The next generation shined in the first day of the Balkan Boxing Championships09 May 2021
The Croatian capital, Zagreb is the host of the Balkan Boxing Championships which moved from January to May due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Boxers in five different weight categories were in action in the opening day of the Balkan Boxing Championships where the new generation boxers as Noa Jezek, Shpetim Bajoku and Besart Pireva were the bests.
Antalya was the host of the last 2019 edition of the Balkan Boxing Championships where 11 nations competed for the medals. The idea of the Balkan Boxing Championships returned to the boxing map in December 2019 and after a short break the new edition began in Zagreb, Croatia for the region’s best boxers.
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 Croatia to avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the Balkan Boxing Championships. The Technical Delegate of the Balkan Boxing Championships is Mr. Henrik Tavio of Finland.
The bout of the day
Croatia’s Noa Jezek was involved to the national team as a junior and youth boxer and he proved rapid progress this year. The 20-year-old boxer has got strong rivalry with Gabrijel Veocic in Croatia which motivated Jezek to be better in all aspects of boxing. The young Croatian opened the year with a silver medal at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Hungary and he was selected to represent the host country at the middleweight (75kg). Jezek met with another promising young talent from Montenegro, Stefan Savkovic therefore he did not underestimate his rival on Day1. The smaller Croatian used an aggressive tactic in the bout and defeated a strong rival in the opening day.
The surprise of the day
Kosovo’s Besart Pireva claimed silver medal at the 2019 Balkan Boxing Championships at the age of 19 but his first rival in the new edition was Albania’s more experienced Arjan Kajoshi. The Albanian delivered surprise successes in the previous years over Europe’s top boxers but Pireva found the best weapon against him in Zagreb. The Kosovan light heavyweight (81kg) talent surprised Kajoshi with his effectiveness and advanced to semi-finals where his next opponent will be Serbia’s ex-Russian boxer, Vladimir Mironchikov.
Albania’s Krenar Zeneli competed in various international tournaments in the recent years and opened his campaign with a success over a young Croatian, Diego Mamic at the lightweight (60kg). His brother, Rexhildo Zeneli achieved bronze medal at the 2013 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships and after a break he returned to the competitions. Rexhildo continued Albania’s winning path and joined to his brother in the next stage of the championship following his success over Serbia’s Nenad Jovanovic.
Kosovo’s Shpetim Bajoku impressed in the previous regional events and proved that he is one of the best prospects of his country. The Kosovan light welterweight (64kg) boxer returned to the international stage in Zagreb but he proved also developments as many of the young hopes of the region. Bajoku pressurized his Croatian opponent, Filip Poturovic and eliminated the host nation’s boxer in this weight class.