Crotty and Grau were the best boxers in the finals of the Alexis Vastine Memorial Tournament31 October 2020
The finals were held at the 1st Alexis Vastine Memorial Tournament in Nantes, France which was a historical event to remember one of the French boxing heroes. England’s Royal Marine boxer George Crotty won the tightest final of the third competition day when among the French hopes Hugo Grau, Samuel Kistohurry and Emilie Sonvico also claimed gold medals.
India, France, United States, and Poland won the gold medals in the three-days long Alexis Vastine Memorial Tournament. Fourteen women and 29 men male attended in the first edition of the Alexis Vastine Memorial Tournament from eight different countries which represented three various Confederations, Europe, Asia and America. United States of America and India were the non-European nations in the new international competition in France.
Alexis Vastine achieved great successes for Team France between 2004 and 2012 including bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, gold at the 2005 Mediterranean Games and silver at the Moscow 2010 European Boxing Championships. He died in the Villa Castelli helicopter collision during the filming of a French TV reality show in 2015 at the age of 29.
The French Boxing Association decided to launch an event to remember his impressive results and his nice personality this year. Nantes is a city on the Loire River in the Upper Brittany region of Western France with long history.
The bout of the day
England’s Royal Marine boxer George Crotty had solid week in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Hungary on February 2020 which he won with outstanding performance. The light heavyweight (81kg) boxer proved his strength in the last day of boxing at the Alexis Vastine Memorial Tournament. The English boxer was highly motivated after the long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic and his hard training sessions paid off in Nantes. Crotty demonstrated his power against a highly qualified US boxer, National Olympic Trials winner Robby Gonzales and won their contest by split decision.
The surprise of the day
Poland’s Aneta Rygielska claimed silver medal at the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships in Spain and strengthened the lightweight (60kg) in the Alexis Vastine Memorial Tournament. The Polish boxer used her energetic attacks against England’s Commonwealth Games runner-up Paige Murney in the final of the event in Nantes. Murney is now No.2 in their behind Youth Olympic Champion Caroline Dubois but she amazed against the Polish girl and won the title of the weight class.
France’s Samuel Kistohurry has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games through the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. The 25-year-old featherweight (57kg) boxer was confident in his previous contests in Nantes but the former WSB star had to do his very best against India’s ASBC Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist Kavinder Singh Bisht. The final verdict was split decision in the favour of Kistohurry who prepared to the Olympic Games with active trainings.
France’s 19-year-old Hugo Grau eliminated United States’ Charles Sheehy in the semi-finals of the Olympic lightweight (63kg) and met in the final of the category with his teammate Lounes Hamraoui. Grau, who arrived from a boxing family, has been preparing to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, delivered his next strong performance in Nantes. The teenage talent won his final unanimously against Hamraoui and he is on the best way to accomplish his future goals in our sport.
France’s Emilie Sonvico joined to the national team two and half years ago and represented her nation first at the Sofia 2018 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships. Sonvico developed her skills from competitions to competitions and she claimed gold medals in various international events. The French welterweight (69kg) boxer celebrated her next tournament title in Nantes where she was slightly better than Poland’s Minsk 2019 European Games winner Karolina Koszewska.