Finland’s Krenar Aliu makes history in Baku07 May 2015
The Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup is one of the strongest competitions for boxers aged between 15 and 16-years-old in world boxing, and the latest edition was organised by the Azerbaijan Boxing Federation in Baku.
Athlete of the tournament
Finland’s 16-year-old Krenar Aliu won the Olympic Gloves Junior Tournament in Tallinn, Estonia in March, and he arrived to the venue of the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup as a medal contender.
The Light Heavyweight (80 kg) boxer defeated Uzbekistan’s Governor Junior Cup silver medallist Abboskhon Mirzaabdullayev in the semi-final, and he was also too strong for Russia’s Aleksei Zobnin in the gold medal bout.
Aliu delivered the first Finnish gold medal in the history of this tournament, and he now has a good chance of winning a historic medal for his country in the upcoming AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships.
Team of the tournament
Uzbekistan had six finalists in the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup, and three of their talented hopes won their weight categories.
Khalim Utegenov had tough battles in the semi-final with Georgia’s Shakhil Allakhverdiyev, and in the final against Kazakhstan’s Aybek Dosanov, but the 15-year-old Pinweight class (46 kg) Uzbek hope was able to win both of his hard contests.
Uzbek Junior National Cup winner Murodjon Aliyev won the Flyweight (52 kg) title against Azerbaijan’s Niyamaddin Allakhverdiyev, while Uzbekistan’s third gold medal was delivered by Saidjamshid Jafarov who defeated Kazakhstan’s Junior National Champion Sanatali Toltayev.
The Uzbek team has been preparing for June’s ASBC Asian Junior Continental Championships, so their three golds and three silvers in Baku will give them great confidence before that important event.
Surprises of the tournament
Despite taking part in his first ever international competition, Turkey’s Bulut Can Sahin defeated both Uzbekistan’s Junior National Cup winner and Governor Cup bronze medallist Dilshod Ruzmetov to claim a sensational gold medal.
Another Turkish boxer, Selahattin Kocaoglu delivered a surprise when he was able to beat Uzbekistan’s most experienced junior athlete Profsor Rorimisha in the quarter-final stages, and the 16-year-old Turkish boxer eventually claimed a bronze medal.
Ones to watch
Azerbaijan’s Elton Mammadov won the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup last year, and the great Azeri prospect achieved his second successive gold in the tournament this time around as well.
His teammate, Bakhtiyar Kazibeyov also claimed gold in Baku, and both of them displayed the burgeoning boxing talent in the country.
Kazakhstan’s Daulet Zaushev continued his winning path and dominated all of his bouts in Cup, adding to his Junior National Championships and Governor Junior Cup triumphs.
Stat/fact of the tournament
Finland won its first ever gold medal in a tournament in Azerbaijan which showed the Northern European country is potentially heading for a bright future, while Kyrgyzstan claimed two bronze medals in Baku.
List of the winners in Baku
46 kg: Khalim Utegenov, Uzbekistan
48 kg: Rakhat Seitzhanov, Kazakhstan
50 kg: Otari Naveriani, Georgia
52 kg: Murodjon Aliyev, Uzbekistan
54 kg: Saidjamshid Jafarov, Uzbekistan
57 kg: Elton Mammadov, Azerbaijan
60 kg: Bakhtiyar Kazibeyov, Azerbaijan
63 kg: Aybol Zhamirbay, Kazakhstan
66 kg: Bulut Can Sahin, Turkey
70 kg: Daulet Zaushev, Kazakhstan
75 kg: Elbrus Akperov, Russia
80 kg: Krenar Aliu, Finland
+80 kg: Magomed Abdullayev, Azerbaijan