Petrova, Golovchenko and Von Berge joined to the finals of the Strandja Memorial Tournament26 February 2022
The semi-finals were held in the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, today where 50 contests have been scheduled. Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova won a close contest on Day6 while Russia’s Galina Golovchenko and Germany’s Stefanie Von Berge impressed with their technical skills in the women’s part of the event.
Further fifty-five contests took place in the fourth competition at the 73rd edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Wednesday. Most of the winners advanced to the semi-finals in the event and they are all guaranteed medallists.
The Strandja Memorial is Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament and has a strong brand name therefore high number of stars and nations decided to compete in Sofia. IBA will arrange the money prizes and boxers can earn new world ranking points during the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament.
The first edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament was held in Sofia in 1950 and the competition saw amazing stars in the recent decades. The new edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament holds in all of 12 women’s and 13 men’s weight categories in the Bulgarian capital.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the check of the vaccinations, 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 2022 Strandja Memorial Tournament.
The bout of the day
Bulgaria’s AIBA World Champion and EUBC European Champion Stanimira Petrova moved down to the bantamweight (54kg) where she is now the tallest boxers in the category. The Bulgarian boxer followed the instruction of the coaches and moved lot on feet to control the semi-final against Russia’s Natalia Samokhina. Petrova danced through the Russian boxer several times and landed jabs from her best distance in the first round. She could continue in the same level until the last gong and the Bulgarian can defend her throne against Kazakhstan’s Dina Zholaman who eliminated Italy’s Sirine Charaabi.
The surprise of the day
Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli won the previous top championships but she achieved only silver medal at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary upon her return two weeks ago. She was highly motivated in the Strandja Memorial Tournament and she landed the better punches in the first round against Russia’s experienced Galina Golovchenko in their light middleweight (70kg) semi-final. The Russian boxer, who competed also in major events already, changed her strategy and with excellent stamina she was able to beat the Turkish No.1 in Sofia.
Italy’s Erika Prisciandaro achieved gold medal at the 2019 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Sofia and she eliminated Russia’s Aleksandra Kuleshova in the quarter-finals of the women’s minimumweight (48kg). The Italian was still hungry for the further success and she has done excellent opening against Spain’s Marta Lopez del Arbol who returned to the smallest weight class. The Italian moved back a few steps before her attacks in the second round and she was better also in fighting therefore Prisciandaro can prepare to final of the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
Russia’s Natalia Sychugova and her semi-final opponent, Netherlands’ Chelsey Heijnen both were born in 1999 and reached strong results as youth boxers. After a few years of experiences in the elite stage, both are strong enough to win battles against the best boxers. Heijnen caused a sensation when she eliminated Turkey’s Esra Yildiz in the quarter-finals of the light welterweight (63kg) but Sychugova was too fast for her today. The Russian boxer controlled the first and second rounds well enough to win their contest and will now face with Algeria’s No.1, Imane Khelif for the title.
Germany’s Stefanie Von Berge is the defending EUBC European U22 Champion and she is aiming for her next title in Porec, Croatia next week. She will celebrate her 21st birthday next month but she is such a smart boxer at the women’s welterweight (66kg), patient and uses her physical abilities. The young German kept her Ukrainian opponent, Anna Lysenko on long and her jabs were effective in the whole bout. Von Berge won the semi-final by unanimous decision and will now meet with Russia’s Saadat Dalgatova for the title, her opponent eliminated Kazakhstan’s veteran Dariga Shakimova.
Ireland’s Aoife O’Rourke was surprise gold medallist at the middleweight (75kg) in the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships. The Irish boxer used the recent one year to correct her previous mistakes and strengthen her physical condition. O’Rourke had a tough rival in the semi-finals, Russia’s two-time AIBA Youth World Champion Anastasia Shamonova but the Irish used an aggressive strategy against her. The pressurizing style was uncomfortable for Shamonova therefore O’Rourke can box for the title with Panama’s Atheyna Bylon in Sofia.
Bulgaria’s Svetlana Kamenova had a bright boxing career between 2008 and 2012 when she achieved bronze at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and gold at the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. She decided to come back to the sport as a boxer after a long break and her coaching work. She competes at the featherweight (57kg) in the Strandja Memorial Tournament where she amazed once again. Kamenova was too smart for Finland’s youngster Vilma Viitanen and marched to the final where she will now met with Russia’s veteran Daria Abramova.
Ireland’s Kellie Harrington won almost all of the major championships during her bright career but she decided to continue the sport. The Irish lightweight (60kg) boxer had a tough job against Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Champion Rimma Volosenko but she prepared well and followed the well-built strategy to use her advantages. Volosenko moved ahead more than in her previous contests but Harrington stopped her with jabs in the first and second rounds. The experienced Kazakh moved closer in the last round but Harrington had enough advantage to win their semi-final in Sofia.
Bulgaria’s EUBC European Youth Champion Yasen Radev is only 19-year-old but he has more than 120 contests already which is the results of the strategic development of their National Federation. Radev not only advanced to the semi-finals of the bantamweight (54kg) but he was enough patient and technician to beat Serbia’s veteran Tamir Galanov. Following the first tactical round, Radev could overcome his 33-year-old opponent in the attacks and advanced to the final where he will now meet with Kazakhstan’s Makhmud Sabyrkhan who defeated the local favourite, Daniel Asenov.
Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Youth Champion Radoslav Rosenov has just joined to the elite and U22 age groups a few weeks ago but he amazed in the whole Strandja Memorial Tournament. The teenager controlled the first round well against Italy’s new national team member Gianluca Russo who also delivered surprise successes in Sofia. Rosenov had excellent footwork in the second round and he had massive 20:18 advantage in the scorecards after six minutes. Russo has done his best in the third but Rosenov advanced to the final of the lightweight (60kg) where Germany’s Murat Yildirim will be his last rival for the title.
Denmark has talented young team and their youngsters surprised many of the boxing experts in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Their current No.1, Nicolai Terteryan will be turning to 21 this year but he has the experiences and technical skills to beat almost anyone at the men’s welterweight (67kg). The Danish boxer kept the focus well until the last seconds against Italy’s Gianluigi Malanga and celebrated his unanimous success after the final gong. Terteryan is now finalist in Sofia where he can show his skills against Kazakhstan’s Dulat Bekbauov who developed rapidly in the last one year.