Record number of twelve nations achieved the 15 gold medals in the European Games30 June 2019
The boxing tournament of the European Games with the second part of the finals finished in Minsk where the ninth competition day delivered surprises and exciting title contests. Following Bulgaria, Poland, Spain, Belarus, Great Britain, Azerbaijan and Ukraine further nations joined which claimed gold in Minsk today. Turkey, Finland, Great Britain, Armenia, Ireland, Ukraine and Russia celebrated their titles in the last competition day.
Altogether 317 boxers including 59 women attended in the European Games from record number of 44 nations in Minsk, Belarus. The following nations took part in the European Games from Day1: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great-Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
Women’s flyweight (51kg)
Russia’s Svetlana Soluianova worked six years to get involved to the national elite team following her youth continental title in 2012. In her first EUBC European Women’s Elite Boxing Championships in Sofia she claimed the gold medal one year ago therefore she was the main favourite for the gold medal at the flyweight (51kg) in Minsk. The Russian boxer used her height advantage in the first round well against Turkey’s Busenaz Cakiroglu. The EUBC European U22 Champion Turkish boxer changed her rhythm in the beginning of the second round and turned back their tough final in Minsk. Cakiroglu reached her career highlight with her final success and celebrated Turkey’s first gold medal in the boxing tournament of the European Games.
Women’s lightweight (60kg)
Finland’s defending EUBC European Women’s Champion Mira Potkonen eliminated one of her main rivals Russia’s Anastasia Beliakova in the battle of the Olympic medallists on Day7. Finland’s pride walked over to the gold medal following her super strong rival Ireland’s reigning AIBA Women’s World Champion Kellie Harrington was unable to box against her in the last competition day due her hand injury which she suffered in the semi-finals against Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson.
Women’s middleweight (75kg)
Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn was silver medallist in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and won the last edition of the European Games and the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships. She had to meet with her most dangerous rival Great Britain’s Lauren Price in the final of the middleweight (75kg). Fontijn had a tough semi-final at the New Delhi 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships against Lauren Price but she won that tight contest last November. The Welsh girl surprised the Dutch star with her speed and showed strong developments since their last meeting. Price delivered a sensation in the final with her success and claimed Great Britain’s second boxing gold after Pat McCormack’s title.
Men’s light flyweight (49kg)
The Caucasian boxers have got strong traditions in the lowest weight class and two of their young hopes from Georgia and Armenia advanced to the finals of the European Games. Armenia’s Artur Hovhannisyan claimed silver medals in the Cologne Boxing World Cup and Governor Cup this year proving his top form. The Armenian controlled the first two rounds against Georgia’s EUBC European Youth Champion Sakhil Allakhverdovi and had strong advantage on the scorecards after six minutes of fight. The taller Georgian was energetic in the third round but Hovhannisyan had enough advantage to win their final.
Men’s bantamweight (56kg)
Ireland’s Kurt Walker defeated Great Britain’s defending EUBC European Champion Peter McGrail in the semi-finals of the Games once again on their re-match in Minsk. The Irish bantamweight (56kg) boxer was highly motivated after that key bout and started strongly against Ukraine’s Mykola Butsenko. The Ukrainian was bronze medallist in the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships and returned in top shape but he did not find the best fighting range against Walker. The Irish boxer had tough fights in the recent one and half week but Walker was still enough fresh to win his first European title.
Men’s light welterweight (64kg)
In the most anticipated final fight of the last competition day France’s defending AIBA World Champion Sofiane had to meet with Armenia’s reigning EUBC European Champion Hovhannes Bachkov. The Armenian boxer started better with his smart boxing and surprised the Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist French boxer with his upgraded footwork. Oumiha turned up the heat in the second round and used his counter-attacking style more effectively in that period. Bachkov returned in the third with good jabs and defeated his French opponent in the toughest fight of the day.
Men’s middleweight (75kg)
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak was AIBA World Champion, EUBC European Elite Champion and EUBC European U22 Champion in 2017. Following his excellent preparations to the European Games he advanced to the finals beating all of his main rivals during that road. Khyzhniak moved ahead without any stoppage from the first seconds and determined quickly that he is better than Italy’s Salvatore Cavallaro in all aspects of boxing. The Ukrainian boxer dominated the second round and destroyed his opponent’s defence in the third. Their final delivered the biggest difference among the title contests and Khyzhniak defended his European throne in Minsk.
Men’s heavyweight (91kg)
Russia’s Muslim Gadzhimagomedov was EUBC European Youth Champion and EUBC European U22 Champion in the recent years. The 22-year-old three-time National Elite Champion Russian was unbeaten in 2018 and in the first half of this year. Gadzhimagomedov was tactically better in the first round than Belarus’ Uladzislau Smiahlikau and proved also his strength in the second. The Canadian referee had to count the Belarusian boxer in the second round therefore Gadzhimagomedov claimed gold medal for Russia with fantastic performance.