France’s Wilfried Florentin turned back the bout of the day at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament

11 February 2021 News

A marathon program with 51 contests were in the schedule of the third second competition day at the 65th edition of the traditional Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary today. France’s EUBC European Youth Champion Wilfried Florentin made an amazing comeback in the third round to turn back his quarter-final against England’s veteran star, Cheavon Clarke.

Photo by Margit Kincses. On the photo France’s Wilfried Florentin and England’s Cheavon Clarke.

All of the 13 weigh categories were in action in the third day of boxing when the winners advanced to the semi-finals and medallists of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. Altogether 123 bouts took place under three days of boxing in Debrecen which made the international event busy for all of the teams.

The Bocskai Memorial Tournament is the highlight of the boxing events this week where the finals are scheduled to be held this Friday on February 12. The event holds in the five Olympic women and eight men weight categories in Debrecen which is located in the Eastern part of the country. The number of the participating boxers is 175 including 55 women from 22 different countries and three Confederations.

The following 22 nations arrived to 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 is the experienced Ms. Anna Laukkanen of Finland. The competition is 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 are 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

France’s EUBC European Youth Champion Wilfried Florentin is a top talent at the heavyweight (91kg) but in the quarter-finals of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament he had to meet with England’s veteran Cheavon Clarke. The 19-year-old French moved ahead without any stoppage and tried to keep Clarke in short range from the first seconds. The English boxer’s hooks worked well in the first round and he looked better in the exchanges. Florentin turned up the heat and he produced an amazing final round when the referee counted Clarke twice. The French youngster was able to turn back their contest due to his stamina and advanced to the semi-finals of the event.

The surprise of the day

Italy’s experienced Alessia Mesiano was AIBA Women’s World Champion at the featherweight (57kg) in 2016. The Italian moved up to the lightweight (60kg) due to Irma Testa’s dominancy in her original category. Mesiano had a strong tactical challenge against Algeria’s Imane Khelif who used her height advantage as a weapon in the bout. The North African boxer surprised the Italian and her long range tactic was successful in the third competition day.

The Round-up

Croatia’s Noa Jezek won three contests within three competition days at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen. The Croatian and his Hungarian opponent, Soma Mester both were born in 2001 therefore they have great future expectations in the sport. The Croatian has got a tough rival at home, Gabrijel Veocic, which increased his motivation in the trainings. Jezek used the faults of the Hungarian boxer and his counter-attacks were successful in the contest therefore he can box in the semi-finals of the middleweight (75kg) with France’s Moreno Fendero.

Two impressive Hungarian local battles were held at the flyweight (52kg) in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen. The first one was won by their current National Champion Martin Virban while EUBC European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nandor Csoka defeated EUBC European Youth Champion Attila Bernath in the second strong fight. The favourites of the category such as AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Mohamed Flissi and Spain’s European Games winner Gabriel Escobar both advanced to the semi-finals.

Netherlands’ Artjom Kasparian won the title at the Cologne Boxing World Cup last December but he had such a strong rival in the quarter-finals as Turkey’s Bayram Malkan who reached the quarter-final at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The powerful Dutch light heavyweight (81kg) boxer kept his quick Turkish opponent in short distance which was the way of his success in one of the top contests of the day. Kasparian advanced to the semi-finals of the category and will be boxing with Austria’s Iranian-descent Mobin Ghahrazeh.

England’s new featherweight (57kg) sensation, Nico Leivars reached excellent junior and youth results in the recent years and as an elite he competed only in smaller competitions. The English youngster received the right at the very first time to compete in that level as the Bocskai Memorial Tournament therefore he had high motivation in Debrecen. He met in the quarter-finals with a local boxer, 19-year-old Laszlo Bernath and landed extremely high number of punches. Leivars was confident in the whole contest and after two standing counts, his success was not in danger.  

Georgia’s EUBC European U22 Champion Lasha Guruli moved back to the lightweight (63kg) and delivered another strong performance in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. He was almost untouchable for Hungary’s Daniel Danyi in the quarter-finals and his technical skills impressed all of the judges. The two top Hungarians of the category, Milan Fodor and Richard Kovacs also joined to the last four in Debrecen following their successes over Lithuanian and Czech rivals.

The silver medallists from previous European events, England’s Frazer Clarke and France’s Mourad Aliev met already each other in the quarter-finals of the men’s super heavyweight (+91kg). England’s powerful pride ruled the middle of the ring against the French southpaw in the first round but Aliev had good jabs also in the second. Clarke caught his French opponent by heavy body shots in the second round and following his great run in the third, the referee counted Aliev. The final verdict was unanimous decision in the favour of Frazer Clarke who eliminated his main rival in Debrecen.

England’s AIBA Youth World Champion and two-time EUBC European Women’s Youth Champion Gemma Richardson started well in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in the preliminary stage and she was also excellent in the quarter-finals. She moved down to the lightweight (60kg) in the recent months and proved her great fighting spirit against Hungary’s teenager Aliza Doka. The 19-year-old English talent will be meeting in the semi-finals with Finland’s star Mira Potkonen who had a tough battle against Turkey’s Esra Yildiz.

Netherlands’ No.1 Nouchka Fontijn earned silver in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and she is planning to get her second medal in Tokyo this year. The experienced Dutch knew her Turkish opponent Sennur Demir and she has done enough to celebrate her comfortable victory at the middleweight (75kg). She met in the final of the Ulan-Ude 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships with Wales’ Lauren Price who also proved strong performance in Debrecen, dominating her quarter-final over Lithuania’s Gabriele Stonkute.

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