Fontijn and Surmeneli continued their golden series in the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem26 May 2019
The seventeen finals were held in the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic where the winners are still hungry to get the titles of the event. Among Europe’s best female boxers Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn and Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli both won the gold medals in the Grand Prix which was a small world championship.
The Grand Prix Usti nad Labem arrived to a new milestone, the competition celebrated its 50th edition which means the event is one of the oldest European tournaments and a great commitment for boxing from the Czech LOC. The traditional event was stronger in comparison to the previous years with the participation of Cuba, Brazil, Thailand, Ecuador, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, France and many other top nations.
For our continent’s best athletes, the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem was one of the last big preparation events to the Minsk 2019 European Games. The Technical Delegate of the Grand Prix Mr. Dragoljub Radovic of Serbia have divided the boxers into two groups at the men’s light welterweight (63kg) and at the welterweight (69kg) due the high number of participants.
Bout of the day
France’s EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships silver medallist Billal Bennama is a super talented boxer who reached high number of medals in the recent years and moved ahead step by step. The 21-year-old French flyweight (52kg) boxer developed rapidly in the recent one year and won the gold medal at the Cologne Boxing World Cup in Germany last month. He eliminated Hungary’s Martin Virban in the semi-final of the Grand Prix with top performance winning all of the rounds. The French boxer defeated Cuba’s AIBA World Champion Yosbany Veitia in a dual match one month ago but this time his six-year younger Caribbean opponent was slightly better on their fantastic re-match in Usti nad Labem.
Surprise of the day
Ecuador’s Julio Castillo is two-time Olympian who has been attending in the international competitions since 2008 and claimed several gold medals in various events. The Ecuadorian heavyweight (91kg) boxer advanced to the final of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem where he had another South American opponent. Brazil’s Abner Junior Teixeira is a young prospect and he is still lack of enough international bouts but his technical skills were enough to win their superb final bout.
Poland’s Sandra Kruk claimed silver medal at the Qinhuangdao 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and after a few poor years she is in top form once again. The 29-year-old Polish featherweight (57kg) boxer had tough road to the finals of the Grand Prix where she used her unstoppable rhythm to control her fight against Belarus’ Helina Bruyevich. Kruk was never stopped attacking and won their final by unanimous decision which was her best success this year.
At the women’s light welterweight (64kg) Russia’s Irina Avtina defeated Sweden’s new national team member Linda Larsson and celebrated her title after the last gong. A Czech home battle was held at the heavyweight (+81kg) in Usti nad Labem which was won by Vendula Kucerova over her compatriot Bara Suchankova in the final.
Turkey’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion and AIBA Youth World Champion Busenaz Surmeneli moved down to the welterweight (69kg) in the recent half year which category could be the best choice for her. She impressed against Czech Republic’s Martina Schmoranzova in the semi-final and met with Bulgaria’s EUBC European Champion Melis Yonuzova in the final. Both boxers had the same style and tactic but in that game Surmeneli was better today.
Netherlands’ Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist, European Games winner and EUBC European Champion Nouchka Fontijn won all of her contests this year and continued her winning path in the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem as well. The Dutch middleweight (75kg) No.1 used her longer reach against Brazil’s Flavia Figueiredo who tried to reduce the fighting distance but Fontijn’s smart boxing was uncomfortable for the South American. Fontijn won their final by unanimous decision which was another strong performance from her before the start of the Minsk 2019 European Games.
Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Sotomayor claimed silver medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and since that success he moved up to the welterweight (69kg). In the recent two years he was unable to get same strong results but in Usti nad Labem he performed much better. The former Cuban boxer is taller than anyone in his weight and his long hands are difficult to handle by his opponents. Norway’s No.1 Hadi Srour forwarded more in their contest and landed nice punches but Sotomayor’s counter-shots were effective in their superb final.