teammate, Deimantas Baravykas in the third competition day. Vysniauskas is not the quickest boxer in this weight class but his experiences from 2004 decided their final contest.
Finland’s Arslan Khataev won one contest in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event but he lost his second important fight for the quota to Hungary’s Roland Galos. The 22-year-old Finnish boxer competed at the lightweight (60kg) in the Algirdas Socikas Tournament and proved strong performance in Lithuania. Khataev met in the final with Estonia’s Mark Andrejev and proved he is more experienced than his Baltic rival. Finland’s No.1 subdued his Estonian rival and delivered one of the best performances in the day of the finals.