Bulgaria’s Sevda Asenova shocked India’s icon Mary Kom in the final of the Strandja Memorial Tournament26 February 2018
The 69th edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament was finished in the Bulgarian capital in Sofia where 20 champions celebrated their gold medals after the seventh and last competition day. Bulgaria’s EUBC European Women’s Champion Sevda Asenova delivered the main surprise of the finals following her success over India’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte.
The Bulgarian exceeded all of the previous expectations with their amazing seven gold medals out of the possible twenty and topped the team rankings in the Strandja Memorial Tournament. The Chinese boxers claimed four titles in the women part of the event and became the runner-up while Russia, Ukraine and India each took two titles in Sofia.
Altogether 143 men and 93 women boxers from 30 countries competed in the 69th edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia. Russia, Kazakhstan, United States of America, China, England, Ukraine, India, Mongolia, Iran, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Romania, Mauritius, Morocco, and host Bulgaria are all attended among the top boxing nations in Sofia.
Bulgaria’s reigning EUBC European Confederation Women’s Champion Sevda Asenova is one of the most experienced European boxers at the women’s light flyweight (48kg) but her gold medal was a small sensation in Sofia. The Bulgarian boxer, who is member of the national team since 2006, did enough to beat India’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte for the first title of the event.
Bulgaria’s second gold medal was achieved by Gabriela Dimitrova who was involved to the national team as a youth boxer still in 2013. The Bulgarian flyweight (51kg) boxer defeated Greece’s new young hope Aikaterini Koutsogeorgopoulou who was exceeded all of the previous expectations in the previous days of the Strandja Memorial Tournament where she defeated Brazil’s Grazieli De Sousa and US star Virginia Fuchs.
Bulgaria’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist and EUBC European Women’s Champion Stoyka Petrova returned to her best category to the bantamweight (54kg) and following her close success over India’s experienced Maisnam Meena Kumari in the semi-final she was too strong for the title to her 10 years younger teammate Zlatislava Chukanova.
Bulgaria’s four-in-a-row gold medal in the women part of the Strandja Memorial Tournament was achieved by AIBA Women’s World Champion Stanimira Petrova who moved up to the featherweight (57kg) since her participation at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The 27-year-old boxer had to use a new tactic to beat Italy’s AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Irma Testa in the gold medal contest but Petrova’s strong stamina delivered for her a triumph by unanimous decision.
Finland’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mira Potkonen is one of the strongest boxers at the women’s lightweight (60kg) currently who dominated most of her contests in the recent one and half year. The 37-year-old Finnish boxer eliminated Morocco’s Hasnaa Lachgar and India’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Sarita Devi Laishram during her road to the final. Potkonen had to meet for the gold medal with Brazil’s AMBC American Women’s Champion Beatriz Ferreira but the Finnish veteran knew how to handle her strong opponent in the final.
Following Iaroslava Iakushina’s and Maria Urakova’s losses in the finals Russia achieved one gold medal in the women part of the Strandja Memorial Tournament where Anna Ivanova was able to beat India’s Seema Punia in the final of the heavyweight (+81kg). The Russian boxer controlled all of the rounds against her South Asian opponent and celebrated her gold medal after the last gong.
Ukraine’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Dmytro Zamotaev defeated Azerbaijan’s Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympian Masud Yusifzada in the semi-final of the flyweight (52kg) but he was still hungry for the further success. The 22-year-old Ukrainian boxer used his quick combinations in the final against India’s National Trials winner Gaurav Solanki and the judges picked him as the winner of the weight category.
Bulgaria’s Boyan Asenov is younger brother of their two-time EUBC European Champion Daniel Asenov and proved strong development in our sport in Sofia. The 19-year-old Bulgarian bantamweight (56kg) boxer impressed in the final once again and his fighting spirit was enough to beat Russia’s promising star U22 National Champion Shakhriyor Akhmedov in the Strandja Memorial Tournament.
Russia’s FISU University World Champion Khariton Agrba claimed silver in the last edition of their National Championships but he was not the main favourite of the welterweight (69kg). The Russian boxer proved one of his best ever performances in the final when he defeated Iran’s top future hope ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships bronze medallist Sajad Kazemzadeh by split decision.
Ukraine’s Valeriy Kharlamov moved up to the light heavyweight (81kg) only in the recent weeks but he adopted the strength of the category very quickly. The 23-year-old Ukrainian talent did enough to eliminate Kazakhstan’s teenager Mikhail Kokhanchik in the semi-final of the Strandja Memorial Tournament and continued his winning path against Russia’s new hope Ilyas Mutaev in the final.
Bulgaria’s Radoslav Pantaleev involved to the national team in 2010 but he in not enough experienced is his new category at the heavyweight (91kg) yet. The 24-year-old Bulgarian moved ahead from the first seconds against Iran’s Salar Gholami in the final and his hard work paid off after the confirmation of the bout. Following Pantaleev’s success Bulgaria’s seventh gold medal was captured by EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships bronze medallist Petar Belberov who defeated Armenia’s 19-year-old Gurgen Hovhannisyan in the final of the super heavyweight (+91kg).