Girleanu and Kajaia are semi-finalists in Tbilisi with world class performance

09 July 2021 News

The amazing men’s quarter-finals were in the schedule of the sixth competition day at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia where today’s winners are all semi-finalists. Romania’s Daniel Girleanu remained his chance alive to defend his junior throne while Georgia’s Demur Kajaia proved also world class performance in this fantastic day of boxing.

Altogether 19 nations claimed at least one medal in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi. Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Italy, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Israel, Germany, Serbia, Poland, Cyprus and Spain are the medallist nations in the event.

The number of the participating boxers is 335 including 111 girls in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, host Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine are the participating nations of the event.

Girls and boys who were born in 2005 and in 2006 are eligible to attend in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi. Georgia’s capital hosted the 2019 edition of the EUBC European Schoolboys & Schoolgirls Boxing Championships and a top event returns to Tbilisi after two years of break.

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 Georgia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships Tbilisi 2021.

The bout of day

Romania’s 16-year-old Daniel Girleanu is the defending EUBC European Junior Champion at the bantamweight (54kg) who had to manage a strong tactical job against Germany’s tall Arian Gohar Shenasan Esfahani. The German had 12cm height advantage in their contest but Girleanu reduced the fighting distance in the first round with speedy attacks. Shenasan tried to keep the distance better in the second but he was static several times and received shots from the experienced Romanian. Girleanu, whose elder brother is an Olympian boxer, advanced to the semi-finals and remained his chance alive to defend his throne.

The surprise of the day

Bulgaria’s Lyuboslav Metodiev claimed bronze medal in the 2020 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and he opened his campaign well in Tbilisi. The 16-year-old Bulgarian flyweight (50kg) boxer had a more dangerous rival, Turkey’s Berat Karaarslan and could not find the best fighting distance in their battle. The Turkish boxer surprised Metodiev with his jabs in the first round therefore Metodiev had to raise his tempo and change his method of work in the second. Karaarslan is not a well-known boxer in the international stage yet but his height advantage and footwork decided their narrow fight and the Turkish boxer caused one of the main surprises of the day.

The Round-Up

Armenia’s Erik Arstamyan proved fantastic performance in the first round of the pinweight (46kg) in Tbilisi but he had a more difficult opponent as second, Romania’s Daniel Mihai Irofte. The Armenian boxer used double defence in the first round but Irofte was able to find the holes on his defence in the first round. The Armenian boxer received strong advices in the first break and he performed better in the second. Arstamyan had enough stamina in the third round to eliminate his dangerous Romanian rival and earned his nation’s first medal in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.

Azerbaijan’s Mahammadali Gasimzada was named as one of the favourites for the gold medal at the bantamweight (54kg) and he looked confident in the first round against Estonia’s Fjodor Kamanin who came from a boxing family. The referee counted the Estonian boxer in the first round following Gasimzada’s rapid actions and the Azeri talent continued his strong performance. Azerbaijan’s pride was smaller than the Baltic hope but his speed guaranteed his medal in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.

Georgia’s Demur Kajaia is one of the main favourites for the gold medal at the lightweight (60kg) who had an experienced rival, Russia’s Sair Kacharava who had strong Georgian roots. The Georgian southpaw landed the first clear shot in the opening seconds and he felt the distance well against the Russian. Kajaia dictated the tempo and landed the better punches in the first round therefore he took the lead in four scorecards. Kacharava started the second round more aggressively but Kajaia’s counter-punches controlled also that period. The Georgian produced smart boxing in their meeting and secured his place in the semi-finals as his teammate, Gor Ayvazyan.

Hungary’s Levente Gemes impressed in the first preliminary round of the welterweight (66kg) in Tbilisi when he spent only two minutes in the ring. The 16-year-old Hungarian knocked down Poland’s Dominik Przywara in the first round and landed several powerful shots. The taller Polish boxer survived the most dangerous moments but Gemes continued his hegemony in the second round. The tough Hungarian pressurized the Polish talent and he had massive advantage after two rounds. His Polish opponent used closer in-fighting style in the third round but in that strategy Gemes was also better.

Ukraine’s Oleksiy Stepanov is the main favourite of the men’s middleweight (75kg) and he dictated the rhythm and pressurized Belarus’ Danila Ryshtouski in the first round. The 16-year-old Ukrainian was quarter-finalist in the last edition but his target is the gold in his second EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. Stepanov’s jabs were dangerous for the Belarusian southpaw who tried to keep longer range against the tough Ukrainian. Stepanov knew how to handle all situations in the ring and advanced to the last four in Tbilisi where he will be meeting with Muhammed Halil Dogru.

Armenia arrived with a strong team to the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships which they proved in the men’s quarter-finals today. Their light flyweight (48kg) boxer, Samvel Grigoryan was too strong for Croatia’s Bruno Bacac and dominated all of the exchanges in their quarter-final. The Armenian will be meeting in the semi-finals with Georgia’s Oruj Akhmedovi who bowed out Israel’s Yuriy Lapchevskyi in the next exciting contest of the day.

Azerbaijan’s Kanan Babayev proved strong performance in the preparation events and he had energetic performance in the preliminary round of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The Azeri light flyweight (48kg) boxer landed high number of clear punches in the first round against Malik Sugaipov and the referee counted the Russian. Babayev was not able to continue in the same strong level in the second and Sugaipov returned to their game with strict punches and he could turn back their contest.

Georgia’s next strong boxer in action was Davit Japaridze who had to meet with Germany’s Ivo Dumpelfed in the quarter-finals of the light bantamweight (52kg). The Georgian talent had tough rhythm in the first round and his German opponent tried to adopt that. Japaridze was punctual, strong and his tactical repertoires decided their contest which means he became the host nation’s next boxer who advanced to the semi-finals. Japaridze will be meeting in the last four with Italy’s Gaetano Buonocore who eliminated Armenia’s Harutyun Khachatryan in the next bout of Ring A.

Poland’s Ivan Kucherenko eliminated two rivals at the light welterweight (63kg) with excellent technical performance. The Polish boxer was 20cm taller than his Russian opponent, Ivan Tikhonov who claimed silver medal at the 2020 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. Kucherenko was a hard target for the small Russian and Tikhonov had the most difficult tactical job during his whole career. The Russian managed that tough situation and eliminated his Polish opponent which means he can box with Georgia’s Mamuka Sartania in the semi-final.

Italy’s Samuele Gugliotta continued his impressive winning path and he proved his very best against Turkey’s Ahmed Gunduz in the quarter-finals of the light welterweight (63kg). The Italian controlled the exchanges and felt the fighting range well enough which means he is now a guaranteed medallist in Tbilisi. The next Italian boxer, Tiziano Guglielman also proved strong performance against Israel’s Siyel Jiryis in the next weight category, at the light middleweight (70kg). Guglielman was highly confident and he could accomplish his minimum target, advanced to the semi-finals.

The quote of the day

“I achieved today my first goal, to be for the second time in a row in the semi-finals of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. It was a difficult bout today because I fought with a very tall opponent but I am happy because I won this contest. I have two more obstacles before achieving my main goal to defend my title in the championships,” commented his success Romania’s Daniel Girleanu.

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