Ukraine won half dozen of gold medals in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament13 March 2017
Ukraine won half dozen of gold medals in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament where Lukas Petrauskas continued the family traditions
The 12th edition of the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament has finished with great shows in the Lithuanian capital in Vilnius where 99 boxers from 18 countries fought for the medals. Ukraine topped the team rankings with their six gold medals while host Lithuania achieved two titles in Vilnius. Finland and Israel developed well in the youth level and both countries were able to get one gold medal in the event.
The competition was named after Danas Pozniakas who is Lithuania’s national boxing hero who claimed gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games and also crowned three-times in the history of the European Boxing Championships.
Ukraine’s Youth National Champion Nikita Dineev eliminated Hungary’s Attila Bernath in the semi-final of the light flyweight (49kg) met for the gold medal with Turkey’s Ferhat Uka in the opening final of the evening. The Turkish boxer moved back before his counter-attacks in the first round while his Ukrainian opponent tried to catch him with his great footwork. The Ukrainian controlled the final and he was really confident in the third round and enjoyed the bout. The final verdict was unanimous decision to Dineev who won his first international youth title before his 17th birthday.
In the second gold medal bout of the last competition day Ukraine’s Maksim Galinichev had to meet with Turkey’s Azad Demirhan who eliminated Italy’s Alessandro Adami in a superb contest on Friday. The Ukrainian southpaw talent used his best tactic the counter-attacks to reach the Turkish boxer from his comfortable fighting range in the first round. Galinichev overtook the Turkish attacks several times in the first and second rounds. The Ukrainian boxer received a warning from the referee in the second round but his effectiveness delivered for him a title in Vilnius.
Ukraine’s third finalist in Vilnius was Taras Bondarchuk who competed successfully in the junior level in 2015 and in 2016 and joined to the youth age group this January. The Ukrainian bantamweight (56kg) hope had to meet for the final with Turkey’s Ahmet Cikot who had a narrow triumph over Israel’s David Kharmats on Friday. The Ukrainian talent looked quicker than his Turkish rival and his body punches stopped Cikot’s attacks in the perfect time in the first round. Bondarchuk was motivated in the second round as well and his footwork was too much for the Turkish talent. Bondarchuk’s success meant Ukraine claimed its third gold medal in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament after the three finals.
Turkey’s AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Necat Ekinci proved he is not only a big name in the event but a super talented boxer. The 18-year-old Turkish lightweight (60kg) boxer had to meet in gold medal bout with Finland’s Asseme Nouali who was able to beat the Maksym Boryghpolets in the last round which was Ukraine’s first loss in the whole competition on Friday. Ekinci tried to use his longer hands in the first round but Nouali was able to launch dangerous hooks in the opening minutes. The Gambian-descent Nouali began the second round with a strong right-handed hook and her tactic worked well in their contest. The Finnish boxer delivered one of the main sensation of the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament after the confirmation of the bout. Ekinci was excellent only in the final round therefore Nouali could win their top level contest in Vilnius.
Israel’s youth No.1 EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships bronze medallist Ahmad Shtiwi arrived to the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament as titleholder. The Israeli boxer moved up to the light welterweight (64kg) and had to face with Italy’s Armando Casamonica in the final of the event. The Italian moved ahead against his taller rival from the first seconds but he could not reach his Israeli rival whose counter-attacks were successful in the opening round. The Israeli boxer continued his strong performance in the next two rounds and defended his throne in the event.
Lithuania’s top talent Airijus Vitlipas trains in Ireland but returned to his homeland to compete in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament in Vilnius. The Lithuanian welterweight (69kg) eliminated Hungary’s strong Kalmas Hanko in the semi-final and boxed with Italy’s Augusto Buremi for the title. The Italian started with a strong punch but Vitlipas also found hus best tempo against Buremi in the first round. The Lithuanian moved more on feet in the second round to avoid Buremi’s hooks and his tactical change was enough to take a short advantage on the scorecards after six minutes of fight. Vitlipas did strong finish which was enough to win the final by unanimous decision.
Lithuania’s finalist in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament was Lukas Petrauskas who is London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Evaldas Petrauskas’ younger brother and a top talent in the middleweight (75kg). The 17-year-old talent had to meet in the final with France’s strong Moreno Fendero who began his boxing career only three years ago but this short period was enough to get the world class level. The French, who is one of the physically strongest youth boxer in this category, launched dangerous punches in the first round while Petrauskas’ tactic also worked which was based on a lot of footwork. The Lithuanian southpaw continued his confident performance and reached his career highlight with his gold medal in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament.
Ukraine’s fourth finalist in the event was Yevhenii Pavlovskyi who tried to use his longer reach against Poland’s Konrad Kaczmarkiewicz in the final of the light heavyweight (81kg) in Vilnius. The Ukrainian boxer’s will dominated the first round and the taller Pavlovskyi dictated the tempo also in the further minutes. His tactic worked well in the bout while his Polish rival tried to attack more in the second round and he did his best in the last minutes. The final verdict was split decision to Pavlovskyi which was Ukraine’s fourth gold medal in Vilnius.
Finland’s Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup winner and EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships bronze medallist Krenar Aliu eliminated three strong rivals to the road to the finals where he had to face with Ukraine’s 2015 EUBC European Junior Champion Arkadiy Kartsan. The first round of their heavyweight (91kg) final delivered a top level bout when Kartsan’s defence was world class while Aliu’s fighting spirit impressed the crowd. The Ukrainian talent was a hard target for Aliu but the Finnish boxer was able to catch him in the third round. Aliu’s efforts were not enough to turn back their world class bout which meant Ukraine claimed its fifth gold medal in Vilnius.
Lithuania’s most experienced youth boxer Marek Korolkov had a very hard road to the final of the super heavyweight (+91kg) where he had to meet with Ukraine’s EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Oleksandr Hrytsiv. The younger Ukrainian boxer had stronger punches in the first round while Korolkov also moved ahead bravely. The Ukrainian dominated the second round with his clear jabs while Korolkov did a fantastic finish in the final. The final verdict was split decision to Hrytsiv which was Ukraine’s sixth gold medal in the 12th edition of the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament.
List of the winners in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament
49kg: Nikita Dineev, Ukraine
52kg: Maksim Galinichev, Ukraine
56kg: Taras Bondarchuk, Ukraine
60kg: Asseme Nouali, Finland
64kg: Ahmad Shtiwi, Israel
69kg: Airijus Vitlipas, Lithuania
75kg: Lukas Petrauskas, Lithuania
81kg: Yevhenii Pavlovskyi, Ukraine
91kg: Arkadiy Kartsan, Ukraine
+91kg: Oleksandr Hrytsiv, Ukraine