Outstanding session for the Bulgarians in the quarter-finals of the Strandja Memorial Tournament26 February 2021
Teo sessions were held at the 72nd edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Day4 where all of the winners are now guaranteed medallists. Stoyka Krasteva, Stanimira Petrova and Javier Ibanez managed a strong day for the Bulgarians in the quarter-finals of the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
All of the five women weight categories competed for the semi-finals in the fourth day of boxing with some men divisions in the schedule. The Strandja Memorial is Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament and has got a strong brand name therefore high number of stars compete there in the new edition. Altogether 220 boxers including 91 women athletes are attending from 30 nations at the 72nd edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
The following 30 nations are attending in the Strandja Memorial Tournament: Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Morocco, Moldova, Mali, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America and Uzbekistan.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Sofia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
The bout of the day
Javier Ibanez won the titles at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and in that year also at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Sofia. The former Cuban boxer defeated a Bulgarian, Dushko Blagovestov during the final stages of these events and after a few years of hiatus, he returned to the world of boxing. Ibanez switched to Bulgaria and prepared well to the Strandja Memorial Tournament to show his impressive technical skills. The host nation’s new pride had a seriously hard opponent, Uzbekistan’s AIBA World Champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov in the quarter-finals of the featherweight (57kg). The ex-Cuban boxer used his virtuoso footwork and defeated one of the biggest stars in the boxing world.
The surprises of the day
Russia’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Nune Asatrian is a newcomer in the elite age group. The Armenian-descent Russian girl caused a surprise in the preliminary stage of the Strandja Memorial Tournament and she continued her winning path against a top rival. The Russian met with United States’ AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Rashida Ellis and she was able to handle that tactical job. Asatrian is in top physical condition in spite of her young age and eliminated the US girl in the quarter-finals of the lightweight (60kg).
Bulgaria’s Melis Yonuzova achieved gold medal at the 2018 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships in Sofia but she was not the favourite against Turkey’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Busenaz Surmeneli. The smaller Bulgarian had a brave attempt to beat the World’s No.1 of the welterweight (69kg) and she succeeded in the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
Bulgaria’s Stoyka Krasteva married following her silver medal at the New Delhi 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. She was famous in her maiden name as Stoyka Petrova and decided to return to the world of boxing in time to get an Olympic quota for Tokyo. The veteran Krasteva used her fantastic tempo to land punches against France’s Wassila Lkhadiri and defeated her younger rival at the flyweight (51kg).
Bulgaria’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova is in top form since 2014 and continued her impressive way of boxing at the Strandja Memorial Tournament. The Bulgarian featherweight (57kg) boxer had a tough rival at the quarter-final, Kazakhstan’s newly crowned National Champion, Vladislava Kukhta. The Bulgarian used her physical advantage well and kept the best fighting range against the Kazakh youngster in Sofia.
Brazil’s Luiz Gabriel Oliveira achieved a medal at the 2020 Strandja Memorial Tournament before his 19th birthday and moved up to the featherweight (57kg) since his last Bulgarian appearance. Oliveira had an unpredictable footwork in the quarter-finals against Russia’s EUBC European U22 Champion Sergey Yarulin and advanced to the last four in Sofia. Another boxer, who was born in 2001, Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Youth Champion Biybars Zheksen marched into the semi-finals.