The history of the prestigious Tammer Tournament before its 40th edition

20 November 2019 News

The new 40th edition of the Tammer Tournament will be held this week in Tampere, Finland which has strong tradition, excellent brand name and all of the five continents attended already in the history of the international event. It is a tradition that the date of the Tammer Tournament is October or November every year.

The first edition of the Tammer Tournament was held in 1977 when 11 boxers won the historical titles including Bulgaria’s Georgi Georgiev, Canada’s John Raftery and Finland’s bests Antti Juntumaa, Juha Mykkaenen, Arto Kolehmainen and Pekka Ruokola. Among them Juha Mykkaenen (54kg) and Pekka Ruokola (+81kg) were the first two-time champions following their second gold medals in 1978.

The US team competed in the Tammer Tournament at the very first time in 1980 while the Soviet Union has done its debut in 1982. The competition was widened for many countries after the first edition and several non-European nations as Algeria, Chinese Taipei, Venezuela, South Korea, Lebanon and Uganda also sent boxers to Tampere.

Since then several stars competed in the Tammer Tournament: Kazakhstan’s icon Serik Konakbayev, United States’ boxing heroes as Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Finland’s stars Joni Nyman and Jyri Kjall, Germany’s Sven Ottke, Hungary’s Olympic Games winner Istvan Kovacs, Russia’s Olympic Champion Aleksandr Lebziak, England’s Joseph Joyce, France’s Jerome Thomas and 2017 AIBA World Champion Sofiane Oumiha.

Tampere hosted the 1993 edition of the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships which was the only world event which was organized by a club and the temperature went down to less than 0 degrees. Cuba’s three-time Olympic Champion Felix Savon and several other stars as Bulgaria’s Serafim Todorov, Romania’s Francisco Vastag and Cuba’s Roberto Balado also won gold medals in that world event in 1993.

The 1997 edition of the Tammer Tournament was a Qualification event for the Minsk 1998 European Men’s Boxing Championships and the biggest star of that tournament was Spain’s Olympic Games silver medallist Rafael Lozano who works as head coach in their current national team.

Furthermore, the Tammer Tournament was a Qualification Event for the European boxers for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in 1999. Germany’s Falk Huste, Russia’s Aleksandr Lebziak, Italy’s Paolo Vidoz and France’s Frederic Esther were the main stars of that 21st edition in 1999.

The city was the organizer of the European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in 2000 which was held before the Sydney Olympic Games. The 2001 edition saw the success of Finland’s Askar Sarsenbayev (63.5kg) who works as coach in national team in our present days. The host nation’s top boxers in that period as Jani Turunen, Juha Ruokola, Jani Rauhala and Robert Helenius all won the titles of the Tammer Tournament.

The WSB stars impressed in the 2015 edition of the Tammer Tournament in Tampere including Germany’s Erik Pfeiffer, Hungary’s Balazs Bacskai and France’s Christian M’Billi Assomo. Young future hopes dominated the competition three years ago with Sweden’s impressive three gold medals.

England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland shined in the Tammer Tournament two years ago, most of the gold medals were achieved by these powerful nations in 2017. Besides to the 10 men’s weight classes according to the AIBA rules the Tammer Tournament was held also as women’s invitational elite competition at the lightweight (60kg) and welterweight (69kg) in Round Robin format. Finland’s No.1 Mira Potkonen defeated all of her rivals in Tampere where Monaco and Austria were also among the countries which claimed gold in the Tammer Tournament.

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