Alfonso, Yusifzada, Dzhurov and the Polish girls dominated the Leszek Drogosz Memorial Tournament14 November 2022
The new edition of the Leszek Drogosz Memorial Tournament took place in the city of Kielce where 20 boxers earned their gold medals in the finals. Azerbaijan’s World Champion Loren Berto Alfonso returned in this event with a gold medal but the Polish girls and Bulgaria’s Krasimir Dzhurov also made strong performance in Kielce.
The elite competition was hold for the female and male boxers in Kielce and became the strongest international tournament in Poland this year. The city of Kielce was the host of the 2021 edition of the Youth World Boxing Championships and several of the Suzuki Boxing Fight Nights as well.
The Technical Delegate of the Leszek Drogosz Memorial Tournament was Mr. Viorel Sima of Romania. Several of the top countries such as Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Armenia, Germany, Ukraine, Moldova, Croatia, Poland, Ireland, Romania, Hungary and Morocco joined the 10th Leszek Drogosz Memorial Tournament where the number of the participating boxers was altogether 104.
The bout of the day
The management of the Azerbaijan Boxing Federation sends their teams to as many international events as possible and the Leszek Drogosz Memorial Tournament is their next step during the preparations. Azerbaijan’s best featherweight (57kg) boxer, Umid Rustamov had a tough opponent in the final, Ireland’s Patryk Adamus who is one of their new talents in the national team. The Irish boxer has strong Polish roots and he was not only competitive in this final against the top Azeri hope, but he could keep the same rhythm as Rustamov until the last seconds. Rustamov needed an outstanding final minute to decide the most difficult contest of the entire last competition day.
Poland’s Natalia Kuczewska achieved a silver medal at the 2021 Youth World Boxing Championships and she was involved to the U22 and elite national teams this year. the 19-year-old Polish girl received the right to compete at the EUBC European Women’s Elite Boxing Championships and these experiences supported her success against Ireland’s Ciara Welsh in a close minimumweight (48kg) final. A more experienced Polish girl, Natalia Rok defeated her teammate, Nikola Prymaczenko and secured her next tournament title.
Poland’s European Games silver medallist Sandra Drabik is already 34-year-old but she has the strong motivation to be there in the main championships in 2023. The Polish bantamweight (54kg) boxer dominated her contests in Kielce including her final against Rachel Lawless of Ireland. Poland’s silver medallist from the recent EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships, Aneta Rygielska made a fantastic decision when she moved up to the welterweight (66kg) and controlled her final against Germany’s Felicitas Ganglbauer as well.
Azerbaijan’s Masud Yusifzada eliminated Hungary’s Attila Bernath in the semi-finals and he faced Poland’s Jakub Slominski in the final of the flyweight (51kg). The Polish boxer has strong international pedigree but he was not able to follow Yusifzada’s footsteps and the strength of the Azeri athlete decided their contest. Azerbaijan’s next finalists such as Malik Hasanov and Nabi Isgandarov both won their bouts in Kielce against young Romanian and Polish opponents.
Poland’s Jakub Krzpiet is a young hope in the national team and the gold medal at the Leszek Drogosz Memorial Tournament is his first major elite success. The local boxer had a tight contest against Romania’s Cristian Dobrica but he managed to win this bantamweight (54kg) final in Kielce. Another young talent, Bulgaria’s Krasimir Dzhurov delivered an even better performance in the competition, he controlled most of the exchanges against Ireland’s Davey-Oliver Joyce at the lightweight (60kg).
Poland’s best male boxer, the Tokyo Olympian Damian Durkacz had a very hard road to the finals of the light middleweight (71kg) but he eliminated his key opponents. The 23-year-old Polish felt the tempo well against Moldova’s promising Davron Bozorov and he won another top contests in Kielce. Azerbaijan’s World Champion, the ex-Cuban Loren Berto Alfonso Dominguez returned to the international stage on this event and he dominated the cruiserweight (86kg) final against Poland’s Klemens Szczepaniak. Poland’s 21-year-old Mateusz Bereznicki at the heavyweight (92kg) delivered the last remarkable performance of the tournament.