Lozano, Pantoja, Kakulov, Bachelet, Morovati, Hadjit and Boe were the stars of the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament29 November 2021
The 14 youth finals were held in the new edition of the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament which hosted by the Spanish Boxing Federation in Crevillent, Alicante region. Spain’s Rafael Lozano Serrano, Juan Pantoja, Enrique Kakulov, furthermore France’s Cyndelle Bachelet, Finland’s Sam Morovati, Belgium’s Noa Hadjit and Norway’s Dennis Boe Dahl won heroic contests on Day5.
The five-days long tournament finished and altogether 26 champions have been crowned in the Spanish town where the venue was the Alania Resort. Altogether 90 boxers arrived to the competition and 64 bouts were held in the 12 junior and 14 youth weight categories. The Technical Delegate of the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament was Mrs. Susanne Karrlander of Sweden.
Thirteen nations attended in the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, EUBC Team, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and Wales. Among the participating nations, Belgium, EUBC Team, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Spain and Ukraine claimed gold medals.
Boxers who were born in 2003 and in 2004 were eligible to attend in the youth part of the competition in Crevillent. The 2005 and 2006 born talents could attend in the junior age group in this international tournament.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Spain avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the new edition of the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament.
The bout of the day
Victor Manuel Catalino Vargas and Enrique Kakulov both defeated well-experienced boxers during their road to the finals of the light welterweight (63.5kg). Catalino and Kakulov also have got experiences from EUBC European Boxing Championships as youth or junior therefore a tough bout was expected between them. Catalino, who has got strong roots from the Dominican Republic, tried to use his speed against Kakulov but his opponent had powerful attacks in the first round. Catalino moved ahead more in the second round but Kakulov was too strong for him in the final today.
The surprise of the day
Spain’s Iratxe Vals Del Valle competed in the recent editions of the EUBC Championships as junior and youth but the 17-year-old boxer had to meet with one of the top French talents, Melina Mezrag. The French light bantamweight (52kg) boxer ruled the middle of the ring and most of the exchanges in the first round. The Spanish talent was not enough fast in her counter-attacks but she landed a few effective punches in the final. Mezrag tried to pressurize her Spanish opponent in the third round but Vals worked a lot on feet and she had the stamina to win the first youth final of the tournament.
The women’s light flyweight (48kg) final was won by Laura Barcelon Calderon who achieved silver medal at the 2020 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and gold in Crevillent. Following Vals’ success, the second Spain vs. France final was held between Luna Maria Mairena Aragon and Cyndelle Bachelet at the women’s bantamweight (54kg). The French boxer returned to the international stage after two years of break in this competition and enjoyed the first round against such good opponent as Mairena. The Spanish girl had nice counter-attacks in the right moments and she tried to stop the French boxer but Bachelet had excellent rhythm. The French talent was slightly better today and she could win the final of the Boxam Youth Tournament in Crevillent.
Andrea Rogerio used an aggressive style of boxing in the final of the women’s light welterweight (63kg) against Paula Requena in the battle of the Spanish boxers. Rogerio dominated their final from the first seconds, she was aggressive and after the third standing counts, the referee stopped their bout. Nayara Arroyo Rodriguez and Kaelya Mopin met in the third Spain vs. France youth woman final in Crevillent which was the next unique bout of the day. Mopin won her first event at the age of 9 and she was too experiences for Arroyo in this final contest which means she claimed the second gold medal for France.
Spain’s youth No.1, Rafael Lozano Serrano achieved his nation’s first ever gold medal in the history of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. The 17-year-old talent is in his father’s pathway and he had the full concentration in the first round of the flyweight (51kg) against Raul Pires. Lozano was a hard target for his teammate, he used amazing defence and his counter-attacks controlled the bout. Lozano moved into all directions and his movements were unpredictable for Pires who also proved his best ever performance in this contest. Lozano stepped into the gas in the third round and he decided the bout winning the final by RSC.
Spain’s next top youth boxer, two-time EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Juan Pantoja Moreno joined to the finals in Crevillent as expected. The 18-year-old boxer competes at the featherweight (57kg) in the Boxam Youth Tournament and he had a competitive rival, Elias Chakour in the final. Pantoja moved a lot on feet and tried to find the best attacking angles in a bout which was the next top challenge of the fifth competition day. Pantoja produced his best performance in the second round and won his next international tournament title.
Spain’s Salvador Flores Luque competed this year at the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament, AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. On these occasions, he won several tough contests and the 18-year-old boxer also delivered his very best at the Boxam Youth Tournament. Flores faced in the final with Manuel Hernandez and he destroyed his opponent’s defence in the beginning of the second round. Flores was confident in all of the three rounds, he impressed once again and won the title of the Boxam.
Finland’s Sam Morovati is a top boxer in the competition who is a lone participant from his nation in Crevillent but he impressed in the final of the light middleweight (71kg). The 18-year-old Finnish boxer destroyed his local opponent’s defence very quickly, Spain’s Yousef Lamine El-Khaldi could not adopt his rhythm today. Following the third standing counts, the referee confirmed Morovati’s RSC success in the first round.
Belgium’s Noa Hadjit had 33 bouts before the final of the middleweight (75kg) and he competed successfully also at the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Budva last month. The 17-year-old Belgian not only advanced to the final but he proved excellent quality of boxing and opened the title bout in good rhythm against Spain’s Antonio Segura. His Spanish opponent increased his tempo in the beginning of the second round but Hadjit had the strong stamina to win their final today.
Norway’s Dennis Boe Dahl is not an experienced international boxer yet but following the first round, he demonstrated his power against Spain’s Javier Santana Alonso in the final of the light heavyweight (80kg). Both boxers had two standing counts after six minutes of fighting therefore the final verdict was depended on their performance in the last round. The Norwegian amazed in the second part of the bout and his efforts were enough to turn back the final. Muslim Yusupov and Arthur Aragon met in the second Norway vs. Spain final contest of the day which was the next exciting bout of the event. The taller Norwegian could not use his height well enough and his quick Spanish opponent, Aragon landed strong hooks to win the final of the heavyweight (92kg).
The quote of the day
“This was my game plan. I was expecting that it will be a quick fight as I came to Spain to win the gold medal and I knew that my best chance is to do in different level than my opponent. I am now ready to compete in the Finnish Elite National Championships,” said Finland’s Sam Morovati after his final bout in Crevillent.