Four continents to meet in Belgrade15 April 2013
The 51st edition of the Belgrade Winner Tournament will open on 18 April in the capital city of Serbia. According to the Serbian Boxing Federation, 72 men boxers coming from four continents will compete in nine weight categories from 52kg to the Super Heavyweight (91+kg).
In the last edition of the event France and Russia dominated the competition both winning three gold medals in Belgrade. The host nation was able to achieve only one silver and one bronze medal on home soil in 2012 therefore their mission is to secure at least one gold medal in the upcoming days.
Serbia’s top boxer AIBA World Championships quarter-finalist 23-year-old Branimir Stankovic won’t be able to join to the national squad in this event due his WSB duties in the Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder but London 2012 Olympian Aleksandar Drenovak will be there at the middleweight class and Golden Gloves Tournament winner Marko Nikolic also have got chance to do better than last year. The host nation’s top flyweight boxer Milos Baltic is in developing stage and might be he will be able to reach his career highlight in the upcoming event. Serbia’s light welterweight class No.1 Ivan Popovic returned to the world of boxing and can show his skills in the Belgrade Winner Tournament.
Australia took part in the last edition of the Belgrade Winner Tournament as preparation to the London 2012 Olympics and their boxers claimed one gold and four silver medals. The Aussies will return to Serbia with a four-member team including current AIBA Junior World Champion Jai Opetaia who was the youngest boxer in the London 2012 Olympics. The Samoan-descent heavyweight star will turn to 18 only in June but he is a gold medal contender in Belgrade.
The American Boxing Confederation will be represented in the event by the Canadian delegation including seven boxers on board. Their welterweight No.1 London 2012 Olympics quarter-finalist Custio Clayton, Independence Cup winner Samir El-Mais, Panamerican Games bronze medallist Brody Blair and AMBC American Continental Championships silver medallist Kenny Lally are their top hopes in Belgrade.
The Asian continent’s leading boxing nation Kazakhstan also will send a team to Belgrade and among their current A squad members Berik Abdrakhmanov and Zhanibek Alimkhanuly received the right to be increased their international experiences in the Serbian tournament. Kazakhstan’s lightweight No.1 Berik Abdrakhmanov is a strong fighter and his coaches expect a gold for him in Belgrade. Former National Champion Olzhas Sattibayev and Great Silk Way Tournament winner Nurdaulet Zharmanov also involved to the travelling team.
One of the most anticipated possible fight will be between France’s Beijing Olympic Games bronze medallist Alexis Vastine and Hungary’s European Champion Balazs Bacskai. Their expected welterweight battle would be the re-match of the final of the 2010 European Championships where Bacskai claimed the gold medal. The Hungarian boxer is still unbeaten this year winning two major international competitions while Vastine returns in the event after the unsuccessful London 2012 Olympics.
The Bulgarian top fighters will be also there in the event where Milan 2009 AIBA World Champion Detelin Dalakliev, London 2012 Olympics quarter-finalist Aleksandar Aleksandrov and former European Junior Champion Stefan Ivanov will be increased the level of the tournament. The Scottish boxers started to prepare to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and one of their first step in the preparation will be the event in Belgrade.
NEWS : aiba.org
Photo: Russia’s Shdevenko, the last edition’s best boxer