Viitanen, Alexiusson and Usmonov won their semi-finals with top technical skills in Helsinki

10 April 2022 News

Twenty-two bouts delighted the third competition day at the anniversary 40th edition of the Gee Bee Tournament in Helsinki, Finland. Tajikistan’s Bakhodur Usmonov won the tightest contests of the day but Finland’s Vilma Viitanen and Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson also proved nice technical skills during their semi-finals.

Strong boxing nations as England, Bulgaria, France, Tajikistan, Hungary, Ukraine, Armenia and Scotland sent their boxers to the 40th Gee Bee Tournament too. The Gee Bee is a preparation event for the upcoming IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships.

The last edition of the Gee Bee Tournament was held in March 2020 and the event returned to the boxing agenda after two years of break. The Finnish Boxing Federation’s main international event of the year holds for the elite women and men boxers in Helsinki in the same venue as in the past.

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the vaccines check, the mask wearing and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Finland to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Gee Bee Tournament.    

The bout of the day

Hungary’s multiple National Champion and Bocskai Memorial Tournament winner Richard Kovacs has done strong performance in two editions of the IBA World Boxing Championships in 2017 and in 2021. The Hungarian light welterweight (63.5kg) boxer eliminated Germany’s Mert Caliskan and Finland’s Santeri Kemppainen in the recent competition days. The 25-year-old Hungarian met in the semi-finals with Tajikistan’s ASBC Asian Champion and Tokyo Olympian Bakhodur Usmonov which was expected as one of the best contests of Day3. Both boxers were born in 1997, have excellent technical skills and respected each other in their semi-final. Usmonov was slightly better in the exchanges which means he can box for the title of the category with Scotland’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Reese Lynch.

The Round-up

Following the two-time Olympic Games bronze medallist Mira Potkonen retired from the active sport, their best female boxer is Vilma Viitanen who is only 21-year-old but has excellent technical skills already. Viitanen proved her very best against her teammate Tila-Mari Rantakyla and the referee stopped their unequal contest. The Finnish featherweight (57kg) boxer will now meet for the title with Bulgaria’s experienced star Svetlana Kamenova Staneva who returned to the international stage in world-class form.

Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games after six years of experiences in the elite age group. The former AIBA Youth World Champion Swedish lightweight (60kg) boxer used the recent training camps to increase her strength and she arrived to the Gee Bee Tournament in top shape. Alexiusson was highly confident against Finland’s Johana Huttunen which means she can now box against another host nation’s boxer, Anni Viantie in the final.

Finland’s Arslan Khataev impressed in the Belgrade 2021 IBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships, he was near to win a medal in the Serbian capital. The 24-year-old Finnish male No.1 returned to the international events and eliminated France’s Enzo Grau at the lightweight (60kg) and he needs only one further step to take the title in the Gee Bee but Germany’s Murat Yildirim will be a strong and experienced rival. His teammate, the 20-year-old Nikita Nystedt also joined to the finals after beating Sweden’s Liridon Nuha in the semi-finals of the light heavyweight (80kg). Nystedt will be meeting with England’s George Crotty who eliminated Sweden’s Erik Mendoza in another top contest of the day.

England’s Mohammed Harris Akbar impressed in the youth and U22 age groups and he was waited for his time to come in the top elite national team of the country. The English light middleweight (71kg) boxer eliminated Hungary’s Laszlo Kozak in the quarter-finals and he continued his winning path against Finland’s Julian Jalava in the last four. England’s next finalist will be their super heavyweight (+92kg) talent, Delicious Orie who used his athletic skills to beat Hungary’s 20-year-old future hope Levente Kiss in the day of the semi-finals.  

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