Skurdelis and Unsworth are on the top of the 25th Algirdas Socikas Tournament

17 May 2021 News

The 25th Algirdas Socikas Tournament finished with fifteen final contests in Kaunas, Lithuania where some of the weight categories have been divided into two parts due to the high number of participants. Lithuania’s Edgaras Skurdelis and Wales’ Billy Unsworth won the most difficult finals of the Algirdas Socikas Tournament.

Many of the European nations used the Algirdas Socikas Tournament as preparations for the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and for the upcoming EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships. Besides to the European countries, Kazakhstan and Egypt also sent their boxers to Kaunas.

Six-time Soviet National Champion Mr. Algirdas Socikas was one of the heroes of Lithuania’s boxing life in the past who won the European Boxing Championships two-times in 1953 in Warsaw and repeated it in 1955 in West Berlin. Lithuania’s most important elite international boxing tournament was named after their national boxing icon.  

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Lithuania to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Algirdas Socikas Tournament.

The bout of the day

Lithuania’s Edgaras Skurdelis competed already at the 2006 EUBC European Schoolboys Boxing Championships at the age of 13 and after 15 years of experiences he is the best boxer of the host nation. He claimed medals in the recent international tournaments in Hungary and in Spain therefore he had strong motivation also in Kaunas. The Lithuanian advanced to the final of the lightweight (60kg) where he faced with France’s 20-year-old Selim Bouaita. Skurdelis used all of his previous experiences to catch the quick French and his hard job in the ring was enough to win the weight class in Kaunas.

The surprise of the day

England’s Niall Farrell was silver medallist in the Kharkiv 2017 EUBC European Boxing Championships at the age of 20. Currently Galal Yafai is their best flyweight (52kg) boxer but Farrell decided to continue his career and show his very best upon his return to the international stage. He moved up to the featherweight (57kg) and advanced to the final with excellent performance but for the title Welshman Billy Unsworth was able to beat him using outstanding combinations.

The Round-Up

The first gold medal of the 25th Algirdas Socikas Tournament was achieved by Wales’ Rosie Eccles at the women’s welterweight (69kg). The Commonwealth Games silver medallist eliminated her main rival, Russia’s veteran Saadat Dalgatova in the semi-finals and she had an easier job against Lithuania’s Augustina Markelionyte. Eccles dominated already the first round but the second was decisive and the referee confirmed her RSC triumph.

Lithuania’s Gabriele Stonkute eliminated Kazakhstan’s Tokyo Olympian Nadezhda Ryabets in the semi-finals of the women’s middleweight (75kg) causing a surprise in Kaunas. The local youngster had a brave attempt to beat Russia’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Zenfira Magomedalieva and tried to catch her 14-years-older rival. Stonkute has done a lot of risk in the final and her defence was destroyed by the Russian star in the second round when the referee stopped their bout.

Scotland’s Reese Lynch was gold medallist at the 2018 Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament where he defeated top Asian boxers. The Scottish proved excellent progress in strength and defeated Ukraine’s Danylo Lozan in the first final of the light welterweight (64kg). In the Group B of the same category, England’s EUBC European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Callum French used his longer reach against Netherlands’ Enrico La Cruz in another superb contest.

Lithuania’s Vytautas Balsys won the Group A of the middleweight (75kg) following his narrow success over Wales’ 20-year-old Garan Croft. Another young Welsh talent, Bevan Taylor claimed the title of the Group B in this weight class, beating France’s powerful Moreno Fendero. England’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Conner Tudsbury controlled the light heavyweight (81kg) final while Scotland’s experienced Scott Forrest returned with a title at the heavyweight (91kg).

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