Fontijn and Kovacs have done revenge for their previous losses in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament

13 February 2021 News

The impressive 13 final contests were held in the fifth and last competition day at the 65th edition of the traditional Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary today. Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn and Hungary’s Richard Kovacs have done revenges in the final day following their previous losses.

The newly elected AIBA President Mr. Umar Kremlev visited the finals of the 65th Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen to follow the prestigious boxing competition. England, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey shared the gold medals in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament.

The number of the participating boxers was 175 including 55 women from 22 different countries and three Confederations. The following 22 nations competed at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament to Hungary: Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Wales.

The Technical Delegate of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament was the experienced Ms. Anna Laukkanen of Finland. The competition was a preparation event before the previously suspended European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and also for the World Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event.

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 Debrecen to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Bocskai Memorial Tournament.

The bout of the day

Nouchka Fontijn lost to Wales’ Lauren Price in the final of the Ulan-Ude 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and she had the amazing motivation to beat her opponent in Debrecen. The Dutch middleweight (75kg) boxer used an aggressive tactic this time and ruled the middle of the ring while Price landed counter-punches in the first round. The Welsh girl received a warning in the second round from the referee and the motivated Fontijn tried to find the best attacking moments to catch Price. The Welsh AIBA Women’s World Champion had a nice combination in the third round but Fontijn responded to that attack well enough and has done a revenge for her previous loss.

The surprise of the day

Photo by Margit Kincses. Prizewinners (75 kg)

Hungary’s FISU University World Boxing Championships silver medallist Richard Kovacs lost to Georgia’s EUBC European U22 Champion Lasha Guruli twice in the recent years therefore he had the huge motivation to make revenge in the final of the lightweight (63kg). Both boxers had the same fighting style but this time Guruli moved ahead more which was perfect for the Hungarian to land strict counter-attacks. The Georgian boxer increased the tempo in the second round therefore the final verdict was depended on their performance in the last period. Kovacs was patient and used up the faults of the Georgian boxer to win their difficult strategic games in the day of the finals.

The Round-up

Hungary’s three-time AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships competitor Szabina Szucs was so excited to box against Italy’s EUBC European Women’s Champion Irma Testa in the final of the featherweight (57kg). Both boxers used long distance tactic in the previous bouts in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament and this time Testa moved ahead more against the Hungarian. The Rio 2016 Olympian Testa played a strong tactical games against the Hungarian who exceeded the expectations with her strong defensive skills. Testa caught Szucs in the third round with a strict jab and won the first woman final of the competition.

Spain’s defending European Games winner and Mediterranean Games champion Gabriel Escobar arrived to the Bocskai Memorial Tournament as the main favourite of the men’s flyweight (52kg). The virtuoso Spaniard was smaller than Algeria’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Mohamed Flissi but he knew how to reach his North African opponent with tough punches. Escobar landed shots from all of the possible angles and controlled the first and second rounds in Debrecen. Spain’s No.1 celebrated his success after the final gong and began his road to prepare well to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

England’s new welterweight (69kg) National Champion Harvey Lambert used his longer reach to keep the best distance against Israel’s Miroslav Ishchenko Kapuler and won his first ever international tournament. His fellow, Lewis Richardson is still in the competition of the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event, therefore he is in good shape which he proved at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. The 23-year-old Richardson, who won the Tokyo Olympic Test Event, was slightly better in the exchanges than Croatia’s promising talent, Noa Jezek and won England’s next gold medal in Debrecen.

Netherlands’ Artjom Kasparian is a real fighter who developed his skills in the recent years into the world class which is the success of the experienced Dutch coaches. Kasparian, who was born in Russia, attacked from the first seconds against Italy’s Minsk 2019 European Games bronze medallist Simone Fiori. His veteran opponent tried to keep the distance but Kasparian was not an easy challenge for him in this tough contest. The Dutch pressurized Fiori in all of the three rounds but the Italian had the routine to handle it and take the gold medal of the light heavyweight (81kg) winning the bout by split decision.

Spain’s powerful Emmanuel Reyes delivered impressive performance in the semi-finals of the heavyweight (91kg) against France’s Wilfried Florentin and met with another experienced boxer, Abdelhafid Benchabla who qualified already for his fourth Olympic Games. The ex-Cuban Spaniard increased his tempo after the first round and landed tough punches against the three-time All Africa Games winner Algerian. Reyes began the third round with amazing jabs which demoralized Benchabla and won Spain’s second gold medal in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament.

Turkey’s European Games winner and EUBC European Women’s Champion 24-year-old Busenaz Cakiroglu used her impressive technical skills in the final of the flyweight (51kg) to keep the best fighting range against Croatia’s Nikolina Cacic. The Turkish star controlled the first and second rounds with top performance and took the lead in each scorecard. The talented Croatian did not give up the fight and she has done her best round in the third but Cakiroglu’s success was not in danger.

Finland’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mira Potkonen had a tough tactical job in the final of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen where she met with Algeria’s Imane Khelif who won the African Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event one year ago. The Finnish boxer tried to catch her speedy and taller opponent and pressurized the younger North African. Potkonen worked through all of the three rounds and her hard job delivered her first gold medal in 2021.

France’s Emilie Sonvico was motivated against Turkey’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Busenaz Surmeneli in the final of the welterweight (69kg) and she gave in everything to cause a surprise in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. The French was brave, moved ahead but Surmeneli’s heavy counter-punches decided the contest. Sonvico’s teammate, Samuel Kistohurry delivered the gold medal for France following his success over Hungary’s Roland Galos in the final of the men’s featherweight (57kg).

The quote of the day

“I used the Bocskai Memorial Tournament as preparation for the Boxam Tournament which will be held in Castellon de la Plana soon. All of these events are part of my preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games. I am lucky because I already qualified for Tokyo and I have time to prepare well to the Games. My opponent, Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi is a very strong one, I enjoyed the fight with him. I started strongly but my best round was the second today,” said Gabriel Escobar of Spain following his impressive gold medal at the flyweight (52kg).  

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