World Combat Games a Success for Boxing.

31 October 2013 News

Sport Accord Kombat Games 2013 - AIBA.ORG

Sport Accord Kombat Games 2013 – AIBA.ORG

Whilst the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was holding its headline event, the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013, another major international boxing tournament was also taking place in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Between October 18 to 26 the city was playing host to one of the largest multisport events of the year: the World Combat Games.

However tricky simultaneously running two major events may have been for AIBA, it was worth it for the sake of our athletes who benefited from the increased chances of making an appearance for their respective national teams at a major championship in 2013.

The SportAccord World Combat Games 2013 was the second edition of this international sporting event, which promotes the values of self-control, determination and technical mastery. 15 Martial Arts and Combat Sports were part of the program. Apart from boxing these included: Aikido, Fencing, Judo, Ju jitsu, Karate, Kendo, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Sambo, Savate, Sumo, Taekwondo and Wrestling. It was certainly an exciting week of sport.
Moreover the event had the following features:

• Internationally-elite competitions with 1300 of the world’s best athletes
• World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code compliant doping controls
• Timing, scoring and results technical services provided by Swatch Group
• Socio-cultural and educational programmes
• Doping-free sport and sports’ integrity awareness education
• Sustainability initiatives and reporting
• Festival-style sports presentation and entertainment
• Ambassador programme
• Exhibitions

The event was widely considered a success by the public, athletes and spectators. From a boxing point of view it was interesting as both the men and women competed simultaneously for the first time at an AIBA elite competition since the London 2012 Olympics.

Women’s Elite Boxing: Underwood is the queen of the ring
AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist, US boxer, Queen Underwood was crowned [if you will forgive the pun], Combat Games Champion at the Women’s Lightweight (60 kg) category. on the last competition day of the boxing tournament. .The American boxer eliminated England’s top fighter, Natasha Jonas, in a close semi-final battle before taking on Russian AIBA Youth World Champion Anastasia Beliakova in the Finals. Underwood shocked the host nation’s youngster with some effective punches in the first two minutes. Beliakova tried to keep the distance between them and used her longer hands to stop Underwood’s attacks but Underwood kept Beliakova under pressure until the final gong and her honest fighting style resulted in a gold medal for the US delegation in St. Petersburg.

The US women’s team had a great tournament in general. One of their most experienced boxers is Marlen Esparza. The London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and 2013 AMBC American Continental Championships gold medal winning Flyweight (51kg) also did well in St Petersberg. The 24-year-old athlete took silver, losing the 2005 Women’s World Champion Olesya Gladkova of Russia in an epic clash.

Men’s Elite Boxing: Eight Russian gold medals on home soil
The Russian national male boxing team dominated the tournament winning eight gold medals  while Brazil and Uzbekistan both achieved one top position in the event.

A particularly notable performance came from Russia’s 2010 European Champion Sergey Kuzmin. The powerful puncher looked good against Romania’s 19-year-old Marian Preda in the finals at Super Heavyweight (91+kg). The difference between the two competitors was almost 30kg in weight, with the Russian towering over his opponent. Kuzmin, who was also silver medallist in this year’s EUBC European Continental Championships in Minsk, started the final as the top speed. As expected the pair were operating on two different levels of boxing. The Romanian athlete was brave though and forced the Russian to wait until the final bell to claim his victory.

The Light Welterweight (64 kg) category however, was the only one in which the host nation failed to get a boxer into the finals and achieved only a bronze medal. Brazil’s South American Champion and future star 19-year-old Joedison Teixeira looked fantastic throughout the tournament. Along the path to becoming champion he overwhelmed Ukraine’s newcomer Oleksandr Grechiha in the finals to take the win.

For the full results visit the World Combat Games website here.

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Copyright © 2013 AIBA

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