Stars as Testa, Surmeneli, Potkonen, Fontijn, Price, Clarke and Escobar are all finalists at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament

11 February 2021 News

Impressive twenty-six semi-final contests were in the schedule of the fourth second competition day at the 65th edition of the traditional Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary today. The stars of the event as Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli, Italy’s Irma Testa, Finland’s Mira Potkonen, Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn, Wales’ Lauren Price, Spain’s Gabriel Escobar and England’s Frazer Clarke all joined to the finals.

All of the 13 weigh categories were in action in the fourth day of boxing when the winners advanced to the finals of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. Altogether 149 bouts took place under four competition days of boxing in Debrecen which made the international event busy for all of the teams.

The number of the participating boxers is 175 including 55 women from 22 different countries and three Confederations. The following 22 nations arrived to the Bocskai Memorial Tournament to Hungary: Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Wales.

The Technical Delegate of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament is the experienced Ms. Anna Laukkanen of Finland. The competition is a preparation event before the previously suspended European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event and also for the World Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event.

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

The bout of the day

Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli is the defending AIBA Women’s World Champion at the welterweight (69kg) who returned to the international stage in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. The Turkish star is only 22 now but she won already plenty of big events and championships. Surmeneli had a tough rival, Wales’ Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rosie Eccles in the semi-final of the event which delivered one of the best contests of the fourth competition day. The Welsh girl is tough and started the bout in a brave attempt to beat her Turkish opponent in Debrecen. Surmeneli had to increase her skills in the beginning of the second round to beat her Welsh rival and will now face with France’s Emilie Sonvico for the gold medal.

The Round-up

Spain’s European Games winner Gabriel Escobar opened the first minute with impressive tempo against Hungary’s EUBC European Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nandor Csoka in Debrecen. The local flyweight (52kg) boxer was taller but Escobar used his world class footwork to reduce the fighting distance in their semi-final. The Spaniard played a good game with the experienced Hungarian but his tactical advantages controlled all of the rounds in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. He will be meeting for the gold medal with Algeria’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Mohamed Flissi.

Croatia’s Noa Jezek won three tough contests during his road to the semi-finals at the middleweight (75kg) in Debrecen. The Croatian developed well in all aspects of boxing and he was brave also against France’s Moreno Fendero. The 19-year-old Jezek landed single jabs in the first round of the battle of the southpaw boxers. Despite of his young age, Jezek is a great puncher and demonstrated it once again in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament where he won his fourth difficult bout. The young Croatian will have a strong final opponent, England’s Lewis Richardson who eliminated Italy’s Giovanni Sarchioto.

France’s Samuel Kistohurry won the strong Cologne Boxing World Cup last December and he has been preparing to the Tokyo Olympic Games where he is already a guaranteed participant. The French featherweight (57kg) boxer landed extremely high number of punches in the semi-finals against England’s Nico Leivars. Kistohurry did not let the English youngster to do his own strategy and won the contest by unanimous decision. The powerful French will be meeting with Hungary’s Tokyo Olympian Roland Galos in the final which will be the repeat title contest of last year’s bout.

Georgia’s EUBC European U22 Champion Lasha Guruli was confident from the first seconds against Hungary’s Milan Fodor in the semi-finals of the lightweight (63kg). The Hungarian increased his tempo in the second round but Guruli’s counter-attacks were successful and kept his opponent long. Fodor had a powerful third round, he caught Guruli with several punches but his efforts were not enough to turn back their semi-final. The Georgian will have another Hungarian opponent in the final, Richard Kovacs who defeated Lithuania’s veteran Edgaras Skurdelis.

Spain’s next top boxer Emmanuel Reyes used up his experiences to handle his tactical task in the semi-finals of the heavyweight (91kg) against France’s EUBC European Youth Champion, Wilfried Florentin. His French opponent eliminated England’s Cheavon Clarke in a superb quarter-final in the third competition day of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament. Reyes, who had seriously tough fights in Cuba previously, solved the tactical mission against the French youngster and his uppercuts and hooks stopped Florentin. Reyes will be boxing for the gold medal with Algeria’s veteran Abdelhafid Benchabla who has been preparing to his fourth Olympic Games.

England’s WSB star Frazer Clarke eliminated his main rival, France’s European Games winner Mourad Aliev in the quarter-final of the super heavyweight (+91kg). Following that tough contest, he had a Turkish rival, Berat Acar who gave in everything to their semi-final and tried to use his speed in the bout. Clarke landed tough uppercuts and hooks against the Turkish talent and eliminated his rival who exceeded the previous expectations. The English star will be boxing for the gold medal with Georgia’s former EUBC European Youth Champion Nikoloz Begadze.

Croatia’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Nikolina Cacic moved down to the flyweight (51kg) in the recent months but she had the power in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament to advance to the finals. The Croatian will be turning to 20 only this year but she was able to eliminate Hungary’s Beata Dudek on Day3 and continued her winning path against Serbia’s Nina Radovanovic in the semi-finals. In the second semi-final of the weight category, Turkey’s European Games winner kept the best fighting distance against Spain’s Miriam Lopez Del Arbol.

Italy’s EUBC European Women’s Champion Irma Testa kept the fighting distance well in her semi-final at the featherweight (57kg) against Finland’s 19-year-old Vilma Viitanen. The Rio 2016 Olympian Testa played her own game in the fourth competition day and controlled her bout from the first exchanges. Viitanen proved her very best in the contest but Testa’s routine controlled their exciting semi-final in Debrecen where the Italian will be meeting for the gold medal with Hungary’s Szabina Szucs.

Photo by Margit Kincses. Irma Tesla and (ITA) and Vilma Viitanen (FIN)on the photo.

Finland’s star Mira Potkonen had a tough job today against England’s AIBA Youth World Champion Gemma Richardson but she managed to win that excellent semi-final. The European Games winner will have one final step to take title of the lightweight (60kg) at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen where her last opponent is Algeria’s Imane Khelif. Netherlands’ Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Nouchka Fontijn was too strong for Hungary’s Timea Nagy and will be meeting in an exciting middleweight (75kg) final with Wales’ Lauren Price.

The quote of the day

“The preparation for the Bocskai Memorial Tournament was fantastic in the recent weeks, we spent all the time in the training camp in Assisi together. Our relationship in the national team is very special and thanks for our coaches, we are in good shape. My Finnish opponent was very young but she has a beautiful technique and her style is similar as Russia’s Sofya Ochigava. I felt that the first round was good, but the second and the third were much better for me in this semi-final,” commented her semi-final victory Italy’s Irma Testa.

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