Zafirov and Stevens named as bests in the Emil Zhechev Youth & Junior Memorial Tournament07 April 2018
The third edition of the Emil Zhechev Youth & Junior Memorial Tournament was held in Sofia which was a four-day long international competition. Bulgaria’s Nikolay Zafirov was named as the Best Boxer of the junior part of the Emil Zhechev Memorial Tournament while United States’ Asa Stevens became the best youth boxer of the event.
The competition was named after former President of the European Boxing Association and AIBA Vice-President Mr. Academician Prof. Emil Zhechev passed away in Sofia in July 2015. The long-time leader and manager of our beloved combat sport aged 88 years.
Mr. Academician Prof. Emil Zhechev devoted his whole life to serve Bulgaria’s and the world’s boxing life. He had an outstanding reputation in the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Boxing Association (AIBA) and all of the regional sport associations in Europe and in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Boxing Federation decided to launch a new event for the dedication of his great job in the boxing world.
Bulgaria has got three big international AOB events every year and following their Strandja Memorial Tournament their National Federation hosted the Emil Zhechev Tournament which was a youth competition in the recent two years but the younger age group the juniors were also added to the third edition.
The Kazakh team dominated the Emil Zhechev Youth & Junior Memorial Tournament with their nine gold medals but the host country of the event the Bulgarians also achieved seven titles in Sofia. The Bulgarian talents were amazing in the last edition of the EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships and several of those heroes shined also in the Emil Zhechev Memorial Tournament.
Bulgaria’s 15-year-old Radoslav Rosenov claimed silver medal in the last EUBC European Confederation Schoolboys Boxing Championships and won his first international junior competition in Sofia following his victory over Kazakhstan’s Mukhammedsabyr Bazarbayuli in the final of the pinweight (46kg).
EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Yasen Radev did enough against Ukraine’s Yaroslav Bgan and won the junior flyweight (50kg) in Sofia. His teammates such as Kosta Simeonov and Emirdzhan Mehmed also defeated their strong rivals in the competition. Ukraine’s two gold medals in the junior competition was achieved by Andriy Shumilov and his teammate Yuriy Zakhareyev.
Bulgaria’s biggest sensation in the whole Emil Zhechev Memorial Tournament was delivered by EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Nikolay Zafirov who defeated one of the best junior boxers in the whole world Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Junior Champion Yerassyl Zhakpekov in a hectic final which was one of the best bouts of the event.
Kazakhstan has achieved six gold medals in the junior part of the Emil Zhechev Memorial Tournament in Sofia, their promising future hope Yevgeniy Prikhodko was amazed the crowd. The 15-year-old junior middleweight (75kg) boxer dominated his final against Ukraine’s Ilia Melnichuk and following the Bornemissza Memorial Tournament he was able to get his next international title.
United States’ Asa Stevens had three tough contests in the Emil Zhechev Memorial Tournament but he was able to beat all of his rivals in Sofia. The 17-year-old US flyweight (52kg) talent used his attacking style to beat Kazakhstan’s Karim Serkebayev in the final and he was named as the Best Youth Boxer of the event.
Ivan Atanasov is the most experienced youth boxer of the Bulgarian team but his success in the final over United States’ No.1 Otha Jones was his career highlight. The host of the upcoming Youth Olympic Games, Argentina also competed in the Emil Zhechev Memorial Tournament where their talent Brian Arregui launched enough punches to beat Kazakhstan’s Azat Asanov in the final of the welterweight (69kg).
Croatia had also a finalist in the youth part of the Emil Zhechev Memorial Tournament but their No.1 EUBC European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Gabrijel Veocic lost to Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Junior Champion Kuandyk Maksud in the final of the middleweight (75kg).
Algeria, Egypt, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Greece, Israel, Morocco, Netherlands and Romania also claimed medals in the Emil Zhechev Youth & Junior Memorial Tournament where record number of boxers attended in the event.