Plantic, Husovic and Sadiku are the golden heroes of the Balkan Boxing Championships where Turkey topped the team rankings15 December 2019
The female and the male finals were held in the fourth competition day of the Balkan Boxing Championships which was in the city of Antalya in Turkey. The host country dominated the finals of the competition but Croatia’s Luka Plantic, Montenegro’s Kenan Husovic and Kosovo’s Donjeta Sadiku were also excellent in the last competition day.
Antalya hosted many top events in the recent 10 years including the AIBA Women’s Youth & Junior World Boxing Championships in 2011 and the EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships in 2017. The following 11 nations attended in the Balkan Boxing Championships: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia Slovenia, and Turkey.
Bout of the day
Kenan Husovic boxed and trained in Germany in the recent years but he has returned to his grassroots and represented Montenegro in the Balkan Boxing Championships. Montenegro’s new pride had two excellent successes during his road to the finals of the super heavyweight (+91kg). Husovic had to meet in the final with Croatia’s Luka Pratljacic who claimed bronze medal in the Vladikavkaz 2019 EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships. Their final delivered several exchanges already in the first round and in the similar game play Husovic was slightly better. The final verdict was split decision for him which was Montenegro’s lone gold medal in the Balkan Boxing Championships.
Surprise of the day
Kosovo’s lone woman boxer in the competition was EUBC European Women’s Youth Champion Donjeta Sadiku who had to meet a tough and more experienced opponent Sema Caliskan of Turkey. The 20-year-old Kosovan boxer used a pressurizing style from the first seconds to take the lead in the opening round of their final. The Turkish boxer was the favourite of the fight but Sadiku became stronger in the day of the finals capturing the gold medal of the light welterweight (64kg).
The first gold medal of the whole Balkan Boxing Championships was achieved by Romania’s former EUBC European Women’s Champion Steluta Duta who is already 37 but still active at the light flyweight (48kg). The Romanian veteran had more than 400 bouts already during her career and used her energetic style in the final of the event against Turkey’s Melek Yamak. The final verdict was split decision in the favour of the Romanian boxer who has got still targets for the year of 2020.
Bulgaria’s Zlatislava Chukanova moved back to the flyweight (51kg) and her international experiences paid off in the final of the Balkan Boxing Championships. The 24-year-old Bulgarian was technically better than the attacking Nina Radovanovic of Serbia and became champion in Antalya. The second Bulgarian female finalist, Melis Yonuzova was also succeeded in the competition after beating Serbia’s Aleksandra Rapajic in the title bout of the women’s welterweight (69kg).
Turkey’s first gold medal was taken by a teenage talent Tugcenaz Surmeneli who defeated Romania’s EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships competitor Eszter Torok in the final of the bantamweight (54kg). In the next Turkey vs. Romania final battle the result was the opposite following Maria Nechita’s success over Cakir Cansu who is newcomer in the national team.
Following the top Turkish girls as AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships medallists, Sennur Demir (75kg) and Elif Guneri (+81kg) successes, the first male title was also acquired by the host country. Batuhan Ciftci demonstrated his best combinations successfully already in the first round against Romania’s Gabriel Schiopu which determined the further part of their final. Ciftci demoralised the 19-year-old Romanian and controlled all of the three rounds in the opening male final of the Balkan Boxing Championships.
The next four male titles were won by the host nation’s boxers in Antalya following their intense training camp which was held in Tehran, Iran. Firstly Hakan Dogan was too strong for Serbia’s Veljko Gligoric at the men’s bantamweight (57kg) and after AIBA Youth World Champion Tugrulhan Erdemir has done smart boxing against Kosovo’s Shpetim Bajoku at the lightweight (63kg). Necat Ekinci walked over to the title of the welterweight (69kg) while Serhat Guler controlled all of the rounds against Kosovo’s Besart Pireva in a manly fight at the middleweight (75kg).
Croatia’s Luka Plantic had a superb year in 2014 when he claimed medals in all of the three top big youth events. After two years of break in the AOB level, he returned with a gold medal at the Zagreb Grand Prix and continued his winning series also in the Balkan Boxing Championships. The 23-year-old Croatian dominated his final against Serbia’s Sasa Milovac and following the knock downs, the referee stopped their light heavyweight (81kg) contest.