The experienced Bulgarian women boxers advanced to the finals of the Strandja Memorial Tournament

24 February 2018 News

The winners of the women bouts in the fifth competition day are advanced to the finals of the 69th edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia where the men boxers fought for the semi-finals. The experienced Bulgarian women boxers as Sevda Asenova, Stoyka Petrova and Stanimira Petrova all advanced to the finals in Sofia.

Altogether 143 men and 93 women boxers from 30 countries are taking part in the 69th edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia. Russia, Kazakhstan, United States of America, China, England, Ukraine, India, Mongolia, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Romania, Morocco, and host Bulgaria are all attending among the top boxing nations in Sofia.

Bulgaria’s reigning EUBC European Confederation Women’s Champion Sevda Asenova is one of the most experienced European boxers at the women’s light flyweight (48kg). The veteran Bulgarian is still in top shape and her skills were enough to beat Italy’s 12 years younger Roberta Bonatti in the quarter-final and Czech Republic’s Jana Prokesova in the semi-final. The Bulgarian boxer, who is member of the national team since 2006, will be boxing with India’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte for the title of the event.

Greece’s woman boxer Aikaterini Koutsogeorgopoulou was exceeded all of the previous expectations in the previous days of the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Following her amazing success over Brazil’s Grazieli De Sousa the 21-year-old flyweight (51kg) boxer had to meet with another top athlete from the American continent, US star Virginia Fuchs. The Greek boxer was a hard target for the US hope which meant Koutsogeorgopoulou defeated her in a hectic bout. Greece’s new sensation will now meet for the title with Bulgaria’s Gabriela Dimitrova in the final.

Bulgaria’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Stoyka Petrova returned to her best category to the bantamweight (54kg) but she needed to do her very best to secure her place in the final of the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Petrova’s opponent India’s experienced Maisnam Meena Kumari was a competitive rival for the veteran Bulgarian who will be meeting for the title with her teammate Zlatislava Chukanova.

Italy’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Irma Testa also changed back her category as Stoyka Petrova to reach her career highlight in the elite age group this year. The 20-year-old Italian, who has already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, used a well-built tactic against Russia’s Natalia Samokhina and can prepares to her final battle in Sofia. Testa’s last opponent will be Bulgaria’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova which will be an anticipated contest on Sunday.

Finland’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mira Potkonen is one of the strongest boxers at the women’s lightweight (60kg) currently who has got a strong will to win all of her contests. The 35-year-old Finnish boxer defeated India’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Sarita Devi Laishram in the final of the Indian Open Boxing Tournament three weeks ago and she was able to repeat that performance in Sofia as well. Potkonen’s final opponent will be Brazil’s native talent AMBC American Women’s Champion Beatriz Ferreira.

Russia’s Rio 2016 Olympian Iaroslava Iakushina was involved to their elite national team in 2012 but following her top performance at the middleweight (75kg) she decided to move down one category. The 25-year-old Russian boxer was too strong for Romania’s Florina Marinela Radu which result delivered the dream final of the welterweight (69kg) following China’s ASBC Asian Women’s Champion Gu Hong also won her semi-final.

England’s Natasha Gale is the reigning EUBC European Women’s Champion at the middleweight (75kg) who began boxing only as an adult but her results are impressive. Gale, who replaced Savannah Marshall in the English team, did enough to beat Russia’s Elena Gapeshina in the semi-final and will now face with China’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist tall Li Qian on Sunday.

Spain’s Gabriel Escobar robbed to the world of boxing in 2014 as a youth talent but his real breakthrough came in the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships where he reached the Top8. The 21-year-old Spaniard had a strong opponent in the quarter-final of the flyweight (52kg) but Russia’s former EUBC European Youth Champion Ivan was not able to stop him in Sofia.

Moldova’s Dorin Bucsa claimed gold medal at the Zagreb 2014 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships as Abramov but he get through to the next round and did better than the Russian boxer today. The 20-year-old lightweight (60kg) boxer found his best rhythm quickly and his patient style against Morocco’s Driss Khallouk was enough to beat the North African by unanimous decision.

Bulgaria’s Nikolay Koev has been fighting in the international level since 2009 when he was only in the junior age group. Following several injuries and lack of victories in the tournaments the 24-year-old welterweight (69kg) boxer returned in better form. Koev was a bit nervous in the first round when he met with Brazil’s Arison Tavares but he changed his tempo in the second and has done a classical KO after his hard combinations.


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