Report on European Boxing in the 17th Edition of the AIBA World Championships By Franco Falcinelli EUBC President04 November 2013
The Baluan Scholak Palace of Sports in Almaty, Kazakhstan, was home to the 17th edition of the AIBA World Championships and was a confirmation of the innovative trend that AIBA leadership has been perusing to develop and make Olympic boxing more attractive from an entertainment and ethically correct according to technical results.
The World Championships in Almaty will be remembered for four significant milestones:
- Eliminating headguards after 29 years
- The high number of participating countries
- The historic success of Kazakh boxing
- Azerbaijan ranking taking the 1st slot in European Ranking
- Along with these four milestones, there are other relevant considerations that would enhance AIBA’s strategic objectives:
- Even in the largest boxing event worldwide, the fear of a large number of injuries due to removing the headguard did not prove true.
- The consistent attention paid towards courses and refreshers courses for the R&Jes and Scoring System had simplified and appreciably improved the technical evaluation system of bouts.
The opening of the AIBA World Boxing Academy in Kazakhstan will now be the international reference point for courses, up to date and refreshment seminars as well as on developing new talent. One can easily see a wonderful future for boxing within this great and hospitable country.
The historic Kazakh results were not only based on playing in their home territory, rather because of the excellent quality of their boxers, coaches and the solid, competent, and forward looking leadership from the Kazakh Federation lead by Timor Kulibayev.
If Asia is able to better its worldwide standing, Europe continue to maintain its strong performance level in comparison to the other continents.
Europe had a total of 203 boxers in the World Champions, equal to 44.42% of total participants coming from 38 European countries.
Europe had reached the Quarter Finals with 39 boxers, equal to 48.75% of the total boxers. The countries represented in the Quarter Finals were:
RUS (7)- AZE (5) – IRL(5) – ITA(5) –GER(3) – CRO(2) – UKR(2) – WAL(2) – ARM(1) –ENG(1) –HUN(1) – LTU(1) – NED(1) – ROU(1) – TUR(1).
Overall, 17 European athletes reached the podium, meaning European boxers represented 42.5% of medals won. The medalist countries include:
RUS(4) – AZE(3) – ITA(3) – IRL(2) – GER(2) – ENG(1) – UKR(1) – WAL(1)
Only 7 European boxers made it to the Finals from the following countries: RUS (3) – AZE(2) – IRL(1) – ITA(1) and 4 went on to become Gold World Champions:
- ALOIAN Misha (Flyweight – 52) – Russia
- CHALABIYEV Javid (Bantamweight – 56) – Azerbaijan
- RUSSO Clemente (Heavyweight – 91) – Italy
- MEDZHIDOV Magomedrasul (Super Heavy – +91) – Azerbaijan
Therefore, more than the final results, Azerbaijan is in the 1st position in the European ranking which is a historic fact! Notably, Russia had been authoritatively at the forefront of Europe together with Azerbaijan, Ireland, Italy and Germany. Also observed is Ukraine’s overall performance in contrast to Baku 2011, but is commonly accepted that this is due to a generational change of the national team and it is certain that the Ukraine will soon return to being a great protagonist world wide.
Other important European countries such as France, Poland, Bulgaria, Belarus, Georgia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Moldavia, Scotland, Serbia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Israel had all brought good boxers, however did not make it to the Quarter Finals. The draws were not always in their favor and often had matches between European boxers which did not give them the possibility to move forward.
I would like to specifically congratulate Kosovo. It was their first World Championships and they had presented boxers that were highly competitive and have an excellent change to grow in the future.
The road to Rio 2016 has now begun in Almaty and will continue through into 2014. The next calendar year will have a new WSB format and the launch of AIBA Professional Boxing, two revolutionary components that will enrich Olympic boxing technically and amongst the public media perception.
Europe is ready to promote and organize these types of excellent events without neglecting AOB events that will have European Women’s, Youth (male), and Schoolboys as well as many other international tournaments that have the maximum involvement of National Federations.