Yugoslavia won its first title in the Madrid 1971 European Boxing Championships where the Spanish team earned gold after 24-years of break25 June 2020
The 19th edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in the Spanish capital in Madrid in 1971 where record number of 194 boxers attended from 27 nations. Yugoslavia won its first ever European title following Mate Parlov’s great winning run in Madrid while Spain achieved its first one after 24-year of break.
The first competition day of the 1971 European Boxing Championships was June 11 in Madrid while the finals were held on June 18. Two rounds of preliminaries were held at the bantamweight (54kg), at the featherweight (57kg), at the lightweight (60kg), at the light welterweight (63.5kg), at the welterweight (67kg), at the light middleweight (71kg), at the middleweight (75kg) and at the light heavyweight (81kg).
Madrid has set up new records in terms of number of boxers and also in the number of participating countries. The number of the boxers was 194 in the Madrid 1971 European Boxing Championships which exceeded all of the previous records from the 1959 Luzern and 1969 Bucharest editions.
The following 27 nations attended in the Madrid 1971 European Boxing Championships: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, England, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Soviet Union, host Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales, West Germany, and Yugoslavia.
Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Soviet Union, Spain, and Turkey sent maximum number of eleven boxers to the Madrid 1971 European Boxing Championships. Portugal has done its debut in the Madrid 1971 European Boxing Championships, their National Federation sent two boxers to the Spanish capital.
Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and France had several medals in the previous editions of the European Boxing Championships but all of their boxers lost their fights during the road to the semi-finals in Madrid.
Hungary and Soviet Union both claimed three gold, one silver and one bronze medal in Madrid and ranked No.1 together in the team standings. Poland became the third in the medal table with their two gold medals while East Germany, Yugoslavia and host Spain each earned one title in Madrid.
Romania won the medal table in 1969 and nine of their boxers advanced to the semi-finals of the Madrid 1971 European Boxing Championships. The Romanians impressed once again but missed to take any gold medals back to home. West Germany, Ireland, Denmark, England, Finland, Italy and Turkey were the remaining medallist nations in Madrid.
Hungary’s György Gedo won the new light flyweight (48kg) in the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships and repeated that performance in Madrid two years later. The 22-year-old Hungarian won all of his four fights and defeated his main rivals as Soviet Union’s Valeriy Strelnikov, Italy’s Franco Udella, Poland’s Roman Rozek and Romania’s Aurel Mihai taking his second European title.
Luis Martinez Zapata was the first Spanish boxer who won European title in 1947 and his teammate Juan Francisco Rodriguez claimed his nation’s second gold medal after 24-years of hiatus. Rodriguez competed in the same category at the flyweight (51kg) as Martinez and the 21-year-old talent was too strong for his opponents. Rodriguez defeated two of his rivals by TKO and he was smarter than Poland’s Leszek Blazynski in the final of the event.
Hungary’s Tibor Badari attended at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games and used an amazing technique to beat the titleholder Aurel Dumitrescu of Romania in the semi-finals. He continued his winning path against Soviet Union’s Aleksandr Melnikov in the final of the bantamweight (54kg). The third Hungarian gold medal was achieved by Janos Kajdi who returned to the top of the podium at the welterweight (67kg) after eight years of break after beating Olympic Champion Manfred Wolke of East Germany.
The Polish boxing team was one of the European super powers in that era and in spite of the fact their gold generations already retired their coaches found new diamonds. The 21-year-old Ryszard Tomczyk won the gold medal at the featherweight (57kg) following his success over Andras Botos of Hungary. His fellow Jan Szczepanski defeated two favourites Soviet Union’s Nikolay Khromov and Romania’s Vasile Antoniu during his road to the gold medal of the lightweight (60kg).
Romania’s Calistrat Cutov was titleholder at the light welterweight (63.5kg) and following his four triumphs, he advanced to the final in Madrid. The Romanian boxer was not able to repeat that top performance and lost to East Germany’s Ulrich Beyer in the final. Soviet Union’s Valeriy Tregubov claimed gold at the Bucharest 1969 edition and he remained the best of the light middleweight (71kg) in Madrid.
Soviet Union’s Vladimir Tarasenko won the gold medal of the middleweight (75kg) at the Bucharest 1969 European Boxing Championships but he was replaced by Juozas Juocevicius in Madrid. The Lithuanian boxer survived the dangerous moments against Poland’s Witold Stachurski in the quarter-finals and did not stop until the gold medal of the category which he achieved over Romania’s Alec Nastac.
Yugoslavia’s Croatian No.1 Mate Parlov achieved silver at the middleweight (75kg) in 1969 which he changed into gold at the light heavyweight (81kg) two years later. Parlov had five contests in Madrid and his physical skills were enough to win all of them in Madrid taking his first big title. The defending champion of the heavyweight (+81kg) Romania’s Ion Alexe was defeated by West Germany’s Peter Hussing already in the preliminary round. The West German boxer advanced to the finals but lost to Soviet Union’s Vladimir Chernyshev.
List of the winners in the 1971 European Boxing Championships
- Light flyweight (48kg): György Gedo, Hungary
- Flyweight (51kg): Juan Francisco Rodriguez, Spain
- Bantamweight (54kg): Tibor Badari, Hungary
- Featherweight (57kg): Ryszard Tomczyk, Poland
- Lightweight (60kg): Jan Szczepanski, Poland
- Light welterweight (63.5kg): Ulrich Beyer, East Germany
- Welterweight (67kg): Janos Kajdi, Hungary
- Light middleweight (71kg): Valeriy Tregubov, Soviet Union
- Middleweight (75kg): Juozas Juocevicius, Soviet Union
- Light heavyweight (81kg): Mate Parlov, Yugoslavia
- Heavyweight (+81kg): Vladimir Chernyshev, Soviet Union
In featured image: Mate Parlov