Mingalimova, Umarbekova and Kajaia are among the 52 finalists at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships11 July 2021
The 52 women’s and men’s semi-finals were held in the seventh competition day at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. Russia’s duo Renata Mingalimova and Zukhro Umarbekova remained their chance alive to defend their thrones while Georgia’s Demur Kajaia was outstanding once again.
Altogether 19 nations claimed at least one medal in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi. Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Italy, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Israel, Germany, Serbia, Poland, Cyprus and Spain are the medallist nations in the event. Among them Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Italy, Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary, Montenegro, Germany, Poland, Cyprus and Spain have got finalists in the event following the semi-finals.
The number of the participating boxers is 335 including 111 girls in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, host Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine are the participating nations of the event.
Girls and boys who were born in 2005 and in 2006 are eligible to attend in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi. Georgia’s capital hosted the 2019 edition of the EUBC European Schoolboys & Schoolgirls Boxing Championships and a top event returns to Tbilisi after two years of break.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls are the responsibility of the local organizers in Georgia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships Tbilisi 2021.
The bout of day
Russia’s Renata Mingalimova was gold medallist at the 2018 EUBC Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships and at the 2020 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and in Tbilisi she is aiming for her third continental title. The 16-year-old Russian started better than Italy’s Ginevra Benetazzo and took the lead on the scorecards. Her Italian opponent adopted the rhythm in the second round and she had some nice attacks in that period. Mingalimova’s experiences were the difference between them today and the Russian joined to the final match therefore the dream contest against Ukraine’s Aurika Kostrytska was realized in Tbilisi.
The surprise of the day
Ukraine’s Duminik Hektor and Belarus’ Vitas Hartsuyeu both proved impressive performance during their road to the semi-finals at the men’s flyweight (50kg). The 16-year-old Belarusian had already more than 80 contests during his career therefore he was enough experienced to handle the Ukrainian boxer’s aggressiveness. Hektor worked in close distance and pressurized Hartsuyeu in their semi-final which was a battle instead of technical boxing. In that game the Ukrainian was better and advanced to the final where his next opponent is Russia’s Nikita Manasikhin.
Russia’s Anastasia Akhunova is a newcomer in the junior national team but she claimed gold medal in their Nationals and also at the Nations Cup in Serbia. The 15-year-old pinweight (46kg) boxer was taller than Turkey’s Filiz Isik but she moved ahead more in the contest in comparison to her previous quarter-final. Akhunova landed the better punches and she caught her Turkish opponent with a strong hook in the middle of the second round. Isik did not give up the contest and she performed well in the third round but her comeback was too late to turn back their semi-final. Akhunova became the first female finalist in Tbilisi and will be meeting for the title with Ukraine’s Sofia Turbinina who eliminated Georgia’s Tamar Samelia with strong performance.
Romania’s defending EUBC European Junior Champion at the bantamweight (54kg) Daniel Girleanu had a tough tactical job in the semi-finals but he managed to win that contest. The 16-year-old Romanian met with his main rival, Azerbaijan’s Mahammadali Gasimzada who arrived to Tbilisi also with excellent pedigree. Girleanu landed several hooks from closer distance but Gasimzada also wanted to fight today therefore the bout became a remarkable one in the Georgian capital. The Azeri talent was slightly better in the exchanges and he eliminated the defending champion in the semi-finals which means Gasimzada will meet for the title with Russia’s Bogdan Pryma.
Georgia’s Demur Kajaia was named as one of the best boxers of their junior national team before the start of the championships and he performed impressively in Tbilisi. The 16-year-old Georgian was patient against Turkey’s M. Enes Kainar and felt the best timing to attack. Kajaia opened the second round with a nice jab and knew his opponent’s weak points to land shots with strong efficiency. The Georgian lightweight (60kg) boxer was in different level than his Turkish opponent and his fabulous performance secured for him a ticket to the finals. Kajaia’s final opponent will be Ukraine’s Bohdan Cheldyk who eliminated Belarus’ Kiryl Stankevich.
Hungary’s Levente Gemes proved tough performance in the previous stages and defeated his opponents using his strength. He tried to catch the quick Ukrainian, Oleh Hichva who used his longer hands in the first round of their welterweight (66kg) semi-final. The Ukrainian southpaw tried to avoid the tough punches against the attacking Hungarian and trusted on his counter-shots. Hichva afraid of the tough Hungarian shots but and he received some but technically he could manage a tactical success today. The technician Ukrainian will be boxing for the title with Georgia’s Mekhman Namazov who had a tough battle against Russia’s Guram Gagiev today.
Tatia Bukia is the best Georgian female junior boxer who reached the finals in the 2019 EUBC Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships. The 16-year-old Georgian felt the tempo better and controlled the first round against Turkey’s Tusem Eylul Onem. Bukia used her height and distance well in the second and third rounds therefore it was a clear success for the Georgian in Tbilisi. Bukia will be meeting for the gold medal with Russia’s 15-year-old Valeria Nurutdinova who moved up to the middleweight (75kg) just before the start of the championship.
Georgia’s EUBC European Schoolboys Champion Tariel Sharikadze had a tough quarter-final against his Belarusian opponent and he expected an even harder battle against Russia’s Akhmed Rasuev. The Georgian heavyweight (+80kg) boxer moved ahead without any stoppage but he received punches from the taller Russian. Sharikadze worked hard from the first seconds but Rasuev’s technical skills and longer hands decided their semi-final therefore the Russian can fight for the title with Ukraine’s tall Oleksandr Zelenskyi.
Georgia’s Oruj Akhmedovi had a tough but successful battle against Armenia’s Samvel Grigoryan and advanced to the final of the light flyweight (48kg) where he can meet with Russia’s Malik Sugaipov. Georgia’s next pride, Davit Japaridze impressed in his semi-final, he felt the support of his teammates and proved his very best with perfect timing in the seventh competition day against Italy’s Gaetano Buonocore. Japaridze will be boxing for the gold medal with Russia’s Egor Koloskov who eliminated Ukraine’s Yehor Kirylius.
Spain’s lone medallist in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships is Noelia Gutierrez Salmeron who had an amazing success over the German favourite in the quarter-finals and she started her next contest with outstanding speed against Romania’s Ana Maria Romantov. The Spaniard followed her game plan in the second round and never stopped attacking which was uncomfortable for the taller Romanian. Gutierrez had the physical condition and stamina in the third round therefore she can box for the title of the light bantamweight (52kg) with Russia’s Anastasia Kool.
Poland’s last hope for a final, Karolina Kuhn met with Ukraine’s Maria Fonotova in the semi-finals of the women’s light welterweight (63kg). The 16-year-old Kuhn is their most experienced girl in the junior national team who quickly gained her control against the neighbouring rival. Kuhn won all of the rounds in each scorecard therefore she became the only Polish in Tbilisi who can box for a gold medal. In the second semi-final of the weight category Romania’s Amalia Nita was quicker and landed the stronger punches against Belarus’s Hanna Serada.
Romania’s Angelo Teodorescu dominated all of his bouts this year before the start of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The 16-year-old Romanian jumped into the best fighting distance and reached Croatia’s Mateo Pejic in the first round with his punctual jabs. The Romanian light heavyweight (80kg) boxer dictated the tempo and he controlled the exchanges in the first and second rounds. Teodorescu wanted to go to the finals so much and he has done everything to make it happen which means he can box for the gold with Russia’s Rasul Gadzhiev.
The quote of the day
“This was my third contest here in the European Junior Boxing Championships. The bouts turned out to be really hard but I managed to win my today’s fight. The most important contest is still ahead of me and I am ready to make my nation proud,” commented his success Georgia’s Demur Kajaia.