Pantoja, Kakulov and Ghayenian proved their developments in the opening day at the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament

24 November 2021 News

The Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament had its Opening Ceremony and thirteen contests in Crevillent, Alicante on Day1. Spain’s Jose Pantoja Moreno won one of the best bouts of the first session while Enrique Kakulov has done revenge due to his previous loss. Belgium’s Vasken Ghayenian also won an important first contests and marched into the last four in Crevillent.

AIBA EC member Mr. Felipe Martinez and the regional officials attended in the Opening Ceremony of the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament. They underlined the importance of the event during this hard period and welcomed all of the participants in the Alicante region.

The following 13 nations are attending in the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, EUBC Team, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and Wales. Altogether 90 boxers could arrive to the competition and 64 bouts will be held in the upcoming days in 12 junior and 14 youth weight categories. The Technical Delegate of the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament is Mrs. Susanne Karrlander of Sweden.

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 Spain avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the new edition of the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament.  

The bout of the day

Spain’s Jose Pantoja Moreno is a newcomer in the international stage but his elder brother Juan is bronze medallist from the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. The smaller brother proved in the first round that he has excellent footwork and felt the rhythm against Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Yanis who achieved bronze medal in their last Junior National Championships. Pantoja landed effective hooks while Yanis had strong jabs in the first and second rounds of their hectic contest. Both boxers changed their tactics a few times in their quarter-final bout which was won by the Spanish lightweight (60kg) talent.

The surprise of the day

Spain’s two further international level boxers at the light welterweight (63.5kg), Oier Ibarreche and Enrique Kakulov met in the final of the Spanish Youth National Championships this year but they had to box once again in the quarter-finals of the Boxam Youth Tournament. The smaller and younger Kakulov used aggressive style of boxing on their re-match and he had to motivation to do a revenge in Crevillent. Ibarreche trusted on his speed in the contest but Kakulov reduced the fighting distance successfully in their meeting. The 17-year-old Kakulov kept Ibarreche in close range and he could win their difficult tactical contest by split decision.

The Round-up

Ukraine’s Roman Tkachovskyi opened the whole Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament at the junior flyweight (50kg) in Crevillent. His smaller Spanish opponent, Asier Jimenez was smaller but started the first seconds with a strong game play against the tall Ukrainian. Tkachovskyi found his best rhythm in the second part of the opening round and used his longer hands well enough. The Ukrainian southpaw moved ahead more in the second round but Jimenez had good responses to these attacks. The Spaniard used his counter-attacking style better in the second and third rounds to win their contest in Crevillent.

Italy’s 15-year-old Giuseppe Del’Aquila achieved bronze medal at their Schoolboys National Championships in 2020 and joined to the junior age group this January. He had the height advantage against Spain’s Carlos Diaz Lopez in the quarter-final of the junior flyweight (50kg). The Spanish attacked from safe distance but his Italian opponent overcame him in most of the exchanges in the first round. The Italian was more confident from the second round and he has done excellent job in this contest against the smaller Spanish therefore Del’Aquila is a guaranteed medallist in the event.

Belgium sent a team to the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships to Tbilisi this July and they are also there in the Boxam Youth & Junior Tournament. Following their amazing and historical bronze medal in the Belgrade 2021 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships three weeks ago, Vasken Ghayenian also tried to follow Belgium’s victorious way in Crevillent. The Armenian-descent boxer overcame Spain’s Fernando Marfil in the attacks and he was busy in their contest at the light welterweight (63kg). Ghayenian was punctual and more effective than his Spanish opponent therefore the Belgian joined to the last four.

Victor Manuel Catalino Vargas competed at the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament and won one contest in Lithuania earlier this year. He could not attend in the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships last month but he proved his strength in his new category at the light welterweight (63.5kg) against Bulgaria’s Spas Petrov. Catalino, who was born in the Dominican Republic but moved to Spain when he was at the age of 8, stopped his Bulgarian opponent and spent less than one round in the ring.

The quote of the day

“I had to lose a lot of weight to be in my best category in this Boxam Junior Tournament. I did not use my right hand well enough in this contest but the second round was good and I won this bout,” said Belgium’s most experienced junior boxer, Vasken Ghayenian in the open venue of the competition.

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