Petrova, Azizova, Asenov and Mazur were the European heroes of the Strandja Memorial Tournament20 February 2019
The finals of the 70th Strandja Memorial Tournament were held in Sofia where 18 champions have been crowned at the sixth competition day. Russia’s Aleksei Mazur won the bout of the day after her teammate Elmira Azizova delivered the main sensation of the finals. Bulgaria’s stars such as Daniel Asenov and Stanimira Petrova defended their titles in the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia.
Altogether 37 nations sent their boxers to the 70th edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament which guaranteed the top level of boxing in Sofia. Altogether 103 women and 193 men boxers fought for the medals in the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
The total number of 296 boxer meant the 70th Strandja Memorial Tournament was a small World Championships in Sofia once again. Besides to the European nations, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India, Philippines and United States of America also proved their potentials in the Bulgarian capital.
Bout of the day
Russia’s Aleksei Mazur started his career with several losses in the national and also in the international levels but he responded to these tasks with upgraded training sessions and strong motivations to win medals. The Russian light welterweight (64kg) boxer has been selected to attend in the Strandja Memorial Tournament and his focused performance was enough to advance to the final in Sofia. He had a super talented ASBC Asian Youth Champion 19-year-old rival Sanatali Toltayev of Kazakhstan but Mazur used his well-built tactic against the Central Asian youngster. The Russian boxer followed the instructions and his hard work paid off in the final once again which was the closest bout of the whole last competition day. Toltayev had world class combinations but Mazur was tactically better in the final round which decided their tough fight in Sofia.
Surprise of the day
Russia has got strong woman boxers at the welterweight (69kg), their current No.1 is Rio 2016 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Iaroslava Iakushina but in the Strandja Memorial Tournament another hope shined from the country, Elmira Azizova. The Russian boxer had to meet in the final of the division with Chinese Taipei’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Chen Nien Chin and exceeded all of the previous expectations in their title bout. Azizova was patient against her tricky rival and waited for the best attacking moments which she combined with aggressive attacks. The Russian boxer surprised Chen in the final with her tactical skills and won the title of the Strandja Memorial Tournament which was the main sensation of the day of the finals.
Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Women’s Champion and Jeju 2014 AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova eliminated Italy’s Irma Testa in the semi-final of the featherweight (57kg) and she continued her winning path against Romania’s Lacramioara Perijoc which contest was a top fight in the final day of the Strandja Memorial Tournament. The final verdict was unanimous decision to Petrova who proved she is in top form and ready to do big things in 2019.
Baku 2015 European Games silver medallist Valentina Alberti was in top shape a few years ago but after recovering from her injuries she has done superb job in the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia. The 24-year-old Italian had to meet in the final of the women’s light welterweight (64kg) with Netherlands’ EUBC European Youth Champion Chelsey Heijnen which was another hectic title contest in the event. Alberti shared her energies slightly better and defeated her super talented teenage rival in the final of the strong competition.
Bulgaria’s No.1 two-time EUBC European Champion Daniel Asenov eliminated France’s EUBC European Youth Champion Billal Bennama and Brazil’s new sensation Douglas De Andrade during his road to the final of the flyweight (52kg). Following his hard road to the final he had to face with Uzbekistan’s Indian Open International Tournament winner 19-year-old Khudoynazar Fayzov which was another competitive rival for him. Asenov, who has been preparing to the upcoming EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships, was slightly better than his Central Asian opponent and claimed another gold medal for Bulgaria.
Ukraine’s defending AIBA World Boxing Champion and current EUBC European Champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak returned to the world of boxing and impressed in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. The Ukrainian middleweight (75kg) star started his campaign in Sofia with strong opponents but he delivered his best performances in the most important semi-final and final bouts. Following his superb success over Philippines’ ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Eumir Felix Marcial in the semi-final, he was too strong for Turkey’s Serhat Guler in the final.