Promising Virban, Bundovics, Rudolf and Plantic achieved gold medals in the Slovenia Open Tournament10 June 2019
The Slovenia Open Tournament finished with its third competition day in Podcetrtek which is a small but picturesque town near to the Croatian border. Hungary’s duo Gabor Virban and Istvan Bundovics, furthermore Slovenia’s Vida Rudolf and Croatia’s Damir Plantic all proved strong developments in the Open.
The Slovenian Boxing Federation arranged this new international event for the elite, youth, junior and schoolboys boxers to increase their international bouts and experiences. Neighbouring Croatia, Ecuador, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Mongolia, Poland, and host Slovenia sent teams to the Slovenia Open Tournament before the start of the Minsk 2019 European Games.
Bout of the day
Croatia’s Toni Filipi is one of Europe’s best male heavyweight (91kg) boxers who proved his strong performance also in the Slovenian Open Tournament. The Croatian achieved silver medals in the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, in the 2014 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and also at the 2017 EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. The 23-year-old heavyweight (91kg) athlete eliminated Slovenia’s Gregor Skrjanec in the semi-finals and had to face with Ecuador’s two-time Olympian former WSB boxer Julio Castillo. Filipi moved ahead and tried to use the best angles during their final to land punches but his South American veteran opponent overcome him a few times and Castillo could celebrate his gold medal in the bout of the finals.
Surprise of the day
Hungary’s Gabor Virban claimed bronze medal in the 2016 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships but since then he was unable to repeat that strong performance in the elite level. The 21-year-old Hungarian attends at the flyweight (52kg) now and advanced to the final of the Slovenia Open Tournament. Virban had to meet with Ecuador’s most promising boxer Luis Delgado who impressed in the Panamerican Games Qualifier, in the Boxam Tournament and also in the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem. In spite of Delgado’s strong results this year, Virban managed to win his contest in the final of the Slovenia Open Tournament.
Slovenia’s most experienced female boxer Vida Rudolf impressed in the semi-finals when she eliminated Croatia’s Sara Luzar Smajic and continued her winning path in the day of the finals with top performance. The Slovenian No.1, who achieved silver medal in the Golden Girl Box Championships in Sweden this February, met with a younger opponent Germany’s Elisa Rohde in the final and felt the support of the local crowd. Rudolf was quicker and her tactical knowledge delivered for her a title in the Slovenian Open Tournament.
Following Vida Rudolf’s gold medal at the women’s featherweight (57kg) Slovenia’s second gold medal in the Open was achieved by another elite girl, Katja Gajic who returned to the world of boxing after a break. The Slovenian boxer moved up to the light heavyweight (81kg) but she controlled the first round against Hungary’s newcomer Szelina Solymosi. Gajic landed high number of clear punches in the second round therefore the referee stopped their contest in that period.
Hungary’s new bantamweight (56kg) hope Istvan Bundovics started his boxing career only five years ago at the age of 15 but his seriously hard work in the gym guaranteed strong developments for him. Bundovics, who attended in the 2017 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships, eliminated Ecuador’s No.1 Jean Caicedo in the semi-final causing a sensation in the Open. Following that success he had to face with his teammate Krisztian Matyas and his skills were enough to beat his well-known rival in the final.
Slovenia’s Tadej Cernoga attended in the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships and several other international competitions in the recent two years. The 24-year-old Slovenian lightweight (60kg) boxer won all of the rounds in each scorecard in the final against Croatia’s Ramon Ferati. Following Cernoga’s success two Croatians earned the gold medals of the welterweight (69kg) and the middleweight (75kg). Both Marko Zeljko and 20-year-old Mladen Sobjeslavski defeated Slovenian opponents in the finals of the Open.
Damir Plantic fought out his place in the national team after his hard work and achieved bronze medal at the 2017 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships in Kharkiv. That result meant that Plantic qualified for the Hamburg AIBA World Boxing Championships as well. The tall Croatian used his height advantage against Slovenia’s experienced Denis Lazar and proved tough performance just before the start of the Minsk 2019 European Games claiming the gold medal of the light heavyweight (81kg).