Lithuania’s Edgaras Skurdelis defended his title in the Algirdas Socikas Tournament22 May 2018
The 22nd edition of the Algirdas Socikas Tournament was held in Kaunas, Lithuania where nine champions have been crowned in this men’s elite event. Among the titleholders of the Algirdas Socikas Tournament only Lithuania’s Edgaras Skurdelis was able to win the competition once again.
Six-time Soviet National Champion Mr. Algirdas Socikas was one of the hero of Lithuania’s boxing life in the past who won the European Boxing Championships two-times in 1953 in Warsaw and in 1955 in West Berlin. Lithuania’s most important elite international boxing tournament was named after their national boxing icon.
Lithuania claimed four gold medals in the last Algirdas Socikas Tournament in Kaunas in 2017 and their boxers were able to raise this figure up to five in the new 22nd edition. The Algirdas Socikas Tournament was a preparation event before the main goals in 2018 and mainly in 2019 therefore the national teams are looking for new talents.
The first gold medal of the Algirdas Socikas Tournament was achieved by France’s Mohamed Allalia who defeated Lithuania’s veteran national team member Marius Vysniauskas in the final of the flyweight (52kg). Allalia’s younger brother won the Boxam Youth Tournament before the Algirdas Socikas Tournament and Mohamed continued the family business in Kaunas.
Lithuania’s Edgaras Skurdelis joined to the international competitions in 2009 when he was a junior boxer. Following his junior and youth successes he is member of their national elite team since 2012 and attended in several EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships. The 25-year-old lightweight (60kg) boxer was the lone one who could defend his throne in Kaunas after beating Lithuania’s Gilvinas Lukosiunas in the final.
Moldova’s EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Dmitri Galagot delivered a sensational triumph over Lithuania’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Evaldas Petrauskas in the 2017 edition. The two experienced top boxers met once again in the final of the light welterweight (64kg) in Kaunas but Petrauskas was more prepared this time and did revenge about his last year’s loss.
England’s Mohammed Harris Akbar claimed bronze medal in the St. Petersburg 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and he proved his power also in Kaunas. The 20-year-old English welterweight (69kg) talent did enough against Moldova’s London 2012 Olympian veteran Vasili Belous in the final. Akbar was a hard target for the 10-years-older Moldovan boxer and the English talent could celebrate his title in Kaunas.
Lithuania’s Vytautas Balsys was silver medallist in the 2016 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships and as Mohammed Harris Akbar his skills are rapidly developed in the recent one year. The 20-year-old Lithuanian middleweight (75kg) boxer used an aggressive style against Moldova’s Victor Corobcevschii and bagged the next title for the host nation in Kaunas.
Following Moldova’s three unsuccessful finalists their fourth one Alexei Zavatin captured the title in the Algirdas Socikas Tournament. The 31-year-old super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer, who qualified for the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships, landed more and effective punches when he met with Lithuania’s experienced Mantas Valavicius in the final. The final scoring was unanimous decision to Zavatin who won Moldova’s lone title in Kaunas.