US talent Khalil Coe’s KO success over Cuba’s star La Cruz in the finals of the Chemistry Cup24 June 2018
The 45th edition of the Chemistry Cup finished with the 10 finals in the city of Halle where a superb show was held also during the gold medal contests. Cuba dominated the finals of the Chemistry Cup where the crowd could see an unexpected surprise, the inexperienced US boy Khalil Coe knocked out Cuba’s superstar Julio Cesar La Cruz.
Altogether 95 boxers from 16 countries attended in the Chemistry Cup and the 10 winners of the day have been crowned in Halle. Among the World’s most powerful boxing nations Cuba, United States of America, Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, India and host Germany attended with their best boxers in the Chemistry Cup.
Cuba’s Damian Arce won their last National Championships and he is still unbeaten in the World Series Boxing but he is newcomer in the international events in 2018. The 26-year-old Cuban light flyweight (49kg) boxer had to meet in the final with Russia’s National Champion Artysh Soian. Both boxers had enough national fights to make a good show and impression in the first round. Arce looked tactically well-prepared in the first round and found the weak points of Soian’s defence. The Cuban boxer controlled the final minutes as well and won the first title of the Chemistry Cup in Halle.
India’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gaurav Solanki robbed to the elite boxers this year following his successful youth career. The 21-year-old Indian flyweight (52kg) talent had to meet in the final of the Chemistry Cup with Cuba’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Jorge Alejandro Grinan. The Cuban boxer tried to rule the middle of the ring and exceeded the previous expectations with his high number of successful attacks but he received also tough punches. Grinan caught his Indian opponent in the second round but Solanki increased his rhythm and turn back their narrow fight.
Cuba’s No.1 Andy Cruz has got unbeaten record in the World Series Boxing and he is the defending AIBA World Champion at the light welterweight (64kg). The Cuban boxer eliminated Germany’s Kastriot Sopa in the semi-final with superb performance and walked over to the gold medal following Jordan’s Incheon 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Obada Al-Kasbeh was unable to box against him in the final.
Russia’s Andrei Zamkovoy had the best ages between 2009 and 2012 when he claimed medals in all of the major competitions. In spite of his age of 31 he returned to the boxing world in top shape and won the Korotkov Memorial Tournament overwhelming all of his rivals in Khabarovsk. The Russian veteran defeated Germany’s Grand Prix Usti nad Labem winner Magomed Schachidov in the semi-final of the welterweight (69kg) but his final opponent was Cuba’s Olympic Games winner Roniel Iglesias. In the battle of the southpaw boxers the first round was a tactical one but the Cuban veteran was able to do better efficiency from the second and finally Iglesias’ hand was raised.
Cuba’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games winner and AIBA World Champion Arlen Lopez eliminated his main rival India’s new Commonwealth Games winner and Asian Games Champion Vikas Krishan Yadav in the quarter-final of the middleweight (75kg) and started confidently against Russia’s former National Champion Andrei Kovalchuk in the final. The 25-year-old Cuban increased his rhythm in the second round and his uppercuts worked well in that period when the crowd could see a classical infighting match. Lopez landed a serious left-handed hook in the third round and won the final by unanimous decision.
Cuba’s four-time AIBA World Champion and Olympic Games winner Julio Cesar La Cruz had to do his very best to eliminate Ireland’s three-time EUBC European Champion Joseph Ward had to meet in the semi-final of the light heavyweight (81kg) in Halle. The 29-year-old Cuban boxer started the bout with his confident style and danced through his younger US opponent Khalil Coe. The US talent, who knocked out Slovakia’s Matus Strnisko in the semi-final, landed a super strong punch and La Cruz went down to the floor. The referee confirmed Coe’s KO success after that serious jab which meant Coe’s success was the biggest sensation of the whole Chemistry Cup.
Ireland’s Kirill Afanasev was born in St. Petersburg but his family moved to Ireland when he was 7 and began his career short after that. The Irish heavyweight (91kg) boxer shocked Cuba’s defending AIBA World Champion Erislandy Savon in the first round with his tough combinations. Savon, who is the nephew of three-time Olympic Games winner Felix, was floored but he was able to continue the fight after that unexpected knock down. Afanasev felt after that serious punch his Cuban star opponent is beatable and moved ahead without any stoppage. Savon stepped also into the gas and with a superb final round he was able to turn back their heavyweight (91kg) final in Halle.
Cuba’s WSB star Jose Angel Larduet is member of the national team since 2008 and recovered from his injuries after the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The Cuban super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer had to meet in the final with United States’ Richard Torrez who claimed bronze medal at the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. Larduet used his weight advantage in the first round and his shots were uncomfortable for the US teenager. Torrez was brave, tried to surprise the Cuban star with his tough body punches in the second round. Both gave in everything to the final round but Torres’ stamina decided their contest which meant the 19-year-old US talent defeated his Cuban rival in the Chemistry Cup.