Giorgi Kushitashvili opened his campaign for Georgia with a triumph at the Golden Belt Tournament07 April 2022
The new edition of the Golden Belt Tournament saw a longer competition day in Targu Mures where 23 contests were on the official program. Giorgi Kushitashvili impressed in several event representing Russia but he returned to his roots and won an important contest for Georgia in the second day of boxing.
The Golden Belt Tournament is a preparation event for the upcoming EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships and the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Romanian Boxing Federation hosted the Brasov Youth & Junior Open on February but there is not any stoppage in their boxing agenda. Their management is planning to arrange further international competitions in 2022, and the Golden Belt Tournament is their next.
The recent editions of the Golden Belt Tournament were taking place in Constanta, in Chiajna, in Craiova, in Iasi and in Galati. Following the decision of the Romanian Boxing Federation, the Golden Belt Tournament moved to the city of Targu Mures. The last edition of the Golden Belt Tournament took place in Galati on September 2018 therefore the event returned to the boxing map after four years of break.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the vaccines check, the mask wearing and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Romania to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Golden Belt Tournament.
The bout of the day
Giorgi Kushitashvili represented Russia in several big events including at the Yekaterinburg 2019 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships. The light heavyweight (80kg) boxer not only changed his category to the cruiserweight (86kg) but he switched to Georgia in the recent months. Kushitashvili is ethnic Georgian, returned to his roots and the Golden Belt Tournament is his first major competition in 2022. The Georgian boxer met with Romania’s best hope, EUBC European U22 Champion Paul Andrei Aradoaie and as expected their contest was one of the best ones in the second competition day. Kushitashvili used his aggressive style of boxing and defeated the host nation’s tall and experienced boxer winning the bout by split decision.
The surprise of the day
Germany’s Kevin Schumann was silver medallist at the 2021 EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships and he was quarter-finalist at the Belgrade AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships. The German middleweight (75kg) boxer was the favourite against Uzbekistan’s new national team member, their U22 future hope Abdulaziz Abdupattayev but he was not able to repeat his previous performance in Targu Mures. Schumann, who trains with legendary coach Mr. Michael Timm, had strong shots but Abdupattayev was able to beat him in a tactical contest.
There was only one female contest in the second competition day at the Golden Belt Tournament in Targu Mures. Ireland’s Grainne Walsh competed almost all levels of boxing in the recent ten years and she returned to the international stage in this event. The Irish welterweight (66kg) girl used up Hungary’s Vivien Budai’s faults to keep the control from the first round. Budai moved forward but the experienced Irish boxer was patient and her counter-punches decided the contest.
Georgia’s EUBC European U22 Champion Lasha Guruli reached his career highlight at the Belgrade 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships where he earned a bronze medal. The Georgian welterweight (67kg) boxer was confident against Ireland’s Eugene McKeever, used his longer hands to win their meeting in Targu Mures. Germany’s strong Magomed Schachidov eliminated Romania’s Marcel Nistreanu while Ireland’s Olympic Games bronze medallist Aidan Walsh triumphed over Uzbekistan’s Komronbek Turgunboyev in their light middleweight (71kg) bout.
Austria’s Ahmed Hagag won a historical gold medal at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships at the super heavyweight (+92kg). The Austrian boxer continued his preparation to the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships and he started his campaign at the Golden Belt Tournament. The 22-year-old Austrian landed stronger punches than Moldova’s Liviu Munteanu and he won their contest by unanimous decision. Next to the Austrian No.1, Uzbekistan’s stars as Lazizbek Mullojonov and AIBA Youth World Champion Jakhongir Zokirov both advanced to the last four in Targu Mures.