Ukraine’s AIBA World Champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak returned in the Strandja Memorial Tournament where Sandra Drabik won the bout of Day216 February 2019
The second competition day of the 70th anniversary edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament saw 46 bouts in two sessions in Sofia, Bulgaria. Poland’s Sandra Drabik won the bout of the day, the Swedish woman team impressed before Ukraine’s AIBA World Champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak officially returned to the international events.
Finally 37 nations sent their boxers to the new Strandja Memorial Tournament and next to the quantity the quality is world class in Sofia. Altogether 103 women and 193 men boxers are fighting for the medals in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. The total number of 296 boxer means the current Strandja Memorial Tournament is a small World Championships in Sofia once again.
Bout of the day
Poland’s Sandra Drabik was in top form four years ago when she claimed silver medal in the Baku 2015 European Games. The experienced Polish boxer attended relatively low number of international competitions in the recent two years but she had a top preparation for the new season. Drabik had to face with United States’ AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Heaven Garcia in the preliminary stage of the flyweight (51kg) in Sofia. The Polish boxer maintained the best fighting distance quickly and tried to overcome her US teenage star rival in the attacks. Drabik performed strongly and eliminated Garcia in their world class contest which was the best in the second competition day.
Surprise of the day
Bulgaria’s Emanuel Bogoev attended in a few junior and youth competitions during his career but in the elite level he is inexperienced yet. The 19-year-old Bulgarian bantamweight (56kg) boxer was not the favourite against India’s Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri but he exceeded all of the previous expectations. The Indian boxer did not do his very best against the Bulgarian teenager therefore Bogoev’s hand was raised after the last gong.
Team of the day
The Swedish woman team impressed in the Golden Girl Box Championships two weeks ago and their female squad delivered perfect performance in the second competition day. Sweden’s former AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion and New Delhi 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Agnes Alexiusson eliminated Argentina’s No.1 Dayana Sanchez at the lightweight (60kg). Her teammate Love Holgersson started not enough well against Poland’s Agata Kaczmarska but she raised her tempo in the second round and dominated their fight. The 25-year-old tall Swedish middleweight (75kg) boxer stopped her younger Polish opponent and joined to the last eight in Sofia.
Azerbaijan could not attend in the New Delhi 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships but their female team arrived to the Strandja Memorial Tournament after a strong preparation. The 24-year-old Anakhanim Aghayeva used her longer reach against Norway’s Veronica Kim Losvik and advanced to the quarter-finals at the women’s flyweight (51kg) in Sofia.
Greece’s Aikaterini Koutsogeorgopoulou achieved silver medal in the last edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament one year ago and the 23-year-old Greek returned to Sofia to repeat at least her 2018 performance. Greece’s best woman flyweight (51kg) boxer was too strong for Poland’s 19-year-old Angelika Krysztoforska and started successfully in the Sofia event eliminating her rival by large margin of differences.
England’s Paige Murney was silver medallist in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and her enthusiasm delivered a strong success for her over Switzerland’s veteran No.1 Sandra Brugger at the women’s lightweight (60kg). In the same category Russia’s Anna Krasnoperova, who has been preparing to the upcoming EUBC European Confederation U22 Boxing Championships, was slightly better than Croatia’s Sara Beram.
Azerbaijan’s Elvin Isayev regained his place in the national team and has done superb tactical job against United States’ Chemistry Cup silver medallist Keyshawn Davis in their light welterweight (64kg) bout. In another key contest in this tough category Norway’s best male boxer Hadi Srour used his longer reach successfully against United States’ Hawaii-based Dalis Kaleiopu.
Ukraine’s defending AIBA World Champion and reigning EUBC European Champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak returned to the international level and defeated Turkey’s Birol Aygun which was his first contest in 2019. Following the Ukrainian middleweight (75kg) star’s success another important player of the category Azerbaijan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Kamran Shakhsuvarly eliminated Poland’s Ryszard Lewicki in Sofia on Day2.