Promising Austrian and Czech boxers produced strong opening day at the 64th Bocskai Memorial Tournament04 February 2020
The 64th edition of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament started with 54 bouts in the first day of boxing in Debrecen which is located in the Eastern region of Hungary. Botswana’s Rajab Otukile Mahommed and India’s Lalitha Prasad Polipalli eliminated tough European rivals while the developing Austrians and Czechs impressed on Day1 with several successes.
The following nations are taking part in the 64th Bocskai Memorial Tournament: Austria, Belarus, Botswana, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales. Four out of the five Confederations sent boxers to the traditional event which launched in 1956 which makes it one of the oldest European tournaments.
Bout of the day
Botswana’s Rajab Otukile Mahommed achieved silver medal in the last edition of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament one year ago and returned to Debrecen. Since then he won the All Africa Games and competed high number of international events to increase his experiences against tough rivals. The 22-year-old flyweight (52kg) boxer had a strong rival as first Ireland’s Baku 2015 European Games silver medallist and Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine. The Irish boxer defeated his African rival in the quarter-finals of the 2018 Commonwealth Games but Botswana’s team captain was in much better form in comparison to that first fight. Mahommed looked quicker than the Irish and his great rhythm delivered for him a success in the bout of the day.
Surprise of the day
France’s Billal Bennama claimed bronze medal in the Yekaterinburg 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships and gold at the Cologne Boxing World Cup. The French boxer was one of the main favourites for the title at the men’s flyweight (52kg) but he did not find his best rhythm against India’s Lalitha Prasad Polipalli. His Asian opponent earned bronze medal still back in the 2012 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships but due their star Amit Panghal, he was unable to box in the highest elite competitions. The 24-year-old Indian is now on the board in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament and caused the main surprise of Day1 with his success over Bennama.
Serbia’s Nina Radovanovic was near to get her nation’s first ever medal in the history of the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships in Madrid last August and after her international successes, she is aiming for an Olympic spot. The 25-year-old Serbian flyweight (51kg) boxer had to meet with Beata Dudek who changed her nationality from the Netherlands and returned to her homeland to Hungary. Dudek moved down two weight classes in the recent one year and she did not adopt the rhythm well enough which means Radovanovic advanced to the next stage of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament.
Russia’s Liudmilla Vorontsova achieved silver medal in the last edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships which was held in her home city. The 21-year-old Russian featherweight (57kg) boxer began her campaign in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament against Switzerland’s veteran Sandra Brügger and controlled almost all part of their bout. In another exciting bout in this weight class, Denmark’s Melissa Mortensen eliminated Hungary’s Hanna Lakotar in the bout of the teenage talents.
Czech Republic’s Lenka Bernardova surprised in the Sofia 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships where she claimed a valuable bronze medal. That success increased her motivation and in spite of the fact that her preliminary bout in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament was her first elite fight, she succeeded against Kazakhstan’s Aidana Zabynbekova. Her veteran teammate Martina Schmoranzova, who is member of the squad since 2006, dominated her first fight against Austria’s Michaela Kotaskova.
Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli is the defending champion at the women’s welterweight (69kg) who also began her route in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament already in the first competition day. The Turkish boxer was quicker and landed powerful punches in her opening bout against Hungary’s European Games quarter-finalist Vivien Budai and marched to the next stage of the event. Another young Turkish boxer 18-year-old Aycan Guldagi worked well and eliminated Botswana’s Sadie Kenosi Keamogetse at the featherweight (57kg).
Hungary’s former EUBC European Youth Champion Roland Galos eliminated Denmark’s Frederik Lundgaard Jensen in the preliminary round of the Yekaterinburg 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships and the two well-prepared boxers had to meet each other in a classical re-match. Both boxers were born in 1995 and moved down to the bantamweight (57kg) last year due to the Olympic Games. Galos produced even better performance than last time in Yekaterinburg and won their next meeting unanimously.
Austria’s Marcel Meinl returned to the national team after a break and began his participation in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament with a success over Switzerland’s Attila Varga at the welterweight (69kg). Austria’s Ahmed Hagag will be 20 this year but he had enough experiences to beat Ukraine’s Yuriy Yugas at the heavyweight (91kg). Austria’s third success in the male part of the tournament was captured by EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships silver medallist Aleksandar Mraovic who had difficulties against Ireland’s Dean Gardiner in the first round but he stopped his opponent in the second.