Jezek, Eccles and Kovacs were the heroes of the first day at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament

09 February 2021 News

The President of the Hungarian Boxing Association Dr. Istvan Bajkai opened the 65th edition of the traditional Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary. Croatia’s 19-year-old Noa Jezek delivered the biggest surprise of the first competition day in Debrecen where one of Hungary’s top boxers Richard Kovacs also shined. Wales’ Rosie Eccles eliminated Italy’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Angela Carini in a top bout.

The Bocskai Memorial Tournament is the highlight of the boxing events this week where the finals are scheduled to be held on February 12. The event holds in the five Olympic women and eight men weight categories in Debrecen which is located in the Eastern part of the country. The number of the participating boxers is 175 including 55 women from 22 different countries and three Confederations.

The following 22 nations arrived to the Bocskai Memorial Tournament to Hungary: Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Wales.

The Technical Delegate of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament is the experienced Ms. Anna Laukkanen of Finland. The competition is a preparation event before the previously suspended European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and also for the World Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event.

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 Debrecen to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Bocskai Memorial Tournament.

The bout of the day

Hungary’s Richard Kovacs was quarter-finalist at the 2017 EUBC European Boxing Championships in Kharkiv and qualified for the Hamburg AIBA World Boxing Championships at the age of 20. Since then he won all of the editions of the Hungarian National Championships and he was named as one of the favourites of the lightweight (63kg) at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. Kovacs had to meet with Israel’s former EUBC European Champion veteran Pavlo Ishchenko as first which bout was the best in the first day of boxing. Both boxers maintained the best fighting distance quickly and their contest became a tactical chess game. Kovacs ruled the third round against the tiring Israeli boxer and won the contest by unanimous decision in Debrecen.

The surprise of the day

Georgia’s Giorgi Kharabadze claimed his first big title at the 2013 EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships in Anapa. The Georgian middleweight (75kg) boxer, who will be turning to 24 this year, attacked from the first seconds against Noa Jezek but the younger Croatian adopted the rhythm of the battle. Jezek’s uppercuts were successful in the second round and the 19-year-old Croatian kept continue the strong performance and eliminated his more experienced Georgian rival.

The Round-up

Turkey’s Batuhan Ciftci caused one of the biggest sensations of the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event when he eliminated Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Champion Daniel Asenov. The Turkish boxer qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games at the flyweight (52kg) but he competes at the featherweight (57kg) at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. Ciftci met with Spain’s Antonio Barrul who developed in the recent one year but the Turkish boxer was still better in all aspects of boxing.

Lithuania’s Saimonas Banys returned to the national team after a short break but he had the advantage in strength against Austria’s Marcel Meinl. The 22-year-old Lithuanian was never stopped attacking in the contest and dominated all rounds in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. Banys landed several powerful hooks from short distance and he won their welterweight (69kg) contest in Debrecen.

Spain’s EUBC European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Youba Ndiaye Sissokho has done a superb return to the national team one year ago. The Rio 2016 Olympian tried to catch Belgium’s Ibrahima Diallo who competed at the African Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event representing Guinea last February. The Spaniard ruled the middle of the ring in their welterweight (69kg) contest and advanced to the next stage of boxing.

Lithuania’s Vytautas Balsys claimed silver medal at the 2016 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships and following his U22 experiences, he is one of their elite flag bearers. The Lithuanian middleweight (75kg) boxer kept the best fighting distance against Hungary’s Barnabas Hegyi who returned to the sport after a short break. The experienced Hungarian landed successful punches in the second but Balsys was patient and decided their narrow contest in the third.

Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli is the defending AIBA Women’s World Champion at the welterweight (69kg) who is one of the stars at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. The 22-year-old boxer was too strong for Algeria’s Ichrak Chaib in the first day of boxing and marched into the quarter-finals. Surmeneli boxed in the last AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships final with Italy’s Angela Carini who lost to Wales’ experienced Rosie Eccles in the end of the first session in Debrecen.   

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