Sirine Charaabi defeated her second star rivals at the Strandja Memorial Tournament

24 February 2022 News

Following the two sessions of today, the first medallists are confirmed in the new Strandja Memorial Tournament which is the highlight of the month. Italy’s EUBC European U22 Champion Sirine Charaabi defeated her second world-class rival in a final-level contest and she is now at least bronze medallist in Sofia.

Further fifty-five contests took place in the fourth competition at the 73rd edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Wednesday. Most of the winners advanced to the semi-finals in the event and they are all guaranteed medallists.

The Strandja Memorial is Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament and has a strong brand name therefore high number of stars and nations decided to compete in Sofia. IBA will arrange the money prizes and boxers can earn new world ranking points during the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament.

The first edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament was held in Sofia in 1950 and the competition saw amazing stars in the recent decades. The new edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament holds in all of 12 women’s and 13 men’s weight categories in the Bulgarian capital.

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the check of the vaccinations, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Sofia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the 2022 Strandja Memorial Tournament.

The bout of the day

Italy’s EUBC European U22 Champion Sirine Charaabi developed rapidly in 2021 and she worked hard in the recent weeks in various training camps to reach the level of the top boxers. She eliminated France’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Caroline Cruveillier first but she could not expect an easier contest against Russia’s Karina Tazabekova. Her Russian opponent was silver medallist at the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships but she could not handle Charaabi’s speed today. The Italian won the first and third rounds, which were enough to win the entire bantamweight (54kg) contest in Sofia.

The surprise of the day

Finland’s Vilma Viitanen achieved silver medal at the 2017 EUBC European Women’s Junior Boxing Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. She will celebrates her 21st birthday this year but she has now more than 100 contests and became the best female boxer in Finland. Viitanen is focusing to the upcoming EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships and she is near to her peak performance but Kazakhstan’s Karina Ibragimova was not an ideal opponent in the last eight. Ibragimova, who earned bronze at the 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, landed nice shots in the first round in the battle of the southpaw boxers. Viitanen amazed with superb combinations and nice style of boxing in the second and third rounds and eliminated a top rival in Sofia.

The Round-Up

France’s defending EUBC European U22 Champion Romane Moulai has fantastic technical skills and she is aiming for a top elite result in 2022. The 22-year-old French boxer met with Serbia’s Nina Radovanovic who won the Nations Women’s Cup and the Bocskai Memorial Tournament this year. Moulai used her long distance well enough in the first round and she surprised the smaller Serbian with her combinations. The French light flyweight (50kg) boxer had difficulties in the second round but with her great finish she could eliminate Radovanovic who lost a bout at the very first time in 2022.

Bulgaria’s national hero in women’s boxing, Stanimira Petrova achieved her first big title at the Jeju 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Since then she earned several European titles and gold medals from the Strandja Memorial Tournament. The tall Bulgarian faced with Kazakhstan’s former AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Balaussa Muzdiman in the quarter-final of the bantamweight (54kg). Petrova attended at the featherweight (57kg) in the past but she decided to tries herself in a smaller category which was a successful mission for her on Day4. Muzdiman was competitive only in the second round therefore Petrova marched to the medal phase of the Strandja Memorial Tournament.

Russia’s former EUBC European Women’s Champion Daria Abramova will be turning to 32 this year but she is in top form and could be a strong favourite at the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Russian boxer had to meet in the quarter-finals of the featherweight (57kg) with Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Champion Sitora Turdibekova and used her tempo well enough to control the first round. The 19-year-old Uzbek was brave in the second round, changed her strategy but Abramova landed more punches in the third and the Russian joined to the semi-finals of this strong weight class.

Bulgaria’s Svetlana Kamenova achieved bronze medal at the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships at the age of 22 but she worked as coach in the recent years. She decided to return to the events as a boxer a few months ago and following her intense training sessions, she is in fantastic form in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Kamenova controlled all of the three rounds against Spain’s experienced national team member Jennifer Fernandez and dominated that contest.

Ireland’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Kellie Harrington enjoyed her comeback to the international events after more than six months of break during her first contest in Sofia. The Irish star used her fantastic footwork once again and controlled the first round well against Kazakhstan’s Aidana Zabynbekova. The Irish lightweight (60kg) boxer was almost untouchable for the younger Kazakh who tried to reach Harrington without any efficiency. The top star of the weight class dominated the first and second rounds therefore she bowed out her second opponent out of her way.

Serbia’s ex-Russian veteran boxer, Natalia Shadrina was dominant in the previous stages at the Strandja Memorial Tournament but she had to use her best combinations against Kosovo’s No.1, EUBC European Women’s Youth Champion Donjeta Sadiku in their lightweight (60kg) quarter-final. Shadrina won her previous international tournaments but she had hard job against the young Kosovan today. Sadiku proved her very best in the first round but Shadrina had all the time the right tactical replies and won the contest by split decision.

Germany’s Stefanie Von Berge moved through to the junior and youth events before she claimed gold medal at the 2021 EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. She will be celebrating her 21st birthday only next month but she is one of the favourites at the welterweight (66kg) in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. The German boxer used her long hands to keep the best fighting distance against Russia’s Anastasia Esman and her jabs stopped her opponents. Esman did not find the best strategy against the young German therefore Von Berge won their contest by large margin of differences.

Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Youth Champion Radoslav Rosenov has just joined to the elite and U22 age groups this January and he opened his campaign at the Strandja Memorial Tournament with a superb performance. The 18-year-old Bulgarian remained at the lightweight (60kg) since his youth successes and moved a lot on feet to catch Italy’s Simone Spada in their quarter-final. Rosenov landed punches whenever he wanted and his speed decided their contest in the Bulgarian capital.

Norway’s Mindaugas Gedminas attended successfully already at the Minsk 2019 European Games and he won several medals in various international tournaments. The Lithuanian-descent Norwegian was too experienced for Moldova’s young Andrei Sanjura and he used quicker attacks than his rival. Gedminas danced through the Moldovan boy and landed his shots with perfect timing in their middleweight (75kg) contest. The Norwegian enjoyed the last minute and he felt that he will win their preliminary bout in the Bulgarian capital.

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