Turkey’s Serhat Guler opened his campaign strongly in the Great Silk Way Tournament

29 March 2019 News

The second competition day saw 21 preliminary contests in the new edition of the Great Silk Way Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan. Turkey’s new middleweight (75kg) No.1 Serhat Guler won a key contest on Day2 but Azerbaijan’s bests such as Javid Chalabiyev and Lorenzo Sotomayor also started strongly in Baku.

Azerbaijan Boxing Federation hosted the first edition of the Great Silk Way Tournament in 2007 and after two years of break the competition returned to the European boxing map. Altogether 117 boxers are attending in the current Great Silk Way Tournament from such powerful countries as host Azerbaijan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkey, Morocco and Turkmenistan.

Bout of the day

Turkey’s Serhat Guler claimed medals in the U22 level in the recent years and he introduced himself at the middleweight (75kg) in the Strandja Memorial Tournament one month ago. The 23-year-old Turkish boxer was excellent in the Bulgarian event and arrived to Baku as a favourite of his new category. Guler had to face with Georgia’s Gela Abashidze who also moved up from the welterweight (69kg) in the recent months. The Turkish boxer was never stopping attacking in their preliminary bout which was a spectacular one for the local crowd. The Georgian boxer tried to use also his strength and responded to the Turkish attacks but in that same strategy Guler was better on Day2 of the event. Guler’s pressurizing style was enough to win his next international bout and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Great Silk Way Tournament.

Surprise of the day

Azerbaijan’s Sarkhan Aliyev is a well-known boxer in the international stage but he had to meet with Turkmenistan’s best hope Hursand Imankuliyev in the preliminary round of the lightweight (60kg). Turkmenistan’s top athlete claimed gold medal at the Feliks Stamm Memorial Tournament beating a superb Russian rival, Artur Subkhankulov as well. Aliyev moved ahead and he was able to catch the quick Turkmen boxer still in the first round. Imankuliyev used his virtuoso technique once again but Aliyev’s strength decided their contest which was the main surprise of the day.

The Round-up

Azerbaijan’s Javid Chalabiyev was AIBA World Champion in 2013 and qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In the current Olympic era Azerbaijan’s pride did not get top results yet but he impressed in the second competition day of the Great Silk Way Tournament with his perfect combinations. His opponent was Russia’s experienced WSB boxer Dzhamal Badrutdinov who is a competitive rival for anyone in the whole globe. In spite of the Russian boxer’s skills, Chalabiyev dominated their fight with his speed and technique which means Azerbaijan’s best advanced to next round of the lightweight (60kg) in Baku.

Azerbaijan’s next well-experienced boxer Lorenzo Sotomayor also fought in the second competition day of the Great Silk Way Tournament after Javid Chalabiyev. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist boxer moved up to the welterweight (69kg) but he is still tall enough to use his longer reach against any opponents. Sotomayor, who has got Cuban roots and moved to Azerbaijan in 2013, kept his safest fighting distance against his compatriot Hidayat Musayev in his debuting contest. The final verdict was split decision in the favour of Sotomayor who joined to the last eight in his weight class.

Amin Kushkov claimed silver medal in the Antalya 2017 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships and the young Azeri talent remained at the middleweight (75kg). The 20-year-old boxer attended in the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships in Vladikavkaz this month but he was still energetic against Kazakhstan’s 2017 National Champion Abay Tolesh in Baku. Kushkov mobilized all of his power in the third round and eliminated his top Kazakh rival advancing to the quarter-finals in Baku.


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