Iratxe Vals Del Valle defeated the reigning European Youth Champion in the finals of the Boxam Youth Tournament

09 October 2022 News

All of the sixteen final contests took place at the Boxam Youth Tournament in the city of Benidorm in Spain on Day4. Spain’s Iratxe Vals Del Valle defeated the defending EUBC European Youth Champion in the first final of the Boxam Youth Tournament but Finland’s Teresa Maekinen, France’s Maelys Richol, Spain’s Rafael Lozano Serrano, Italy’s Alessio Camiolo and Puerto Rico’s Angel Gabriel Llanos all impressed in the event.

The President of the Spanish Boxing Federation Mr. Felipe Martinez decided to arrange an international tournament, the prestigious Boxam prior the main event, the IBA Youth World Boxing Championships which will be held in Spain for the first time. IBA and the Spanish LOC is expecting nearly record number of boxers in the new edition of the Youth World Boxing Championships.

The Spanish Boxing Federation will be hosting an international training camp before the start of the IBA Youth World Boxing Championships from the last days of October until November 13. The first competition day of the IBA Youth World Boxing Championships will be November 15 in La Nucia, Spain.

Boxers who were born in 2004 and in 2005 were eligible to attend in the youth part of the competition in Benidorm. The last edition of the Boxam Youth Tournament was held in Crevillente, Alicante region in November 2021 and the event moved this time to the famous tourist place, the sunny Benidorm.

The bout of the day

Spain’s EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Asier Jimenez was the host nation’s next finalists in the Boxam Youth Tournament. He moved up to the flyweight (51kg) a few weeks ago but he adopted the strength of the punches quickly and proved his best against Italy’s experienced Alessio Camiolo. The Italian tried to keep his Spanish opponent under pressure in the second round and he landed multiple shots in that period. Camiolo’s rhythm change meant that the final verdict was depended on their performance in the third round. The 18-year-old Italian had a superb left-handed hook in the middle of the third period and made a fantastic turn in the contest claiming a gold medal.

The surprise of the day

France’s Kaelya Mopin is the defending EUBC European Women’s Youth Champion at the flyweight (52kg) but she had a tough job in the final against Spain’s Iratxe Vals Del Valle who claimed also medal in Sofia this April. Mopin competed in the last edition of the Boxam Youth Tournament in Spain and this event was an excellent acclimatization for her before the IBA Youth World Boxing Championships. The Spanish kept the best fighting distance in the first round and counter-attacked the French boxer effectively. Vals was patient and found the best angles in Benidorm to surprise Mopin with her strong development. The 18-year-old Spanish boxer was able to score from long distance and she eliminated the reigning European Youth Champion with excellent performance.

The Round-up

Spain’s EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Luna Maria Mairena Aragon had a taller Brazilian rival in the final of the women’s bantamweight (54kg), Nicoli De Oliveira who is their new Youth National Champion. Mairena was patient as Iratxe Vals Del Valle and took the lead on the judges’ scorecards after three minutes of fight. The Brazilian increased her rhythm in the second round and the referee had to count the local boxer once in that period. The 18-year-old Spanish had a great finish and defeated her South American opponent by split decision in Benidorm.

Finland’s Teresa Maekinen eliminated France’s Mayssa Belkhadra in the semi-finals of the women’s featherweight (57kg) and she opened the first round of the final against Spain’s Julia Villegas with better shots. The Finnish girl found her best category, moved down from the lightweight (60kg) and she looked energetic in this division during the entire tournament. The Finnish girl was never stopped attacking and her pressure paid off in this final, Maekinen earned her nation’s lone gold medal in Benidorm.

France’s Maelys Richol won the title in the last edition of the Boxam Tournament and she earned a bronze medal at the annual EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. The French welterweight (66kg) talent is taller than any of her opponents and she her longer hands to catch Spain’s Paula Requena. Richol not only looked better than the Spaniard from her best range but she attacked several times to dominate the first round. The referee counted Requena twice in the first minutes but the Spanish was able to continue until the last gong against the French star.  

Spain’s EUBC European Youth Champion Rafael Lozano Serrano moved down to the minimumweight (48kg) which is perfect for his physical conditions and height. The 18-year-old boxer controlled the first round against a younger Spanish talent, Daniel Iniguez who spends his first year in the youth age group but advanced to the final in Benidorm. Lozano stopped Iniguez’s attacks with body shots and the southpaw worked from longer range, he used his best tactics. Lozano’s warm-up for the IBA Youth World Boxing Championships was successful, he claimed a gold medal at the Boxam Youth Tournament.

France’s EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Marwan Mouflih proved strong performance in the whole year and he advanced to his next tournament final. The 18-year-old French met a taller rival, Puerto Rico’s William Yediel Colon and both boxers wanted to win this men’s featherweight (57kg) final. The Puerto Rican had nice movements and combinations in the first round but Mouflih switched his tempo to return on the scorecards in the second. The French used in-fighting style of boxing in the third round and his uppercuts were dangerous for Colon which guaranteed Mouflih’s gold medal in Benidorm.

Spain’s Enrique Kakulov is the next Spanish future hope at the light welterweight (63.5kg) and he worked hard in the previous months to be top shape in the IBA Youth World Boxing Championships. The 18-year-old local hope performed well in the first round against Brazil’s Hebert Soares and he had a short advantage on the scorecards. The Brazilian was patient in the second round and he looked more effective in that period than Kakulov. The South American southpaw has fantastic eyes and both boxers produced a spectacular third round which delighted the crowd in Benidorm. Kakulov gave in everything in the final minute which was decisive between them to keep the gold medal on home soil.

Italy’s EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships silver medallist Samuele Gugliotta impressed in the semi-finals of the welterweight (67kg) and he walked over to the title of the category following his opponent, Lithuania’s Joris Augustaitis was not able to box against him. Paolo Caruso won the next Italian gold medal at the Boxam Youth Tournament, he outpointed Spain’s Joan Jimenez and landed shots from his long distance. Caruso was highly confident in their final bout and he used his tricky style of boxing to take the gold medal at the cruiserweight (86kg).

Puerto Rico’s Angel Gabriel Llanos proved an outstanding performance in the semi-finals of the light middleweight (71kg) on Day3. He met another AMBC boxer in the final, Brazil’s promising Alyssonn Da Silva for the title of the weight class. The Puerto Rican boxer had less than 50 contests before the Boxam Youth Tournament but he was so smart in the opening minutes in the final once again. Llanos overcame the Brazilian several times in their exchanges and he increased his speed and number of attacks in the second. The referee counted the Brazilian three-times in the second round and confirmed the RSC success of the Puerto Rican southpaw.

France’s Yojerlin Cesar achieved already two EUBC medals, the first one in 2020 and the second this April. The French middleweight (75kg) boxer had the strict strategy to keep his local opponent, EUBC’s Eduard-Ionut Curmei on long. Cesar had the height advantage but he had to work a lot on feet to avoid Curmei’s strong punches in the first round. The French southpaw had difficult moments in the second round and Curmei returned to the contest with his energetic shots. Cesar had to change his strategy in the third round and landed more punches to win one of the most difficult contests of the day.

The quotes of the day

“I am so happy that I beat my French opponent today, she is really strong and to be honest I am so tired after this bout. I had to keep the distance and use my jabs against the French and I think it worked well. This bout increased my confidence before the IBA Youth World Boxing Championships,” said Spain’s Iratxe Vals Del Valle after the final.

“It was a good performance today and I am so happy for this gold medal. My opponent was a strong one but I believe I could do better in each of the rounds,” added Finland’s Teresa Maekinen after her success.

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