Rusevski and Kvachadze were the stars in the Halle 1977 European Boxing Championships07 July 2020
Following the Katowice edition, the 22nd European Boxing Championships was held in Halle, East Germany where the host nation had eight finalists. The Soviet Union claimed nearly half of the gold medals in Halle where Yugoslavia’s Macedonian Ace Rusevski amazed the crowd. The Soviet Union’s David Kvachadze became the first Georgian boxer who won the European title.
Halle is famous of its Chemiepokal, the Chemistry Cup which was launched with its first edition in 1970. East Berlin was the host of the 1965 edition of the European Boxing Championships and the event returned to East Germany.
The first competition day of the 1977 European Boxing Championships was May 29 in Halle while the finals were scheduled on June 5. The local organizers arranged a rest day on June 4 in 1977 after the semi-finals. There were not any weight classes where two rounds of preliminaries were held in the 1977 European Boxing Championships.
The number of the boxers was 146 in the 1977 European Boxing Championships in Halle which was less than two years earlier. The following 26 nations attended in the Halle 1977 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, England, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Turkey, Wales, West Germany, and Yugoslavia.
East Germany, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union attended with maximum number of eleven boxers in the Halle 1977 European Boxing Championships. Developing European boxing countries such as Luxembourg and Portugal returned to the continental event after a few years of hiatus.
The Soviet Union topped the medal table of the event once again with their eight medals including five titles in 1977. The Polish boxers proved their best in Halle with three gold medals which was their best result in the 1970s. East Germany produced its best ever performance with their eight finalists and among them two were succeeded on home soil.
Yugoslavia was the fourth nation in the 1977 European Boxing Championships which could win one gold medal. Bulgaria and Romania both won six medals in Halle but without any gold both ranked as No.5 in the medal standings. West Germany, Finland, Czechoslovakia, France, Ireland and Turkey were the further nations on the medal table. Two big powers as Italy and Hungary failed to get any medals in the 1977 European Boxing Championships.
Poland’s 22-year-old Henryk Srednicki won the first title of the 1977 European Boxing Championships following his success over Bulgaria’s Georgi Georgiev at the light flyweight (48kg). Poland’s second success was achieved by two-time Olympic Games bronze medallist Leszek Blazynski who had a superb final against Soviet Union’s Ukrainian European Champion Aleksandr Tkachenko at the flyweight (51kg).
Yugoslavia’s Fazlija Sacirovic eliminated one of the main favourites of the bantamweight (54kg) Soviet Union’s Uzbek boxer Felix Pak in the preliminary round. The Yugoslavian boxer lost to East Germany’s eventual winner Stefan Förster in the quarter-finals and failed to get any medals in Halle. The two-time Olympian East German boxer was too smart for Romania’s Teodor Dinu in the final of the event.
Montreal 1976 Olympic Games silver medallist Richard Nowakowski was born in Poland in 1955 but he represented East Germany in the international events. The 22-year-old featherweight (57kg) boxer eliminated Soviet Union’s Viktor Rybakov in the semi-finals and continued his winning path in the final against Poland’s Roman Gotfryd.
Yugoslavia’s Montreal 1976 Olympic Games bronze medallist Ace Rusevski is one of the most famous Macedonian boxer in the whole history of the sport who achieved a highlight in 1977 with a gold medal at the lightweight (60kg). Rusevski was technically better than all of his four rivals including East Germany’s Christian Zornow while the two-time European Champion Simion Cutov of Romania lost his first fight.
Soviet Union’s Kyrgyz boxer Valeriy Grishkovets, Romania’s European Champion Calistrat Cutov and East Germany’s Ulrich Beyer were the favourites at the light welterweight (63.5kg) but the gold medal was captured by Poland’s Bogdan Gajda. Soviet Union’s Valeriy Limassov won the light welterweight (63.5kg) in 1975 and defeated all of his tough rivals at the welterweight (67kg) two years later.
Finland’s Kalevi Marjamaa was European Champion at the welterweight (67kg) in 1975 and advanced to the semi-finals of the light middleweight (71kg) two years later. The 24-year-old Finnish boxer suffered a loss to West Germany’s Markus Inketlofer and claimed only bronze in Halle. The West German boxer was knocked out in the by Soviet Union’s Ukrainian Viktor Savchenko in the final.
Soviet Union’s third-in-a-row gold medal was taken by Leonid Shaposhnikov who triumphed over East Germany’s Bernd Wittenburg in the final of the middleweight (75kg). Soviet Union’s David Kvachadze became the first Georgian boxer who won a European title, he defeated also an East German talent, Ottomar Sachse. Yevgeniy Gorstkov was newcomer in the national team at the heavyweight (+81kg) but he knocked out East Germany’s Jürgen Fanghänel in the final.
List of the winners in the 1977 European Boxing Championships
- Light flyweight (48kg): Henryk Srednicki, Poland
- Flyweight (51kg): Leszek Blazynski, Poland
- Bantamweight (54kg): Stefan Förster, East Germany
- Featherweight (57kg): Richard Nowakowski, East Germany
- Lightweight (60kg): Ace Rusevski, Yugoslavia
- Light welterweight (63.5kg): Bogdan Gajda, Poland
- Welterweight (67kg): Valeriy Limassov, Soviet Union
- Light middleweight (71kg): Viktor Savchenko, Soviet Union
- Middleweight (75kg): Leonid Shaposhnikov, Soviet Union
- Light heavyweight (81kg): David Kvachadze, Soviet Union
- Heavyweight (+81kg): Yevgeniy Gorstkov, Soviet Union