#APBNews: Djelkhir Leads the way Amongst the Bantamweights28 August 2014
Today, AIBA is proud to announce the field in the Bantamweight division. The illustrious field, which consists of Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, AIBA World Boxing Championships, Asian Games, South American Games and European Championship medalists, is led by the runner-up from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Khedafi Djelkhir. The 30-year-old French boxer of Algerian origin is undefeated in 16 professional bouts, 12 of which coming by way of knockout.
When asked what had attracted him to AIBA Pro Boxing, Djelkhir explained “It is extremely difficult to have a career plan in professional boxing.In my past experience I was tired not having a scheduled fight and I was therefore delighted when I heard that AIBA was launching a Pro Boxing competition,”
“I welcome a structured and merit-based ranking system that the program provides as it also gives me a guaranteed number of fights. At the same time, the Olympic Games are fantastic and I snatched at the opportunity when it came to participate as a pro.” he added.
The former WBO Intercontinental super bantamweight champion’s stiffest competition in the 56kg division will most likely come from Japanese southpaw Satoshi Shimizu, a bronze medalist at the London 2012 Olympics who is now looking to make the transition into the pro ranks.
Azerbaijan boxer Javid Chalabiyev will be looking to impress after the 22-year-old won the gold medal at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty last year.
The fully confirmed field consists of Khedafi Djelkhir (30, France), Alberto Ezequiel Melian (24, Argentina), Satoshi Shimizu (28, Japan), Jiawei Zhang (25, China), Benson Njangiru (29, Kenya), Sergey Vodopiyanov (26, Russia), Yonni Blanco (23, Venezuela) and Javid Chalabiyev (22, Azerbaijan). The reserve fighters are Aram Avagyan (23, Armenia) and Selcuk Eker (22, Turkey).
The International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) ground-breaking new competition – AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) – will start on October 24 2014.
For further information on the boxers and the competition Please visit our Boxers page.