Mr. Franco Falcinelli supported Francesco Damiani’s second title at the Varna 1983 European Boxing Championships20 July 2020
The 25th edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in Varna which is located off the coast of the Black Sea in Bulgaria. The 1983 edition delivered sensational battles and five out of the 12 defending champions won their second European titles. Italy’s Francesco Damiani won his second gold in Varna where he was supported by current EUBC President Mr. Franco Falcinelli in the ringside.
The first competition day of the 1983 European Boxing Championships was May 7 in the Bulgarian venue while the finals were held on May 15. There were not any weight classes where two rounds of preliminaries were held in the 1983 European Boxing Championships due to the less participants than two years earlier.
The total number of the boxers in 12 weight classes was 149 in the 1983 European Boxing Championships in Varna. The following 19 nations attended in the Varna 1983 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Soviet Union, Sweden, Turkey, West Germany and Yugoslavia.
Two nations as host Bulgaria and the Soviet Union attended with maximum number of 12 boxers in the Varna 1983 European Boxing Championships. East Germany and Poland represented the competition also with large delegations both sent 11 boxers to Varna. More than 75% of the participated athletes came from the Eastern bloc countries. Belgium, England, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Wales and many other nations missed the 1983 edition.
The Soviet Union claimed eight gold medals at the Tampere 1981 European Boxing Championships and their boxers repeated that performance also in Varna two years later. The host Bulgarians claimed three gold medals in 1983 while Italy was the lone country out of the Eastern bloc which achieved one title in Varna.
Eleven out of the nineteen participating nations claimed at least one bronze medal in Varna including East Germany, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Turkey and Ireland. Romania and Yugoslavia both earned high number of medals once again but the gold were missing from their collection in Varna.
Bulgaria’s Ismail Mustafov defeated the Soviet Union’s Olympic Champion Shamil Sabirov in 1981 and he repeated that amazing performance against a new boxer from Europe’s top power, Kazakhstan’s Beybut Yeszhanov in the semi-finals in 1983. The 23-year-old Bulgarian defended his throne at the light flyweight (48kg) following his success over Italy’s Salvatore Todisco. Bulgaria’s Olympic Champion and defending European Champion Petar Lesov defeated his two main rivals as Soviet Union’s Rashid Kabirov and Hungary’s Janos Varadi taking his second continental title at the flyweight (51kg).
Soviet Union’s Viktor Miroshnichenko won the title of the bantamweight (54kg) in 1981 and his replacement 20-year-old Yuriy Aleksandrov was able to beat Yugoslavia’s 1981 finalist Kosovan Sami Buzoli in the title bout. Soviet Union’s Kazakh boxer Serik Nurkazov was the main favourite for the gold at the featherweight (57kg) in 1981 but finally he claimed only bronze. He returned in better shape in 1983 and the experienced boxer defeated Bulgaria’s Plamen Kamburov in the final.
Soviet Union’s 1979 European Champion Viktor Demyanenko returned to the national team in 1983 but he suffered an unexpected loss to Bulgaria’s Emil Todorov Chuprenski in the last four. The 23-year-old Bulgarian captured finally the gold medal of the weight class after beating Italy’s 1981 silver medallist Carlo Russollilo. Vasiliy Shishov claimed the third title for the Soviet Union in Tampere in 1981 and he defended his European throne also in Varna following his success over Yugoslavia’s Mirko Puzovic.
Soviet Union’s Serik Konakbayev was replaced by Petr Galkin at the welterweight (67kg) but his teammate was also able to win the category in the next European Championships. Galkin was slightly better than Italy’s AIBA World Cup winner Luciano Bruno who was only 20 by the time of the Varna event. The light middleweight (71kg) gold medal was also taken by a boxer from the Soviet Union, Valeriy Laptyev who controlled all of his four fights in Varna.
The middleweight (75kg) saw a fantastic semi-final which was held between Soviet Union’s Vladimir Melnik and East Germany’s 19-year-old Henry Maske. The final verdict was 4:1 for the Soviet Union’s boxer but the East German teenager proved his amazing talent already in Varna. Melnik had easier contest in the final against Romania’s Doru Maricescu in Varna and celebrated the Soviet Union’s sixth title. One of the secret favourites, Netherlands’ Pedro Van Raamsdonk lost his preliminary fight in that weight class in Varna.
Soviet Union’s Vitaliy Kachanovskiy was newcomer in their national team but he knocked out Yugoslavia’s Pero Tadic in the semi-finals and he was too strong also for Poland’s Olympic Games silver medallist Pawel Skrzecz in the final of the light heavyweight (81kg). The Soviet Union’s eighth and last gold medal was achieved by AIBA World Cup silver medallist 22-year-old Aleksandr Yagubkin who defended his throne at the heavyweight (91kg) in Varna following his success over Hungary’s Gyula Alvics.
Moscow 1980 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Francesco Damiani of Italy won his first European title at the super heavyweight (+91kg) in 1981 and amazed once again in Varna two years later. The 25-year-old boxer was supported by current EUBC President Mr. Franco Falcinelli in the ringside who worked as head coach in the Italian national team. He was the lone Western European super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer who defeated the Eastern bloc countries’ athletes in that era including Cuba’s three-time Olympic Games winner Teofilo Stevenson at the Munich 1982 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The Italian boxer was also the lone one out of the Eastern bloc countries who could get a European title in Varna following his successes over Bulgaria’s Petar Stoymenov and East Germany’s Ulli Kaden.
List of the winners in the 1983 European Boxing Championships
- Light flyweight (48kg): Ismail Mustafov, Bulgaria
- Flyweight (51kg): Petar Lesov, Bulgaria
- Bantamweight (54kg): Yuriy Aleksandrov, Soviet Union
- Featherweight (57kg): Serik Nurkazov, Soviet Union
- Lightweight (60kg): Emil Todorov Chuprenski, Bulgaria
- Light welterweight (63.5kg): Vasiliy Shishov, Soviet Union
- Welterweight (67kg): Petr Galkin, Soviet Union
- Light middleweight (71kg): Valeriy Laptyev, Soviet Union
- Middleweight (75kg): Vladimir Melnik, Soviet Union
- Light heavyweight (81kg): Vitaliy Kachanovskiy, Soviet Union
- Heavyweight (91kg): Aleksandr Yagubkin, Soviet Union
- Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Francesco Damiani, Italy