Hickey and Bustamante were exceptional in the Belgrade Winner Tournament on Day3

26 April 2021 News

Fifty quarter-final and semi-final contests have been held at the 58th edition of the Belgrade Winner Tournament which runs at the Hall “Pinki” Zemun in the Serbian capital. Scotland’s Samuel Hickey and Chile’s Valentina Bustamante caused the top sensations of the third competition day in Belgrade.

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

England’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Benjamin Whittaker is a sensational boxer who has got one of the best footwork in the light heavyweight (81kg). The 24-year-old English met in the quarter-finals with an experienced boxer, Kyrgyzstan’s Erkin Adylbek Uulu who was the flag bearer of their team delegation in the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. England’s pride and his Kyrgyz opponent are same tall boxers therefore the strategy of the contest was similar from both sides. Whittaker was better in that game and he could eliminate his veteran Kyrgyz opponent by split decision.

The surprises of the day

Scotland’s Samuel Hickey claimed silver medal at the 2016 EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships and attended in several youth competitions. He joined to the elite age group in 2019 and after a few international tournaments he recognized as a talent who has the chance to reach strong results in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The young Scottish moved up to the middleweight (75kg) where he is new but his strength was enough to beat Kazakhstan’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Yermakhan Zhakpekov in the quarter-finals.

England’s Youth Olympic Games winner and AIBA Youth World Champion Caroline Dubois joined to the elite national team in January 2020 and she is a strong prospect for them in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. The English lightweight (60kg) star suffered an unexpected loss to Chile’s former Italian boxer, Valentina Bustamante who used her strong attacks to shock Dubois in the semi-finals.

The Round-up

England’s EUBC European Boxing Championships silver medallist Galal Yafai has been preparing to his second Olympic Games and after a break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he returned to the international events at the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Yafai is still tall at the flyweight (52kg) and he used his distance well against France’s 20-year-old Ibrahim Boukedim who progressed a lot but the English star was still too smart for him in the quarter-finals of the category.

Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Champion experienced Daniel Asenov competes at the featherweight (57kg) in the Belgrade Winner Tournament where he is smaller than all of his rivals. The Bulgarian was a hard target for Botswana’s George Molwantwa and used his tempo effectively to win their quarter-final bout in Serbia. He will be meeting with another Tokyo Olympian, Roland Galos in the last four while the main favourite of the category, England’s EUBC European Champion Peter McGrail also advanced to the semi-finals.

Greece’s EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Vagkan Nanitzanian defeated several strong opponents during his career and the 22-year-old boxer proved once again that he has fabulous fighting spirit. Nanitzanian opened the first round well against Russia’s Salakh Mutselkhanov and he was able to keep his level until the last gong. Following his tight success over the Russian, the Greek talent will be boxing with Kazakhstan’s Olympic Games silver medallist Vasiliy Levit in the semi-finals.

Russia’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Zenfira Magomedalieva is a veteran boxer who moved down to the middleweight (75kg) one and half year ago due to the possibility of the Olympic spot. The Russian boxer controlled the first round of her semi-final against Hungary’s newcomer in the national team, Regina Lakos. The Hungarian never boxed in that level yet therefore her coach abandoned the contest in the second round. Magomedalieva will be meeting for the gold medal with Uzbekistan’s Mavluda Mavlonova who had a narrow triumph over Lithuania’s Gabriele Stonkute.

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