Perfect and record start for Slovenia in the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships06 September 2019
The EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships started with 52 preliminary bouts in the Sofia Sports Hall today. Besides to the top nations, several smaller boxing countries won contests in the opening day as Slovenia, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Denmark. Slovenia entered two boxers in the competition and both won their bouts on Day1 which is one of their best starts in the history of the EUBC Championships.
The following 37 nations and 339 boxers are taking part in the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.
Bout of the day
Seventeen boxers entered to the men’s light heavyweight (81kg) in Sofia and two boxers who had to fight for the last 16 were two favourites, Russia’s EUBC European Junior Champion Ilia Bogatyrev and EUBC European Schoolboys Champion Jason Jonathan Myers. The first round of their fight was one of the most spectacular minutes in the opening competition day when both of them landed high number of punches. The Irish boxer was brave, moved ahead but received counter-punches from the Russian side mainly in the second and third rounds. The final verdict was split decision to Bogatyrev who bowed out one of his best rivals out of the way in Sofia.
Surprises of the day
One of the most expected fights at the men’s flyweight (52kg) were held between Ireland’s Jude Gallagher and Ukraine’s Ali Dahly. The Irish boxer claimed bronze in the last edition of the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships at the light flyweight (49kg) and he is one of their most experienced ones in their squad. The Irish did not find the best fighting distance in the first round and the Ukrainian was able to move closer to Gallagher. Two-time Ukrainian Youth National Champion Dahly was picked as the winner of the bout which was the first surprise of the long competition day.
Spain’s Ismael El Brigui Gonzales competed only a few international tournaments during his career and he was not the favourite against Czech Republic’s most experienced youth team member Kevin Godla. The Czech, who qualified for the Budapest 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships as well, started the bout better and took the lead on the scorecards. The Spanish bantamweight (56kg) boxer received strong advices in the second round and he was able to turn back their fight in Sofia.
Hungary’s Zsolt Zuro was bronze medallist in the EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships last October and proved strong youth results this year. The Hungarian talent moved down to the flyweight (52kg) but he was stronger than his first opponent Slovakia’s Lukas Lorinc. The 17-year-old Hungarian, who has got already more than 100 bouts, impressed mainly in the second round when he caught his Slovakian opponent on body. Zuro dominated also the third round and won the bout by large margin of differences.
Ireland’s Brandon McCarthy competed EUBC event in the recent five years since 2014 and won most of his contests on these international occasions. The experienced Irish moved up to the lightweight (60kg) this year and started the contest against Azerbaijan’s Eldar Babayev with nice hooks in the first round. The 18-year-old Irish boxer continued his powerful performance in the second and third periods which meant McCarthy advanced to the last 16 of the crowded category in Sofia.
Slovenia’s Nejc Petric is a new name in the youth events this year but he won the Slovenia Open on June and started strongly against Lithuania’s Nedas Gudomskas in preliminary round of the lightweight (60kg). The Slovenian dominated the last round against the tiring Lithuanian and eliminated a medal contender in Sofia. In the same category Denmark’s EUBC European Schoolboys Boxing Championships silver medallist Ilias Naseer Warraich was slightly better than Bulgaria’s Bozhidar Dzhurov in a spectacular bout. His teammate Gal Sepic defeated Kosovo’s Youth Olympian Erdonis Maliqi at the welterweight (69kg) producing a perfect day for Slovenia.
Armenia’s Rafayel Hakobyan began his boxing career at the age of 10 and following seven years of experiences in our sport, he earned a bronze medal in the last edition of the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships. The Armenian moved up to the lightweight (60kg) this year but he adopted the strength of the punches in that category very quickly. Hakobyan began the first round with great motivation against Italy’s Emanuele Santini and landed tough punches. The Armenian had enough power until the end of the third round and bowed out his Italian rival winning the bout by unanimous decision.
The female boxers also started their campaign in the evening session of the first competition day in Sofia. In Ring A, Hungary’s Zsanett Balogh knew her neighbouring rival Slovakia’s Nicole Duricova and used different tactic than in their last meeting. The 17-year-old Hungarian landed more punches and celebrated her narrow victory after the final gong. In Ring B, Italy’s Erika Prisciandaro controlled all of the three rounds against Romania’s Diana Maria Pasat and advanced to the quarter-finals.
Italy’s Youth Olympic Games winner Martina La Piana is also the defending EUBC European Youth Champion at the women’s flyweight (51kg). The 18-year-old Italian arrived as top favourite to defend her throne in Sofia and she had to open her campaign already in the first day of boxing. The Italian had to fight for the last 16 against a dangerous rival, Turkey’s Hatice Akbas who competed all of the recent big youth events. The Turkish boxer was competitive in the first round but La Piana stepped into the gas in the second to win her debuting contest by fantastic performance.
Russia’s Dmitriy Zakharov and England’s Jack Oliphant both won gold medals in the recent EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships. The two promising hopes have done a sensational battle and delighted the evening session with their top level of boxing. The intensive bout was won by the Russian but Welshman Garan Croft, Poland’s Michal Jarlinski and Germany’s Gianni Dedic also shined at the welterweight (69kg) today.