France’s duo Billal Bennama and Sofiane Oumiha easily marched to the quarter-finals at the AIBA World Boxing Championships01 November 2021
Boxers at the bantamweight (54kg), lightweight (60kg), light middleweight (71kg), cruiserweight (86kg), heavyweight (92kg) and super heavyweight (+92kg) fought for the last eight in the seventh day at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade. France’s top duo as Billal Bennama and Sofiane Oumiha both marched to the quarter-finals in the tough competition which saw surprises on Day7.
Following seven preliminary competition days, 358 bouts are concluded in the AIBA World Boxing Championships where the total number of boxers is 510 from 88 nations representing four Confederations. Among the 88 countries, 38 arrived from the European continent which competes with 246 boxers in Serbia’s capital city. The Technical Delegate of the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships is Mr. Marko Marovic of Croatia.
The bout of the day
Azerbaijan’s former EUBC European Youth Champion is one of the top super heavyweight (+92kg) boxers in our continent who met with Serbia’s veteran, multiple National Champion and international tournament winner Vladan Babic today. The strong Azeri boxer kept his Serbian opponent on long and his speed was the difference between them today. Babic felt the support of the home crowd, gave his very best but he caught the Azeri opponent only two-times with big shots. The 22-year-old Abdullayev won all of the rounds in each scorecard and marched to the quarter-finals of the heaviest weight class despite of Babic’s all efforts which he gave in to this fight.
The surprise of the day
Armenia’s Davit Chaloyan replaced Gurgen Hovhannisyan in the national team following the 24-year-old boxer returned to the world of boxing. Chaloyan was expected a hard job against Colombia’s Panamerican Games silver medallist Cristian Salcedo and he had the full determination and concentration in the first round. The Armenian super heavyweight (+92kg) boxer surprised the experienced South American in the first round and he took the lead on the scorecards. Salcedo changed his rhythm in the second therefore Chaloyan had to produce another strong period, the final one, to beat the Colombian favourite.
France’s Billal Bennama achieved bronze medal at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships and he arrived to Belgrade with great expectations. The 23-year-old French used the recent two months for direct preparations for the event and he had the speed advantage against DR Congo’s Jerry Katamba Kabango in their round of 16 contest. The French overcame his talented African opponent in the attacks and his technical superiority decided their contest which means Bennama is one step away for the guaranteed medal in this money prize event.
Belgium’s No.1 Victor Schelstraete moved down to the cruiserweight (86kg) which is fit for his height and physical conditions. The experienced Belgian knocked out Uzbekistan’s 19-year-old Shokhjakhon Abdullaev in the first preliminary round therefore Croatia’s Damir Plantic was very careful with him. The Belgian gained the control of the contest in the first round and his tactical weapons worked well today. Schelstraete was in different level today and as first Belgian in the event’s history, marched to the quarter-finals.
England’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Conner Tudsbury is one of the top talents of his nation who moved up to the new cruiserweight (86kg). The eight-strong English team had tough draw in the AIBA World Boxing Championships but Tudsbury has got all of the skills to win his contests in Belgrade. The 21-year-old English boxer reduced the fighting distance effectively against Mexico’s tall Rogelio Romero who already competed for his country when Tudsbury was only 14. Tudsbury’s speed decided their contest in Belgrade where he is the first Englishman who advanced to the quarter-finals.
Loren Berto Alfonso switched from Cuba to Azerbaijan in 2017 and he achieved for his new nation a gold medal at the Minsk 2019 European Games. The powerful boxer moved up to the cruiserweight (86kg) in the recent months but he had the speed and energy against Romania’s former EUBC European U22 Champion Paul Andrei Aradoaie. Alfonso was effective in the first round and the Romanian was not able to answer his punches well enough. Aradoaie tried to use several different combinations but his efforts were not enough to beat the Azeri star of this new weight class.
Poland’s Sebastian Wiktorzak competed already at the Kiev 2013 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships but he needed a few years to reach the level of the elite boxers. The currently 24-year-old Polish used up his good draw to advance to the quarter-finals of the new cruiserweight (86kg). Wiktorzak is a strong fighter who used his power in the first round to land punches against DR Congo’s Christopher Luteke. The Polish was able to continue his strong performance until the very end and will now meet with Brazil’s star Keno Machado.
France’s AIBA World Champion Sofiane Oumiha found his best rhythm against Armenia’s experienced Karen Tonakanyan in time to keep the control in their lightweight (60kg) contest. The 27-year-old French used his world class footwork to land enough punches and beat his injured rival on Day7. Lithuania’s most experienced boxer, Edgaras Skurdelis met with Serbia’s EUBC European Junior Champion 19-year-old Semiz Alicic in another exciting contest which was controlled by the Baltic boxer. The Lithuanian knocked down the Serbian teenager in the second round which determined also the result of their bout.
Ukraine’s two-time EUBC European Youth Champion and AIBA Youth World Champion Yuriy Zakharieiev is only 19 but he is such a promising star in our sport. He moved up to the light middleweight (71kg) in August and quickly won their Elite National Championships in September. The Ukrainian did not find the best fighting distance in the first round against Spain’s experienced Youba Ndiaye Sissokho but from the second, he was able to use his best combinations and turned back their close contest.
The quote of the day
“The opponent was very different than last time, Damir Plantic is so experienced, he knew everything about boxing and he did not make any risks today. My coaches worked a lot on my strategy today and I tried to follow their instructions. Now I am in the quarter-finals and I need only one further step to get a medal in the AIBA World Boxing Championships,” commented his success Belgium’s Victor Schelstraete who eliminated Croatia’s Damir Plantic on Day7.