Record-breaking European Boxing Championships was held in Bursa in 1993 when the ex-Soviet countries joined to the event

31 July 2020 News

The 30th edition of the European Boxing Championships was a new milestone in the continent’s boxing life. The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia separated into new independent countries therefore record number of 34 nations attended in Bursa and the quality of the event was higher than ever.

The annual AIBA World Boxing Championships was held in Tampere, Finland on May 1993 therefore the European Boxing Championships moved to September. The Turkish Boxing Federation could host the event at the very first time in the long history of the European Boxing Championships.

The first competition day of the 1993 European Boxing Championships was September 6 in Bursa while the finals were held on September 12. The scoring system was the same as in the Gothenburg 1991 European Boxing Championships, the five judges counted the clear and hard punches in an electronic scoring system.

There was not any rest day in the competition between the semi-finals and the finals in the 1993 edition which had seven continuous boxing days. There were two rounds of preliminaries at the bantamweight (54kg), at the featherweight (57kg), at the lightweight (60kg), at the light welterweight (63.5kg), at the welterweight (67kg), at the light middleweight (71kg) and at the heavyweight (91kg) in the Bursa 1993 European Boxing Championships.

The total number of the boxers was 197 in the Bursa 1993 European Boxing Championships where the participants could compete in 12 weight classes as in the previous editions. The 1993 edition was record-breaking event in terms of number of boxers and countries following the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.

The following record number of 34 nations attended in the 1993 European Boxing Championships: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales and Yugoslavia.

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine were the new nations which never competed any of the previous editions of the European Boxing Championships and all of them made their debuts in the Bursa 1993 edition.

Russia was the lone nation which competed with maximum number of 12 boxers in the Bursa 1993 European Boxing Championships. Turkey competed with 11 boxers in the front of the home crowd, their management missed only the super heavyweight (+91kg). Another top European boxing country the Germans sent also 11 boxers to Bursa, the heavyweight (91kg) was the lone one with their absence.

Impressive nine nations claimed the 12 available gold medals in Bursa where only the Bulgarians and the Russians earned more than one title. Bulgaria topped the medal table with three gold medals ahead of the Russian team which took two titles. Germany, Turkey, Georgia, Poland, Romania, Azerbaijan and Lithuania all achieved one gold in Bursa.

The available 48 medals have been shared between record number of 21 nations in the 1993 European Boxing Championships. Netherlands, Hungary, Czech Republic, Armenia, Finland, Ukraine, Belarus, England, Greece, Ireland, Israel and Wales all were on the medal table with at least one bronze. Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus and Israel won their first ever medals in the European Boxing Championships.

Bulgaria dominated the light flyweight (48kg) in the 1980s and Ivailo Marinov was the titleholder of the category from 1991. The next Bulgarian star Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games silver medallist Daniel Petrov dominated his fights in Bursa where he was too quick for Hungary’s Pal Lakatos in the final. Azerbaijan’s young talent Rovshan Huseynov amazed the judges in the event where he was enough strong to beat Germany’s AIBA World Cup winner Rico Kubat in the final of the flyweight (51kg).

Hungary’s defending European Champion and AIBA World Champion Istvan Kovacs advanced to the semi-finals of his new category at the bantamweight (54kg) but he suffered a surprise loss to Russia’s Tajik-descent Raimkul Malakhbekov. The Russian teenager controlled his final over Poland’s Robert Ciba and claimed the gold medal in Bursa. Bulgaria’s Serafim Todorov moved up to the featherweight (57kg) but he remained on the top of the continent. The experienced Bulgarian defeated Russia’s Vyacheslav Vlasov and Georgia’s Ramazi Paliani in the final stages of the division.

Two surprise boxers advanced to the final of the lightweight (60kg), Poland’s Jacek Bielski and Czech Republic’s Tibor Rafael following their unexpected triumphs in the semi-finals against the favourites, Georgia’s Paata Gvasalia and Armenia’s former European Champion Mikhail Kazaryan. The Polish boxer was luckier in their final which he won by accepted scores in the narrowest title bout of the Bursa edition. Nurhan Suleymanoglu was born in Kazakhstan but he represented the Turkish national team in Bursa which he won over Germany’s Oktay Urkal claiming the host nation’s lone gold medal.

Vitalijus Karpaciauskas represented his new nation Lithuania already at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and he reached his career highlight in Bursa achieving the gold medal of the welterweight (67kg). The 27-year-old Lithuanian eliminated Germany’s favourite Andreas Otto in the semi-finals and continued his winning path against Turkey’s Kenan Oner in the final. Romania’s two-time AIBA World Champion Hungarian-descent Francisc Vastag finally claimed his first European title in Bursa where he defeated Netherlands’ Orhan Delibas.

The East Germans and the Germans dominated the middleweight (75kg) between 1985 and 1991 and their new promising hope Dirk Eigenbrodt continued their winning series in Bursa. The German boxer was slightly better than Russia’s Aleksandr Lebziak in the final winning the bout by 2:0. The next Russian finalist Igor Kshinin eliminated his main rival Ukraine’s Rostyslav Zaulichniy in the semi-finals and he was slightly better than Turkey’s Sinan Samilsam for the title of the light heavyweight (81kg).

Netherlands’ three-time European Champion at the heavyweight (91kg) Arnold Vanderlyde finished his boxing career in 1992 but his replacement Don Diego Poeder also advanced to the final of the category in 1993. The 21-year-old Dutch boxer gave in everything in the final against Georgia’s new sensation Georgi Kandelaki but he suffered a loss in Bursa to his Caucasian opponent. Bulgaria’s Svilen Rusinov achieved three bronze medals in the previous three editions of the European Boxing Championships before taking his first gold in Bursa. The 29-year-old Bulgarian was slightly better than Georgia’s Zurab Sarsania in the last twelfth final of the event.

List of the winners in the 1993 European Boxing Championships

  • Light flyweight (48kg): Daniel Petrov, Bulgaria
  • Flyweight (51kg): Rovshan Huseynov, Azerbaijan
  • Bantamweight (54kg): Raimkul Malakhbekov, Russia
  • Featherweight (57kg): Serafim Todorov, Bulgaria
  • Lightweight (60kg): Jacek Bielski, Poland
  • Light welterweight (63.5kg): Nurhan Suleymanoglu, Turkey
  • Welterweight (67kg): Vitalijus Karpaciauskas, Lithuania
  • Light middleweight (71kg): Francisc Vastag, Romania
  • Middleweight (75kg): Dirk Eigenbrodt, Germany
  • Light heavyweight (81kg): Igor Kshinin, Russia
  • Heavyweight (91kg): Georgi Kandelaki, Georgia
  • Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Svilen Rusinov, Bulgaria
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