The European Games started with several surprises in Minsk26 June 2019
The second edition of the European Games, which is the annual EUBC European Elite Boxing Championships, started with two sessions in the Belarusian capital today in Minsk. The first day delivered several surprises in Minsk where Armenia’s Zhirayr Sargsyan, Croatia’s Marko Milun and Belgium’s newcomers were the today’s sensations.
Altogether 317 boxers including 59 women are attending in the European Games from record number of 44 nations in Minsk, Belarus. The following nations are taking part in the European Games: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Great-Britain, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
The bout of the day
Azerbaijan’s Tayfur Aliyev was bronze medallist in the last edition of the European Games in Baku at the age of 18 four years ago and since then he took silver at the 2018 EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships. Azerbaijan’s best bantamweight (56kg) boxer had to face with Bulgaria’s new teenage sensation Boyan Asenov in the first preliminary round of the Games. The Bulgarian landed effective punches in the first round and took the lead in each scorecard. Aliyev returned in the second round in different rhythm and turned back their tight fight in Minsk which means the talented Bulgarian was eliminated by the Azeri boxer.
Surprises of the day
Armenia’s Zhirayr Sargsyan received the right to represent his country at the European Games in the final minute. The Armenian boxer achieved silver medal at the Nikolay Manger Memorial Tournament on April but he was not the favourite against Romania’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion Robert Jitaru. The Armenian bantamweight (56kg) boxer exceeded all of the expectations and eliminated his technician rival in Minsk.
Croatia’s Marko Milun claimed silver medal in the EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships and bronze in the EUBC European Union Championships last year proving strong developments. The Croatian super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer had to meet with an iconic athlete Italy’s veteran Clemente Russo as first in Minsk. The Italian was two-time AIBA World Champion in the past and the four-time Olympian returned to the sport in the recent one year. Milun used his longer reach well and defeated the 37-year-old Italian causing another surprise in Belarus’ capital city.
Belgium’s Vasile Usturoi returned after an injury but he impressed in his opening contest against Hungary’s EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nandor Csoka winning their bantamweight (56kg) meeting. His teammate Victor Schelstraete achieved Belgium’s second unexpected success in the first competition day defeating Austria’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships competitor 19-year-old Ahmed Hagag at the heavyweight (91kg).
Finland sent three male boxers to the European Games and among them two opened their campaign already on Day1. Muhammad Abdilrasoon won his first contest at the EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships on March and he repeated that performance also in Minsk beating Slovenia’s Aljaz Venko at the middleweight (75kg). The Finnish boxer has done strong job in the last round which decided their contest today. Krenar Aliu started slowly against Romania’s Alberto Biro and he had a few difficulties in the first round of their heavyweight (91kg) battle but his tactical change guaranteed for his success which was Finland’s second on Day1.
Netherlands’ two-time EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Peter Mullenberg was not enough shape in the first round against Armenia’s Henrik Sargsyan. The Dutch boxer, who moved up to the heavyweight (91kg), received strong advices in the first break from their national head coach Mr. Hennie Van Bemmel and changed his rhythm. From the beginning of the second round the Dutch veteran controlled their fight and defeated his Armenian rival. Mullenberg will be meeting in the next round with Turkey’s Berat Acar who defeated Moldova’s Andrei Zatusevschii today.
Georgia’s former EUBC European Youth Champion Nikoloz Begadze had to meet in the first preliminary round of the heavyweight (91kg) with Luxembourg’s Michel Erpelding who is the first boxer from his country in a European event since 1962. The referee counted Luxembourg’s lone boxer in the second round twice which showed the Georgian hope’s dominance. Begadze won their contest by unanimous decision and will be facing with Ukraine’s Seed No.4 Ramazan Muslimov in the last 16.
France’s Mourad Aliev replaced Djamili Dini Aboudou Moindze at the super heavyweight (+91kg) in the national team. The French boxer claimed gold medal at the Boxam Tournament in Spain last month and looked confident from the first seconds. He started the opening round with clear dominancy against Latvia’s Evanders Servuts and those minutes determined their whole contest. The French boxer saved power also for the later actions in the third round but won their bout by unanimous decision.