Sajaia, Heydarli and Petrov won tough finals in the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup04 May 2019
The 17th edition of the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup was held in Azerbaijan’s capital in Baku where 13 boxers celebrated their gold medals after five competition days. Georgia’s Giorgi Sajaia won the closest bout of the finals in the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup where Azerbaijan’s Jafar Heydarli had a surprise success.
The event returned to Baku following the last two editions which were taking place in Nakhichevan and Sumgayit. The competition was named by Mr. Heydar Aliyev who served the country as the third President of Azerbaijan from 1993 until 2003.
Uzbekistan claimed five gold medals and topped the medal standings in Baku where Azerbaijan also impressed with their four titles. Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Georgia also won at least one gold medal in the traditionally strong Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup.
Bout of the finals
Georgia’s Giorgi Sajaia attended in the 2018 EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Anapa last October and had enough international experiences to do big things this year. The Georgian boxed moved up to the bantamweight (54kg) but he adopted the strength of the punches quickly and proved top performance in the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup. Sajaia eliminated Azerbaijan’s Elmar Abbasov in the semi-finals and he was motivated against Kazakhstan’s Islam Makhashev in the final of the event. The 16-year-old Georgian had tough stamina to eliminate his Central Asian rival and won the final by split decision.
Surprise of the finals
Azerbaijan’s Jafar Heydarli claimed silver medal in the last edition of the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup at the light middleweight (70kg) but he was not the favourite against Kyrgyzstan’s No.1 16-year-old Khalid Aliyev. The Kyrgyz boxer was nominated for the Best Asian Junior Boxer Award in 2018 following his international tournament successes. Heydarli moved up two categories since the 2018 edition and he exceeded the expectations with his narrow triumph over Khalid Aliyev.
Azerbaijan’s Turgay Mirzayev attended in the last edition of the EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Anapa and remained unbeaten this year after the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup. The 16-year-old featherweight (57kg) boxer was slightly better than Kazakhstan‘s Elnur Suyinbay in the final. Mirzayev’s success increased his confidence before the start of the EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Balabin was silver medallist at the 2018 EUBC European Confederation Schoolboys Boxing Championships and joined to the juniors this January. The 15-year-old Ukrainian earned bronze medal in the Danilchenko Prizes Junior Tournament a few weeks ago and won his first big event in Baku after beating Kyrgyzstan’s two-time Junior National Champion Sagyn Satybaldy Uulu in the final of the welterweight (66kg).
Uzbekistan’s Login Petrov is not only the best junior hope in his country but he is one of the top boxers in the whole world in his age group. The 16-year-old Uzbek Junior National Champion won three tournaments already in 2019 and he bagged his next gold medal in Baku. The Uzbek light middleweight (70kg) boxer dominated all of his fights including the final against Turkey‘s Terzi Alperen.
Ukraine’s Ihor Sharov claimed silver medal in the Danilchenko Prizes Junior Tournament this March which he changed into gold in Baku following his triumph over Kazakhstan‘s Nurdos Kuanysh. Uzbekistan sent altogether seven boxers to the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup and among them five claimed titles in Baku. Jakhongir Zokirov won three tournaments already in 2019 as Petrov and claimed his next title after beating Turkey‘s Burak Celik in the final of the heavyweight (+80kg).