France’s young Selim Bouaita eliminated Kazakhstan’s Tokyo Olympian Serik Temirzhanov in the preliminaries of the Belgrade Winner Tournament

26 April 2021 News

The 58th edition of the Belgrade Winner Tournament started at the Hall “Pinki” Zemun in the Serbian capital where the competition recorded outstanding interest. France’s Selim Bouaita caused the main sensation of the preliminaries when he eliminated Kazakhstan’s Tokyo Olympian Serik Temirzhanov.

Belgrade will be the host of the next edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in November therefore many of the countries decided to test the environment during the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Altogether 35 nations are attending in the Belgrade Winner Tournament representing four Confederations in Serbia.

The women boxers could attend in 10 weight categories while the male athletes compete in the 8 Olympic divisions. The number of the women boxers is 87 while 121 men participants are competing for the medals in the Belgrade Winner Tournament.

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 Serbia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Belgrade Winner Tournament.  

The bout of the day

Kazakhstan’s two-time AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Ablaikhan Zhussupov arrived to the Belgrade Winner Tournament after a strong preparation. He is one of the favourites besides to England’s Pat McCormack in the welterweight (69kg) but he had such an unexpected tough battle in the preliminary round. Zhussupov met with Scotland’s young talent Tyler Jolly and he needed his very best to eliminate his European rival. The Scottish boxer had international experiences as junior and youth but he returned to the events as a real man. Jolly surprised Zhussupov in the exchanges but finally the Kazakh star was able to win the bout of the day by split decision.

The surprise of the day

France’s Selim Bouaita is one of the next generation boxers of the country who claimed medals in the youth tournaments but he is still new in the elite and U22 national teams. His father, Rachid was a powerful boxer in 1990s and Selim continued the family traditions in Belgrade. The French featherweight (57kg) boxer eliminated Kazakhstan’s Tokyo Olympian favourite Serik Temirzhanov winning the contest by split decision.

The Round-up

Hungary’s former EUBC European Youth Champion Roland Galos is Tokyo Olympian who returned to the international stage at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament two months ago. He increased his training sessions after the Debrecen event and proved better performance in the preliminary round of the featherweight (57kg). Galos defeated Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Alen Rahimic in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and he has done the same performance once again in Belgrade in their re-match.

England’s EUBC European U22 Champion Luke McCormack is one of the key boxers of the lightweight (63kg) in the Belgrade Winner Tournament who enjoyed his return to the international events. The English boxer controlled all of the rounds against North Macedonia’s Jasin Ljama and advanced to the quarter-finals of the category. His fellow, European Champion Peter McGrail stopped his opponent, Refugee Team’s Farid Walizadeh at the featherweight (57kg) in a quick bout.

Scotland has been preparing to the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games with full speed and their new team contains high number of talents. Robbie McKechnie had an impressive performance against Montenegro’s Remzo Ikovic and advanced to the quarter-finals of the lightweight (63kg) following his RSC triumph. His teammate, Stephen Newns had great youth results and opened his campaign with a success over Russia’s Mukhammad Kurbanov at the men’s welterweight (69kg).

Several young talents shined in the preliminary round of the middleweight (75kg) at the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Montenegro’s 20-year-old Stefan Savkovic eliminated Hungary’s Isaac Oroyovwe winning two out of the three rounds in Belgrade. Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu began boxing only six years ago but he was too strong for Serbia’s Sandro Poletan. Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Youth Champion Yermakhan Zhakpekov and Scotland’s 20-year-old Samuel Hickey also defeated their Cyprian and Hungarian opponents in the preliminaries.

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