The final line-ups are revealed in the boxing tournament of the European Games29 June 2019
The semi-finals are always the most exciting part of the boxing competitions and the seventh day of the bouts delivered one of the best parts of the European Games in Minsk. Belarus. The best 10 women and 20 men boxers are remained in actions in the boxing tournament of the European Games which is the annual EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships.
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
Finland’s Mira Potkonen was bronze medallist in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and she is the defending champion at the lightweight (60kg) in the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships. Finland’s veteran arrived in top shape to Minsk who had to meet in the semi-finals with her main rival Russia’s Anastasia Beliakova. Potkonen defeated her former AIBA Women’s World Champion rival already in the recent years and she tried to use similar tactic to control their tough semi-finals. Potkonen was never stopped attacking in their contest and following the strong opening she was able to manage her success on their re-match. Potkonen’s final opponent will be Ireland’s reigning AIBA Women’s World Champion Kellie Harrington in Minsk which could be another anticipated fight.
Surprise of the day
Germany’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nadine Apetz eliminated Hungary’s Vivien Budai in the quarter-finals of the welterweight (69kg) which was her debuting contest in Minsk. The German, who was seeded as No.1 in the Games, had to face in the semi-finals with Italy’s Indian Open Tournament winner Assunta Canfora who developed rapidly in all terms of boxing. Following the two equal rounds the Italian was still enough fresh to control the last one and eliminated the German favourite which means she will be boxing with Poland’s veteran Karolina Koszewska for the gold.
Bulgaria’s Jeju 2014 AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova is two-time EUBC European Women’s Champion who had a tough fight in the semi-finals of the featherweight (57kg) in Minsk. Petrova tried to use her longer reach against Netherlands’ AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Jemyma Betrian from the first seconds. In the battle of the different styles the Bulgarian was slightly better and will be meeting for the title with Ireland’s Michaela Walsh who eliminated Russia’s Daria Abramova.
Spain’s last remained boxer in Minsk, Gabriel Escobar was EUBC European Union Champion and Mediterranean Games winner in 2018 following his U22 successes. The 23-year-old Spanish boxer had a well-built tactic against Italy’s two-time Olympian Manuel Cappai in the semi-finals of the flyweight (52kg). Escobar controlled his fight over the experienced Italian and will be facing for the gold with Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Champion Daniel Asenov who had a tough semi-final against Great Britain’s Galal Yafai. Escobar and Asenov met in the finals of the 2017 and 2018 EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships therefore their re-match could be a highlight at the weekend.
Belarus’ best boxer Dzmitry Asanau was bronze medallist at the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships and he is EUBC European U22 Champion from 2018. The Belarusian lightweight (60kg) boxer used his rapid counter-attacks against Armenia’s Karen Tonakanyan in the first round. Asanau felt the support of the home crowd and he was hard target for the strong Caucasian in their high level bout. The Belarusian No.1 needs only one further step to get his first elite European title but Russia’s Gabil Mamedov will be a dangerous rival for him.
Great Britain’s Pat McCormack was silver medallist in the last edition of the EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships in Kharkiv therefore his only goal is the gold in Minsk. The welterweight (69kg) star started strongly against Azerbaijan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Lorenzo Sotomayor and caught his taller rival very quickly. McCormack landed tough combinations and the Cuban-descent Sotomayor was not able to avoid those attacks. Great Britain’s No.1 was highly confident in their contest and following the knock down the US referee stopped their contest in Minsk. McCormack’s next rival will be Russia’s Khariton Agrba who eliminated Ukraine’s Yevhenii Barabanov.
Great Britain’s Benjamin Whittaker moved up to the light heavyweight (81kg) following his unsuccessful Commonwealth Games one year ago but since then he is unbeaten. The tall British boxer dominated all of the rounds against Armenia’s teenage hope Gor Nersesyan and proved his world class skills once again. Whittaker’s counter-attacking and tricky style meant he will be boxing with Azerbaijan’s former Cuban boxer Loren Alfonso Dominguez who triumphed over Italy’s Simone Fiori today.
Ukraine’s defending EUBC European Champion Viktor Vykhryst had a perfect preparation to the European Games and his mental strength was enough to beat his main rivals during his road to the semi-finals of the super heavyweight (+91kg). The 27-year-old Ukrainian was too strong for Croatia’s Marko Milun today and following the third counts the referee confirmed his RSC victory. Vykhryst will be boxing for the gold with France’s new national team member Mourad Aliev who defeated Germany’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nelvie Raman Hess Tiafack.
Netherlands’ Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Nouchka Fontijn is the defending champion at the EUBC European Women’s Championships and at the European Games and did not lose any bouts in the continental events since April 2016. The Dutch middleweight (75kg) boxer eliminated a top rival Turkey’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion Busenaz Surmeneli in the last eight but she had unexpected difficulties against Poland’s Elzbieta Wojcik in the semi-finals. Fontijn had to change her strategy in the second round but she has done it still in time to win their narrow fight.