Vilma Viitanen and Lukas Ferneza defeated more experienced rivals in the quarter-finals Grand Prix Usti nad Labem

09 May 2021 News

Twenty-two bouts were held in the 51st edition of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic where the winners advanced to the semi-finals. Finland’s Vilma Viitanen and Slovakia’s Lukas Ferneza both were born in 2001 but defeated older and more experienced rivals in Usti nad Labem.

The traditional boxing competition returned to the boxing map after two years of break but there was huge interest from the National Federations to comeback to Usti nad Labem. The Technical Delegate of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem is Mr. Dragoljub Radovic who worked also in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.

The following 19 nations from three Confederations are attending in the new edition of the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem: Austria, host Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Mali, Mongolia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales.

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in the Czech Republic to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem.

The bout of the day

Finland’s EUBC European Women’s Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Vilma Viitanen joined to the elite and U22 age group in January 2020. She used the Covid-19 period to strengthen her technical and physical abilities and those efforts paid off already in the previous months of the year. Viitanen had a nine-years older rival in the quarter-finals of the women’s featherweight (57kg), Hungary’s Szabina Szucs who competed in three editions of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships since 2014. The emerging Finnish boxer has got beautiful technique and her condition was enough to beat the tall Hungarian in a narrow contest.

The surprise of the day

Slovakia’s Lukas Ferneza is their next talent who competed in the youth events successfully and qualified for the Budapest 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships as well. The Slovakian middleweight (75kg) boxer has done an impressive job against Spain’s Miguel Cuadrado who reached the quarter-finals in the Minsk 2019 European Games. Ferneza won the contest by unanimous decision which was the main sensation of the second competition day. Ferneza’s older teammate, Andrej Csemez will be meeting with Cuadrado in the next round of the upcoming European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event which is a great prognostic for the Slovakians.

The Round-Up

Germany’s Maxi Kloetzer competed as a schoolgirl in the international stage in 2013 first and after eight years of hard work she is now member of their elite national team. She has been preparing to the upcoming EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships with full speed and Grand Prix Usti nad Labem is her next step in that road. The Cologne Boxing World Cup winner youngster met with Slovakia’s Nicole Durikova who also moved up from the light flyweight (48kg) as the German. Kloetzer is a small boxer but she used fantastic tempo in the bout which guaranteed her success over the 20-year-old Slovakian.

Hungary’s Richard Kovacs won the Bocskai Memorial Tournament this February and he proved strong tactical developments. The 23-year-old Hungarian has just graduated in his college and arrived to Usti nad Labem in top shape. Kovacs used his long distance tactic against Switzerland’s Christopher Mouafo and controlled all of the three rounds in their lightweight (63kg) quarter-final. He will be meeting in the semi-finals with Mongolia’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Erdenebat Tsendbaatar.

France’s AIBA World Champion and Olympic Games silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha has done his professional debut in March but he is fully concentrating now to the upcoming European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. The French lightweight (63kg) boxer had a veteran rival in the quarter-finals, Jordan’s Mohammad Abdelaziz Al-Wadi who is already a Tokyo Olympian. Oumiha used his own game, worked a lot on feet and defeated his 35-year-old rival which means he can box with another Asian boxer in the last four, Mongolia’s Asian Games silver medallist, Chinzorig Baatarsukh.  

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