Kellie Harrington enjoyed her comeback from the second round at the Strandja Memorial Tournament

23 February 2022 News

Fifty-seven contests featured in the third competition at the 73rd edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday. Ireland’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Kellie Harrington competed once again after half year of break and she defeated such a technician boxer as Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson.

The Strandja Memorial is Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament and has a strong brand name therefore high number of stars and nations decided to compete in Sofia. IBA will arrange the money prizes and boxers can earn new world ranking points during the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament.

The first edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament was held in Sofia in 1950 and the competition saw amazing stars in the recent decades. The new edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament holds in all of 12 women’s and 13 men’s weight categories in the Bulgarian capital.

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the check of the vaccinations, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Sofia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the 2022 Strandja Memorial Tournament.

The bout of the day

Ireland’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Kellie Harrington won the most important event in 2021 and the lightweight (60kg) boxer had some time to relax after her busy schedule. The Irish star returned as many of the stars at the Strandja Memorial Tournament and she could expect a tough contest against Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson who earned her first big title already in 2011. The Swedish girl had similar style as Harrington and she was competitive in the first round but the Irish boxer received the best advices in the ringside. Harrington took the second round with more confident style and she could win the entire contest in the Bulgarian capital.

The surprise of the day

Greece’s Marinela Tsani is their new National Champion at the women’s lightweight (60kg) but she is not a well-known boxer in the international stage yet. She had to meet with Ukraine’s Hanna Okhrey who involved to the national team four years ago and attended at the last edition of the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships. The Greek girl surprised the experienced Ukrainian in the first round but Okhrey had the right tactical response in the second. Tsani felt that she can beat the Ukrainian and mobilized her power in the third round and those efforts were enough to make a surprise in Sofia.

The Round-Up

Germany’s Ehis Ben is newcomer in their national team but he has excellent athletic and physical skills. The German light heavyweight (80kg) boxer met with Greece’s new National Champion Theocharis Tsaousidis who competed in her first international event today. The Greek boxer had a few good actions in the first round but his German opponent stepped into the gas in the second following the instructions from his coaches. Ehis was powerful in the second round and he continued that strong performance in the third when he caught the inexperienced Greek Champion. The German boxer landed at least ten tough and clear punches within fifteen seconds in the third round and the referee stopped their contest.

Germany’s Silvio Schierle was member of their national team already at the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships at the age of 20. Following his medal in the U22 age group, he moved up from the middleweight up to the light heavyweight (80kg). Schierle was not enough successful in the recent three years but he was motivated to show his real skills in Sofia. His Indian opponent, Sachin Kumar started slightly better but the German corner had the right response in the first break and Schierle was able to turn back the contest eliminating a medal hopeful.

Finland’s Nikita Nystedt will be turning to 20 later this year but he competed almost all of the major championships since 2018. The young Finnish boxer proved his talent at the Kielce 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships nearly one year ago but his strength and tactical skills were developed since that event. The young Finnish boxer started better than Ireland’s Kelyn Cassidy and his shots reached the target area. The Irish hope came back in different rhythm in the second round but Nystedt had the power in the third to win their light heavyweight (80kg) bout.

Netherlands’ Husniye Calisir achieved bronze medal at the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Youth Boxing Championships in Sofia and she returned to the Bulgarian capital after two and half years of break. The 21-year-old Dutch boxer competes still at the lightweight (60kg) as in her youth age and prepares to the upcoming EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. Calisir tried to use her longer hands against Russia’s smaller Valeria Devyataykina and she had some new shots in the first round. The Dutch boxer developed in terms of speed and strength but the aggressive Russian won their narrow contest today.

Russia’s Natalia Sychugova achieved silver medal at the Guwahati 2017 AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships and she has done strong job in the recent years to reach the level of the best boxers. She aims for a medal in the upcoming IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and proved in the Strandja Memorial Tournament that she is in good shape. Sychugova controlled the first and second rounds against Greece’s National Champion Olga Papadatou at the light welterweight (63kg) and she calmed down in the third to save power for the further actions.  

Netherlands’ young prospect, Chelsey Heijnen won the gold medal at the 2017 EUBC Women’s Youth European Boxing Championships and she returned to Bulgaria as a more experienced boxer. The 22-year-old Dutch boxer competes at the light welterweight (63kg) and uses the Strandja Memorial Tournament to regain her confidence. Heijnen is physically stronger than ever and Romania’s EUBC European Youth Champion Loredana Marin felt her punches in the first round. Heijnen controlled the contest against the younger Romanian talent and returned with upgraded skills.

Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Youth Champion Radoslav Rosenov joined to their elite and U22 national team this January as one of the biggest prospects of the whole region. The 18-year-old super talented boxer faced with another boxer in his debut at the Strandja Memorial Tournament who was born also in 2003, Denmark’s Elias Idrissi. The Bulgarian lightweight (60kg) boxer spent only 47 seconds in the ring when the Italian referee confirmed his RSC success.

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