Montenegro’s Milorad Puric won the tightest semi-final at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament24 September 2022
The semi-finals were on the official program in the third competition day at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Montenegro’s Milorad Puric won the tightest contest of the semi-finals and advanced to the finals of the event. Bosnia & Herzegovina and Lithuania finished 1-1 in the semi-finals of the exciting men’s super heavyweight (+92kg) bouts.
The women’s elite, women’s youth, men’s elite and men’s youth boxers are able to participate at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament in the Bosnian & Herzegovian capital. The Technical Delegate of the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament is Mr. Adam Kusior of Poland.
The international event is a preparation competition for the upcoming IBA Youth World Boxing Championships which will be held in La Nucia-Benidorm on November 13-27. The tournament also gives opportunity for those who are planning to attend at the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships and ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships.
Division General Mustafa Hajrulahovic Talijan was Bosnia & Herzegovina’s commander and hero in the end of the last century and a new boxing tournament was named after him which shows his excellent popularity in Sarajevo. The tournament was held at the Dom Mladih Skenderija Sports Centre in the recent years but the venue moved to the Hotel Hills Sarajevo Congress & Termal Spa Resort.
The bout of the day
Montenegro built up excellent junior and youth teams in the previous years and these young talents moved up to the U22 and elite age groups. Milorad Puric returned to the national team after a break and found the best category for his physical conditions, the cruiserweight (86kg). The Montenegrin had a 22-year-old rival from Jordan, Mohammad Suleiman Younis who participated at the Budapest 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. Puric was not underestimated his rival and his final round delivered a tight success for him in this semi-final bout. Montenegro’s pride will be meeting for the title of the category another boxer from Jordan, the Tokyo Olympian Odai Riyad Al-Hindawi.
Hungary’s Attila Bernath is defending champion at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament but he had a tough mission in the semi-finals of the bantamweight (54kg). He moved up one category and faced his teammate Gabor Virban in the third day of boxing in Sarajevo. Virban is the National Champion in this weight category but Bernath looked faster in their meeting which means the reigning champion advanced to the final. Bernath’s next opponent will be Jordan’s newcomer in the national team, Jebril Mahdi Mohammad in the final of the event.
Poland’s Filip Wachala had several strong successes during his boxing career, he competed in all levels of boxing excluding the Olympic Games. Wachala is Poland’s top welterweight (67kg) boxer who is keeping his full focus on the upcoming European Games which will be held in his homeland next June. Wachala met Hungary’s experienced Milan Fodor in the semi-finals and he could win two out of the three rounds marching to the finals of the tournament. Wachala’s final opponent will be Slovenia’s Nejc Petric who stopped Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Erman Krso in the second semi-final.
Josip Coric achieved a bronze medal at the 2020 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Budva, Montenegro and he represented Croatia at the 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce too. Coric returned to his roots and he competes for Bosnia & Herzegovina in the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament. He had a Lithuanian opponent, the experienced Algirdas Baniulis but Coric managed to win that semi-final bout controlling all of the three rounds. In the second Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Lithuania contest at the super heavyweight (+92kg), Jonas Jazevicius eliminated the local boxer, Juraj Soldo.
Spain’s Ganda Coulibaly Soucko won a bronze medal at the Sofia 2022 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and he has been preparing with full speed to the upcoming IBA Youth World Boxing Championships. The Spaniard had a tough opponent from New Zealand, Tainui Hamuera but he used his longer reach well enough to win their semi-final bout by split decision. Coulibaly will now meet for the gold medal of the youth welterweight (67kg) Romania’s Alex Buleu who stopped Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Rajko Tomovic.
Ireland’s Sean Mari represented his proud nation at the flyweight (51kg) at the 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships and at the 2022 EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships. The 22-year-old Irish had a young opponent from Jordan, their new National Champion Huthaifa Mohammad Yousef in the semi-finals. Mari used his excellent footwork to catch the Western Asian opponent and he managed to win that difficult contest. The Irish will have a Hungarian final rival, Martin Virban who recovered from his injuries and defeated his Polish opponent, Jakub Slominski on Day3.