The Turkish girls won their superb semi-finals in the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem

25 May 2019 News

The exciting semi-finals were held in the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic where the winners are still hungry to get the titles of the event. Cuba’s star Andy Cruz survived his difficult semi-final in Usti nad Labem where the Turkish girls shined against top opponents and advanced to the finals.

The Grand Prix Usti nad Labem arrived to a new milestone, the competition is celebrating its 50th edition which means the event is one of the oldest European tournaments. The traditional event is stronger in comparison to the previous years and it is holding in the city of Usti nad Labem this week.

The Grand Prix Usti nad Labem is one of the last big preparation events to the Minsk 2019 European Games and its boxing tournament therefore many of the countries from our continent are competing in the Czech Republic. The Technical Delegate of the Grand Prix Mr. Dragoljub Radovic of Serbia divided the boxers into two groups at the men’s light welterweight (63kg), welterweight (69kg) and middleweight (75kg) due the high number of entries.

Bout of the day

Cuba’s Andy Cruz is AIBA World Champion, AMBC American Champion, WSB Team Champion and he did not lose any bouts since the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The Cuban light welterweight (63kg) star had a few difficulties already in the Panamerican Games Qualifier last month and he had to do his very best once again in the semi-finals of the Grand Prix against Russia’s Artur Subkhankulov. Cruz did not find the best angles against the Russian in the first round and his European opponent used his smart style of boxing. The Cuban No.1 changed his tactic in time and won their semi-finals which was one of the best fights of the whole event. Cruz will be meeting for the title with Thailand’s Somchay Wongsuwan who eliminated Italy’s Francesco Maietta in another top fight.

Surprise of the day

Bulgaria’s 20-year-old Melis Yonuzova won the EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships and the EUBC European Confederation Women’s Elite Boxing Championships in 2018 but all of these successes were achieved by her at the light welterweight (64kg). Yonuzova moved up to the welterweight (69kg) and she performed superbly against Finland’s reigning EUBC European Women’s Champion Elina Gustafsson in a hectic bout.

The Team of the day

The Turkish girls performed amazingly in the semi-finals of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem, three of their stars advanced to the finals of the competition. Busenaz Cakiroglu eliminated Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong in the hectic contest at the flyweight (51kg). Her teammate Sema Caliskan had to meet with Thailand’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Sudaporn Seesondee but she was slightly better on Day3. Turkey’s EUBC European U22 Champion Busenaz Surmeneli also impressed against Czech Republic’s Martina Schmoranzova and she needs only one further step to win the welterweight (69kg).

The Round-Up

Netherlands’ Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Nouchka Fontijn is one of the best boxers of the women’s middleweight (75kg) since 2011. The experienced Dutch boxer is the defending champion also at the European Games and she is planning to repeat that performance in Minsk next month. Fontijn was too quick for Turkey’s Sennur Demir in the semi-final of the Grand Prix and will be meeting for the gold medal with Brazil’s small but aggressive boxer Flavia Figueiredo.

France’s Billal Bennama is a super talented boxer who reached high number of medals as a youth and U22 hope. The 21-year-old French flyweight (52kg) boxer developed rapidly in the recent one year and won the gold medal at the Cologne Boxing World Cup in Germany last month. He had to face in the semi-final with Hungary’s Martin Virban who eliminated Azerbaijan’s AIBA World Champion Elvin Mamishzada in the last eight. The French boxer did not underestimate his Hungarian rival and his longer hands worked well in the semi-final which means Bennama will be able to box against Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia once again.

Germany’s Ibragim Bazuev attended in the last edition of the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships and now he has been preparing to the European Games. The German light heavyweight (81kg) boxer had to invest all of his efforts to his semi-final to beat Belarus’ two-time Olympian Mikhail Dauhaliavets but his stamina was enough to win this key contest in Usti nad Labem. Bazuev will be facing for the gold medal with Cuba’s four-time AIBA World Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz.

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