Hero of the day Juan Pantoja delivers a medal for Spain the first since 1992

17 November 2020 News

Eighteen bouts have been held in two sessions in the third competition day at the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Budva, Montenegro and many of the winners are now guaranteed medallists. Juan Pantoja caused the main sensation of the day and bagged a medal for Spain the first one in the event’s history since 1992.

The following 22 nations are attending in the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships Budva 2020: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.

Boxers who were born in 2002 and in 2003 are eligible to attend in the EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships in Budva. 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 Montenegro to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships.

The bout of the day

Ukraine’s Roman Litvinov achieved bronze medal at the 2019 EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships one and half year ago. The Ukrainian talent joined to the youth age group this January and defeated all of his top rivals in their Youth National Championships. The 17-year-old Ukrainian has got more than 120 bouts in total but he had to do his very best against Armenia’s Ruben Garboyan. Both boxers had excellent footwork and skilled technique in the bout of the day which delighted the sixth session in Budva. Litvinov kept his safest distance better and eliminated a technician rival in the continental event taking a guaranteed medal in Montenegro.

The surprise of the day

Spain’s Juan Pantoja is only 17 but he could be the next Gabriel Escobar at the men’s flyweight (52kg). The best Spaniard in Budva had a tough opponent as first as he had to meet with Russia’s Youth National Champion Nikita Kosman who defeated tough rivals in the recent one year. The Russian was at least 15cm taller and tried to keep the best fighting distance but Pantoja had quick attacks in the first round. The younger Spanish boxer exceeded all of the previous expectations with his impressive performance and won their tactical contest in Budva advancing to the semi-finals. Pantoja’s medal is Spain’s first one since Laureano Leyva’s bronze which he earned in 1992.

The round-up

Armenia’s Vahag Galustyan was the winner of the first contest in the event on Day1 when he bowed out Romania’s Catalin Vicentiu. Galustyan is spending his first year in the youth age group but he has the strong technical skills to compete successfully in the international stage. The 17-year-old Armenian continued his winning path against North Macedonia’s Ilhan Ozmen and advanced to the quarter-finals of the light welterweight (64kg).

The Lijesevic brothers are Montenegro’s strong future hopes and among them the younger Damjan began his campaign on Day3 at the light welterweight (64kg). He had to meet with another 17-year-old talent in the last 16, Estonia’s Matvei Starikov whose father was the country’s best boxer in the 1990s. Lijesevic tried to use his longer hands in the first round but Starikov’s aggressive tactic was uncomfortable for him in the second period. Montenegro’s new youth boxer had strong stamina to beat the experienced Estonian in Budva.

Czech Republic’s Erik Suchy impressed in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament in Lithuania this March before the Covid-19 pandemic. The 18-year-old Czech boxer won that strong international competition and after eight months of break he returned with a great success against Moldova’s Adrian Bucsa. Suchy will be meeting for the guaranteed medal at the light welterweight (64kg) with Lithuania’s experienced Nedas Gudomskas who reduced the fighting distance successfully against Albania’s Ergis Toci.

Ukraine’s Youth National Champion Bozorboy Matyakubov had the strong fighting spirit in his opening contest in Budva where he met with Sweden’s Kevin Scott. His Swedish opponent was taller and experienced in the international tournaments but Matyakubov caught him with close distance punches. The 17-year-old Ukrainian will be boxing in the quarter-finals with Spain’s Boxam International Youth Tournament winner Rafael Acosta who eliminated Kosovo’s Berisha Qlirim at the light welterweight (64kg).

Ukraine’s Vasyl Tkachuk dominated his next contest in Budva and eliminated Lithuania’s Nojus Ivanauskas at the super heavyweight (+91kg). EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Hovhannes Papazyan controlled all of the rounds against Albania’s Arbi Haxhiu in the next contest of the heaviest weight category. Further favorites such as Russia’s Ivan Onishchenko and Croatia’s new sensation Josip Coric also advanced to the last four in Budva and all of them are now guaranteed medallists.

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