Spain’s No.1 Gabriel Escobar won an exciting semi-final at the Boxam Elite Tournament

19 May 2019 News

Thirty-one semi-final contests were held in the third day of the new edition of the Boxam Elite International Boxing Tournament in Castellon de la Plana. Spain’s best boxer EUBC European Union Champion and Mediterranean Games winner Gabriel Escobar defeated his top rival Hungary’s Istvan Szaka in the semi-finals which was a remarkable battle between the two future hopes.

The Boxam Tournament is a strong preparation event for the upcoming European Games and for the EUBC European Confederation Women’s Boxing Championships. Australia, Ecuador, New Zealand and Thailand are also sent boxers besides to the tough European countries which means four continents are attending in Castellon de la Plana.

Bout of the day

Spain’s Gabriel Escobar won the Mediterranean Games and the EUBC European Union Boxing Championships last year. The currently best Spanish boxer started the first round strongly against Hungary’s Istvan Szaka and their opening minutes were spectacular for the crowd in Castellon de la Plana. The two-time EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships silver medallist Spanish boxer and the Hungarian both have done energetic boxing. Two-time Bocskai Memorial Tournament winner Szaka did not give up the fight and he landed strong punches also in the second round therefore the final verdict was depended on their performance in the third. Szaka was tired in the third round and he was not able keep the same rhythm which means Escobar advanced to the final of the flyweight (52kg) where he will be facing with Italy’s Federico Serra.

Surprise of the day

Ecuador’s Miguel Ferrin claimed silver medal in the strong Strandja Memorial Tournament and won several other podium places in the international competitions. He claimed bronze medal in the Panamerican Games Qualifier last month and arrived to the Boxam Tournament as a favourite at the light welterweight (64kg). The Ecuadorian boxer worked well but in his semi-final but Spain’s 21-year-old Adrian Thiam surprised him with his effectiveness and strong footwork.

The Round-up

France’s Johanna Wonyou had strong junior and youth results but from January she is strengthening the elite national team. The 19-year-old talent moved up to the bantamweight (54kg) and performed strongly in the semi-finals of the Boxam Tournament. The French teenager controlled her semi-final from the first seconds and took the advantage against Spain’s Andrea Lasheras. Wonyou continued her dominancy which means she can box for the title with Australia’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Kristy Harris in Castellon de la Plana.

Finland’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist defending EUBC European Women’s Champion Mira Potkonen attended high number of international events in 2018 and already in 2019 as well. The Finnish star won two contests by RSC in the recent rounds of the Boxam Tournament and met with a dangerous rival England’s Shona Whitwell who returned to the sport after a short break. The English girl was taller but Potkonen reduced the fighting distance successfully and eliminated a young talent in Castellon de la Plana. Potkonen will be boxing for the gold medal with Australia’s Commonwealth Games winner Anja Stridsman which will be the repeat final of the 2018 Boxam Tournament.

France’s Emilie Sonvico joined to the national elite team only one and half year ago but she developed step by step and now arrived to the level of the European bests at the welterweight (69kg). The French boxer, who won the Golden Girl Box Cup already this year, controlled the first round against New Zealand’s Che Kenneally and she used her aggressive style in this semi-final. The French boxer overcame her Kiwi rival in the attacks and her dangerous combinations delivered for her a place to the final.

England’s Sandy Ryan was bronze medallist in the Jeju 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and after a few years of that career highlight, she is in world class form once again. The English welterweight (69kg) boxer had to face with Denmark’s veteran Yvonne Baek Rasmussen who has more than 15 years of experiences in the international stage. Ryan was quicker today and avoided the Danish punches while her counter-strikes were successful several times therefore England’s hope advanced to the final.

Spain’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Samuel Carmona moved up to the bantamweight (56kg) from the light flyweight (49kg) in the recent one year. The 23-year-old Spanish boxer eliminated a tough fighter Ecuador’s Jean Caicedo in the quarter-finals and continued his winning path in the last four. The Spanish boxer was a hard target for his teammate Angel Seda in their semi-final when both athletes changed their stances and fighting styles several times. The final verdict was unanimous decision in the favour of Carmona who will be meeting for the gold medal with Thailand’s FISU University World Champion Yuttapong Tongdee.

France’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Enzo Grau is a new surprise in their national team whose skills developed rapidly in the recent one year. He eliminated Thailand’s Rujakran Juntrong and Spain’s Cristian Eusse Vasquez during his road to the semi-finals. The French lightweight (60kg) boxer, who was born in 1999, was slightly better than Italy’s big prospect Francesco Iozia and advanced to the final where he will be meeting with Hungary’s former EUBC European Youth Champion Roland Galos.

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