Hussing, Konakbayev, Perunovic and Uusivirta were among the winners at the Cologne 1979 European Boxing Championships

09 July 2020 News

East Germany’s Halle welcomed the participants at the 22ndEuropean Boxing Championships in 1977 and the event moved to West Germany two years later. The 23rd European Boxing Championships was held in the city of Cologne or it is well-known worldwide in original German, Köln. Soviet Union’s Serik Konakbayev, Yugoslavia’s Miodrag Perunovic, West Germany’s Peter Hussing and Finland’s Tarmo Uusivirta were the stars of the 1979 edition.

Cologne produced impressive boxers in the recent decades and was one of the capitals of our sport in West Germany and the also in the unified Germany. The heavyweight (91kg) and the super heavyweight (+91kg) categories have been officially added to the program of the 1979 edition of the European Boxing Championships at the first time. Altogether 12 champions and 48 medallists have been crowned in Cologne.

The first competition day of the 1979 European Boxing Championships was May 5 in Cologne while the finals were held on May 12. The local organizers arranged a rest day on May 11 in 1979 after the semi-finals to give some time for the finalists to prepare to their most important contests. There were not any weight classes where two rounds of preliminaries were held in the 1979 European Boxing Championships.

The number of the boxers was 146 in the 1979 European Boxing Championships in Cologne which was the same figure as two years earlier. The following 23 nations attended in the Cologne 1979 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales, West Germany, and Yugoslavia.

Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, West Germany attended with maximum number of 12 boxers inthe Cologne 1979 European Boxing Championships. England and Scotland both had to miss the 1979 European Boxing Championships. One of the developing boxing nations, Portugal celebrated one victory in Cologne but their boxer failed to get the next step to win a medal in the event.

The strong team of the Soviet Union continued its dominancy in the Cologne 1979 European Boxing Championships taking seven out of the twelve gold medals. West Germany achieved two titles in the front of the home crowd while Yugoslavia, Poland and Finland each won one gold medal in 1979.

Altogether 13 nations out of the attending 23 shared the 48 available medals in Cologne. Next to the gold medallist countries, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Ireland and Sweden were on the medal table. The East Germans took seven, the Romanians six medals excluding one single title in Cologne.

Soviet Union’s Shamil Sabirov began boxing in 1973 and after six years of experiences in the sport, the Karpinsk-based boxer arrived to the top of the European continent. The 20-year-old boxer defeated East Germany’s Dietmar Geilich in the final of the light flyweight (48kg) in Cologne. Poland’s Henryk Srednicki won the light flyweight (48kg) at the 1977 European Boxing Championships and repeated that at the flyweight (51kg) two years later after beating Daniel Radu in the final.

Soviet Union’s Nikolay Khraptsov eliminated Romania’s 1977 silver medallist Teodor Dinu in the preliminary stage of the bantamweight (54kg) and did not stop until the gold medal of the category. His fellow Viktor Rybakov, who claimed bronze medal in 1977, dominated the featherweight (57kg) in Cologne and won the Soviet Union’s third gold medal. Rybakov spent short time in the ring against Bulgaria’s Chacho Andreykovski and knocked down his final opponent quickly in the first round.

The Kazakh SSR of the Soviet Union produced amazing boxers in the second part of the 1970s and their Viktor Demyanenko amazed in the final of the lightweight (60kg) against West Germany’s Rudi Weller. His compatriot from Pavlodar, Serik Konakbayev was only 20 by the time of the 1979 European Boxing Championships but he controlled all of his fights until the road to the finals at the light welterweight (63.5kg). Konakbayev had a superb final against Italy’s legend Patrizio Oliva but he managed to win the Soviet Union’s fifth gold medal in Cologne.

West Germany’s Ernst Müller claimed bronze medal in the Belgrade 1978 AIBA World Boxing Championships and the 25-year-old welterweight (67kg) boxer reached the top of the podium in Cologne following he bowed out Yugoslavia’s Sreten Mirkovic in the final. Yugoslavia’s next finalist Miodrag Perunovic, who earned silver medal at the 1978 AIBA World Boxing Championships, delivered one of the main surprises in 1979. The 22-year-old Montenegro-based boxer defeated the defending champion Soviet Union’s Viktor Savchenko in the final of the light middleweight (71kg).

Finland’s golden era in boxing was the 1970s when Kalevi Marjamaa claimed gold in 1975 and bronze in 1977. Their next star 22-year-old Tarmo Uusivirta earned silver in the Belgrade 1978 AIBA World Boxing Championships and defeated all of his rivals in Cologne including Romania’s Valentin Silaghi who is member of Germany’s coaching staff in our present days. The final next exciting final was won by Soviet Union’s Armenian boxer Albert Nikolyan who triumphed over Yugoslavia’s Bosnian-based Olympic Games runner-up Tadija Kacar.

Soviet Union’s Yevgeniy Gorstkov won the previousheavyweight (+81kg) in 1977 and claimed another gold medal in 1979 when the category’s weight limit was 91kg becoming two-time European Champion. West Germany’s Peter Hussing achieved three medals in the previous editions of the European Boxing Championships and finally he reached the top of the podium in Cologne at the new super heavyweight (+91kg). The experienced boxer defeated Hungary’s Ferenc Somodi in the final winning the bout unanimously.

List of the winners in the 1979 European Boxing Championships

  • Light flyweight (48kg): Shamil Sabirov, Soviet Union
  • Flyweight (51kg): Henryk Srednicki, Poland
  • Bantamweight (54kg): Nikolay Khraptsov, Soviet Union
  • Featherweight (57kg): Viktor Rybakov, Soviet Union
  • Lightweight (60kg): Viktor Demyanenko, Soviet Union
  • Light welterweight (63.5kg): Serik Konakbayev, Soviet Union
  • Welterweight (67kg): Ernst Müller, West Germany
  • Light middleweight (71kg): Miodrag Perunovic, Yugoslavia
  • Middleweight (75kg): Tarmo Uusivirta, Finland
  • Light heavyweight (81kg): Albert Nikolyan, Soviet Union  
  • Heavyweight (91kg): Yevgeniy Gorstkov, Soviet Union
  • Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Peter Hussing, West Germany 

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