Zakharieiev and Bernath were the heroes of the 66th Bocskai Memorial Tournament13 February 2022
The exciting men’s finals were held in the fifth competition day at the new 66th edition of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary. The best male boxer of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament was Ukraine’s Yuriy Zakharieiev while Hungary’s Attila Bernath returned to the top of the podium after three years.
The IBA Silver event was the highlight of the week and all of the 12 female and 13 male weight classes involved to the official program of the 66th Bocskai Memorial Tournament. The Technical Delegate of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament was Mr. Viorel Sima of Romania.
The Bocskai Memorial Tournament is one of the oldest European international competitions after the Bulgarian Strandja Memorial Tournament. The prestigious Bocskai Memorial Tournament saw big champions in the recent decades and several young stars attended in the new 66th edition.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, the check of the vaccinations, wearing masks and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Hungary avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the new edition of the 2022 Bocskai Memorial Tournament.
The bout of the day
Hungary’s Attila Bernath won the 2018 edition of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and the Bocskai Memorial Tournament one year later. The 21-year-old Hungarian flyweight (51kg) boxer planned to re-join to the top of the podium once again but he had to meet with England’s promising Hamza Mehmood. The English boxer used his counter-attacking style in the first round against the energetic Hungarian who had extra motivation on home soil. Bernath changed his tactic in the second round and worked from longer distance based on his excellent footwork. His tactical change delivered for him his second title in the history of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament.
Belarus’ Maksim Pankou had a tough semi-final at the men’s featherweight (57kg) and he expected a hard final against Hungary’s National Champion Istvan Bundovics. The 21-year-old Belarusian used his longer hands in the first round and worked from longer distance against the attacking Hungarian. Pankou, who had several experiences from the previous EUBC Championships, increased his rhythm in the second round and his counter-shots were enough to win their final in Debrecen.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Melenyuk demonstrated his impressive power in the semi-final of the Bocskai Memorial Tournament and enjoyed his new category, the light welterweight (63.5kg) in Debrecen. The experienced Ukrainian met in the final with Wales’ 18-year-old Romeo Costa who has been preparing hard to attend in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The nine-years-older Melenyuk ruled the middle of the ring while Costa landed counter-punches, mostly jabs in the first round. The Ukrainian dictated the tempo of the bout but Costa was a hard target and showed excellent defensive skills despite of his young age. Melenyuk was too experienced for the talented Welsh boxer and claimed Ukraine’s first gold medal.
Ukraine’s next finalist was their defending AIBA World Champion, Yuriy Zakharieiev who had an excellent title bout against Hungary’s Laszlo Kozak. The Hungarian has already nine years of international experiences but Zakharieiev is one of the biggest stars of the light middleweight (71kg). Kozak tried to adopt the tempo of the contest but Zakharieiev had great finish in the end of the first round. The 19-year-old Ukrainian star landed several nice single jabs in the second round and controlled also the third which meant Zakharieiev won his next elite competition after Belgrade.
Ukraine’s Arkadiy Kartsan and Yevhenii Pavlovskyi both achieved medals in the top junior and youth competitions in the previous years and following their experiences in the U22 age group, both joined to the elite national team in 2021. Both boxers advanced to the final of the heavyweight (92kg) in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament and their bout was a national selection between them. Pavlovskyi moved ahead more in the first round but Kartsan increased his tempo in the second returning to the match. Both Ukrainian achieved medals at the 2017 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships and this time Kartsan was slightly better in their final.