Kholdarov, Al-Ezirej and Mammadli were the bests in the quarter-finals of the Great Silk Way Tournament31 March 2019
The next and final part of the quarter-finals with 20 bouts were held in the fourth competition day of the new edition of the Great Silk Way Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan. Uzbekistan’s Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Ikboljon Kholdarov, Iraq’s Sahm Kadhim Karrar Al-Ezirej and Azerbaijan’s Rahil Mammadli were the heroes of these quarter-finals.
Azerbaijan Boxing Federation hosted the first edition of the Great Silk Way Tournament in 2007 and after two years of break the competition returned to the European boxing map. Altogether 117 boxers are attending in the current Great Silk Way Tournament from such powerful countries as host Azerbaijan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkey, Morocco and Turkmenistan.
Bout of the day
Uzbekistan’s Ikboljon Kholdarov claimed silver medal at the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships and gold in the Tashkent 2017 ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships. The 22-year-old Uzbek moved up to the welterweight (69kg) and he needs to do his very best to keep himself in their No.1 team due the tough concurrency. Kholdarov used his technician tactic from the first seconds and his world class movements controlled the opening minutes against Georgia’s Giorgi Doliashvili. His Caucasian opponent was able to adopt the rhythm of their quarter-final and impressed in that period surprising Kholdarov. The young Georgian was a bit tired in the last round and Kholdarov managed to win their top level of quarter-final in Baku.
Surprise of the day
Azerbaijan’s Cuban-descent Lorenzo Sotomayor won the title of the Baku 2015 European Games and earned silver medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The tall Azeri boxer tried to use his longer reach in the quarter-finals of the welterweight (69kg) against Iraq’s Sahm Kadhim Karrar Al-Ezirej which is his general tactic. The 10-year-younger Iraqi boxer, who claimed silver medal at the 2011 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships, reduced the fighting distance and his aggressive style was uncomfortable for Sotomayor. Al-Ezirej was never stop attacking, moved forward and delivered the main sensation of Day4.
Azerbaijan’s Masud Yusifzada robbed into the best flyweight (52kg) boxers as a youth talent in 2013 and qualified for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. As an elite boxer he was quickly involved to the national team and after five years of strong experiences, he is now capable to beat all of his top rivals. Yusifzada had to meet with Morocco’s hope Yassine Bendadda in the quarter-finals and his skills were enough to control their bout therefore the top Azeri semi-final realized in Baku. Yusifzada will be facing for the final with Doha 2015 AIBA World Champion Elvin Mamishzada who came back to our sport.
Azerbaijan’s Almaty 2013 AIBA World Champion Javid Chalabiyev also returned to the sport as Elvin Mamishzada and dominated his second fight in the Great Silk Way Tournament. The 27-year-old lightweight (60kg) boxer used his long reach to keep the best fighting range against Russia’s Magomed Tinovasov. Chalabiyev performed same strong way how he became AIBA World Champion six years ago and eliminated his Russian rival becoming guaranteed medallist in Baku.
Ruslan Rustamov is member of the younger generation in Azerbaijan who claimed gold medal at the 2015 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships in Kolobrzeg, Poland. He reached that career highlight at the light flyweight (49kg) but since then his coaches developed his physical skills and moved up to the lightweight (60kg). The 21-year-old Azeri boxer was quicker and more efficient than Kazakhstan’s Yersultan Bulat therefore he also advanced to the semi-finals.
Russia’s Kadyrov Memorial Tournament winner and Governor Cup gold medallist Magomedmurad Arslanbekov was one of the main favourites of the heavyweight (91kg) prior the Great Silk Way Tournament. Arslanbekov, who earned bronze medal in the last edition of the Russian National Championships, eliminated Uzbekistan’s Sardorbek Yormukhammedov on Day3 but in the next session he was not enough shape against Azerbaijan’s Rahil Mammadli. The final verdict was split decision in the favour of Mammadli who will be meeting in the semi-final with his young teammate Ismayil Yagubov.