Shakhsuvarly and Yusifzada won their tight semi-finals in the Great Silk Way Tournament01 April 2019
Following the quarter-finals the next stage of the Great Silk Way Tournament the semi-finals were taking place in the fifth competition day in Baku with its 20 bouts. Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly was slightly better than Turkey’s Serhat Guler while Masud Yusifzada defeated his top national rival AIBA World Champion Elvin Mamishzada at the very first time.
Azerbaijan Boxing Federation hosted the first edition of the Great Silk Way Tournament in 2007 and after two years of break the competition returned to the European boxing map. Altogether 117 boxers are attending in the current Great Silk Way Tournament from such powerful countries as host Azerbaijan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkey, Morocco and Turkmenistan.
Bout of the day
Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly claimed bronze medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, silver in the Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships and another bronze in the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships. His medal collection is full from the main boxing events but he is still hungry to the further successes and has done superb performance in the semi-final of the Great Silk Way Tournament. Shakhsuvarly tried to keep the best fighting distance against Turkey’s attacking Serhat Guler who developed in all aspects of boxing since his bronze medal at the Braila 2017 EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships. Shakhsuvarly moved more with faster steps to the right and left sides of his opponent to find Guler’s weak points and finally he was able to manage his narrow win in Baku.
Surprises of the day
Azerbaijan’s Masud Yusifzada was Youth Olympian in Nanjing five years ago but as an elite boxer he was unable to beat their Doha 2015 AIBA World Champion Elvin Mamishzada until the semi-finals of the Great Silk Way Tournament. The younger Yusifzada moved ahead more in the first round and his efforts were enough to take the lead on the scorecards. Mamishzada’s routine controlled the second round therefore the final verdict was depended on their performance in the last minutes. Yusifzada found back his best rhythm and finally his hand was raised which was his big success over the AIBA World Champion.
Following Mamishzada’s loss another AIBA World Champion from Azerbaijan Javid Chalabiyev had to step into the ring to secure his place into the finals at the lightweight (60kg). Chalabiyev had strong performance in the quarter-finals but he was unable to repeat that rhythm against Uzbekistan’s Shukurjon Rakhimov. His Uzbek opponent attended in the Sofia 2014 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and moved forward step by step in their national ranking. Rakhimov had strong stamina and his technician style delivered another surprise in the semi-finals of the Great Silk Way Tournament.
Azerbaijan’s Tayfur Aliyev was quarter-finalist at the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships at the age of 18 and claimed silver medal in the 2018 EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships. Azerbaijan’s best bantamweight (56kg) boxer controlled all of the rounds against his teammate Goshgar Safarli and marched to the final of the event. His final opponent will be Kazakhstan’s National Championships silver medallist Orazbek Asylkulov who is a 20-year-old talent.
Russia’s FISU University World Champion Alisa Sharifov is a strong light welterweight (64kg) boxer who defeated some stars as well in the recent two years. The Russian boxer had to face in the semi-final of the Great Silk Way Tournament with Kazakhstan’s veteran Almasbek Alibekov who has been attending on the international events since 2010. Sharifov was more aggressive and he caught his Kazakh rival several times which means the Russian boxer will be meeting for the title of the event with Kazakhstan’s Sabyrzhan Bekbergenov.
Azerbaijan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Lorenzo Sotomayor lost his quarter-final bout in the earlier part of the Great Silk Way Tournament but his teammate another Cuban-descent Azeri fighter Alfonso Dominges advanced to the finals. He will be meeting for the title of the light heavyweight (81kg) with his compatriot Rauf Rahimov who eliminated Uzbekistan’s Khurshid Abdullaev in Baku.