Stepanov won the tightest male final at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships12 July 2021
Following the 13 female finals, the boys also competed for the gold medals in the eighth and last competition day at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. Russia bagged eight, Ukraine three while Georgia and Hungary both one title in the men’s finals. Ukraine’s Oleksiy Stepanov won the tightest final of the day while the favourites as Ivan Tikhonov, Levente Olah and Demur Kajaia all won the gold medals.
Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Italy, Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Israel, Germany, Serbia, Poland, Cyprus and Spain earned medals in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.
The number of the participating boxers was 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 sent athletes to Tbilisi.
The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks and all of the health controls were 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
Ukraine’s Oleksiy Stepanov is their most experienced junior national team member who met in the final of the middleweight (75kg) with one of the top surprise of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships, Mirko Sarcevic of Montenegro who started the sport only three years ago. The Ukrainian dictated the tempo and his aggressive shots controlled the first round of their final. Sarcevic, who had only 14 contests during his whole career, did not give up the fight and returned to the match with good punches in the second round. Montenegro’s 16-year-old new pride proved his very best in the third round but his impressive performance was not enough to turn back the closes fights of the day.
The surprise of the day
Ukraine’s Renat Chubrevychev turned to 15 this May and the young hope advanced to the final of the pinweight (46kg) after beating experienced opponents. The Ukrainian, who began boxing at the age of 10 five years ago, surprised his tough final opponent, Gor Ayvazyan of Georgia and used his virtuoso footwork in their final. Chubrevychev trains with a top coach Mr. Roman Litvinov and his hard work paid off in the first final of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. Chubrevychev was able to share his power well in the final bout and celebrated a gold medal for Ukraine.
Russia’s Malik Sugaipov impressed in the final of the light flyweight (48kg) and celebrated his nation’s first male title in Tbilisi where he defeated Georgia’s Oruj Akhmedovi. Ukraine’s Duminik Hektor boxed over his previous level in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and surprisingly advanced to the final of the flyweight (50kg). His final opponent was Russia’s Nikita Manasikhin who began the title bout in impressive rhythm but Hektor followed his steps and responded to his opponent’s punches. Manasikhin changed his tempo in the beginning of the second round and this middle period was decisive between them in Tbilisi. The Russian boxer performed better in this final and earned the gold medal of the weight category which was his first big success.
Georgia’s third finalist in Tbilisi, Davit Japaridze impressed in his semi-final of the light bantamweight (52kg), eliminated Italy’s Gaetano Buonocore and met for the gold medal with Russia’s Egor Koloskov. The Georgian southpaw found his opponent’s weak points in the first round and his right-handed hooks worked well against a technician rival. Koloskov, who knocked out one of his rivals in Tbilisi, tried to keep his Georgian opponent on long and his jabs were effective from that distance. Japaridze could not reach his Russian rival in the third round and the final continued with Koloskov’s hegemony. The final verdict was unanimous decision in the favour of Koloskov who claimed Russia’s third-in-a-row male gold medal in Tbilisi.
Hungary’s confident Levente Olah destroyed all of his opponents this year and won all of his bouts by RSC or KO. The 16-year-old Hungarian featherweight (57kg) boxer started the first round against Russia’s Ivan Chindykov with tough punches. Olah caught his Russian rival quickly but Chindykov survived the dangerous moments in the first round. The Russian fought well only in the third round of their final when he tried to do his best but received strong shots from the Hungarian who earned his nation’s first junior title after Alex Baki’s gold in the 2016 edition.
Georgia’s fourth finalist in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships, Demur Kajaia was one of the main favourites of the country who proved his patient style in the final of the lightweight (60kg). Ukraine’s Bohdan was a tough rival who had also strong international experiences but the EUBC European Schoolboy Champion Georgian found his rhythm early in the first round. Kajaia maintained the best fighting distance against the Ukrainian and claimed gold medal for the host nation.
Italy’s best hope Tiziano Guglielman was eliminated in the previous stage therefore Samuele Gugliotta had the mission to get a gold medal for them. The Italian met with one of the most experienced Russian junior boxers, Ivan Tikhonov who claimed silver medal at the 2020 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The Russian eliminated the tallest boxer of the light welterweight (63kg), Poland’s Ivan Kucherenko therefore he knew how to handle his Italian opponent. Tikhonov moved forward and caught Gugliotta with strong jabs and proved that he is a better boxer. The smaller Russian opened the third round with a strong right-handed jab and dominated the final minutes as well.
Ukraine’s Oleh Hichva began boxing at the age of 6 nine years ago and he had more than 70 contests during his career. The Ukrainian welterweight (66kg) boxer eliminated Hungary’s strong Levente Gemes in the semi-finals and used similar strategy in the final against Georgia’s Mekhman Namazov. The Ukrainian southpaw kept the distance well in the first round and he was still able to do better performance in the second. Hichva moved forward more in the second part of their final and his smart boxing delivered Ukraine’s second male gold medal in Tbilisi.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Zelenskyi and Russia’s Akhmed Rasuev both eliminated strong opponents in the previous rounds of the heavyweight (+80kg). The 16-year-old Ukrainian is the tallest boxer of this heaviest weight category and he used his height advantage well enough in the first round. Rasuev was more aggressive in the second round and his hooks from close distance reached the Ukrainian. The Russian demoralized the Ukrainian talent in the third round and earned his nation’s seventh gold medal in Tbilisi.
Georgia’s Giorgi Natroshvili and Russia’s Mokhadan Makhauri were involved to the last final of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The Georgian is a new sensation at the light middleweight (70kg) and he tried to use his powerful hooks to get the advantage after two minutes. Makhauri, who had a seriously tough battle in the preliminaries against Hungary’s Krisztian Nileborg, closed the first round with good combinations and he began the second with the same successes. The third round was a real manly fight, both landed tough uppercuts and Makhauri was stronger in these exchanges therefore Russia bagged its eighth male gold medal in Tbilisi.
The quote of the day
“I prepared hard for this EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. I felt that I can beat all of my opponents in Tbilisi. I gave in everything in the second and third rounds of my final which were the differences between me and my Georgian rival today. The feeling of the gold medal is amazing,” said Russia’s Malik Sugaipov quickly after his gold medal at the light flyweight (48kg).