The Russians claimed nine gold medals in the Perm 2002 European Boxing Championships21 August 2020
The 34th edition of the European Boxing Championships was held in Perm, Russia which opened the Athens Olympic era as first continental event in that period. Russia amazed in the 2002 edition of the European Boxing Championships and won 75% of the gold medals in the front of the home crowd.
The best 16-16 boxers could attend in the 1998 Minsk and 2000 Tampere editions following the qualification tournaments. The management of the European Amateur Boxing Association (EABA) returned to the open system in the Perm 2002 European Boxing Championships and all of the boxers approved to compete in Russia.
Russia became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991 and the Perm edition was their first continental event. The first competition day of the 2002 European Boxing Championships was July 12 in Perm while the finals were held on July 21. A rest day was held in the event after the quarter-finals.
The total number of the boxers was 233 in the Perm 2002 European Boxing Championships where the participants could compete in 12 weight classes as in the previous editions. There were two rounds of preliminaries at the flyweight (51kg), at the featherweight (57kg), at the lightweight (60kg), at the light welterweight (63.5kg), at the welterweight (67kg), at the light middleweight (71kg), at the middleweight (75kg) and at the light heavyweight (81kg) in the Perm 2002 European Boxing Championships.
The following 38 nations attended in the 2002 European Boxing Championships in Perm: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Yugoslavia.
Russia attended with maximum number of 12 boxers in the Perm 2002 European Boxing Championships. Azerbaijan sent record number of 11 boxers to the 2002 edition. Albania has done its debut in the European Boxing Championships in Perm where another small developing country Cyprus had boxer in the Top8 of the event.
Russia won 9 out of the 12 gold medals in the Perm 2002 European Boxing Championships which was a clear hegemony in the competition. Besides to the Russians, only Belarus, Bulgaria and Ukraine were able to get one gold medal in Perm. Azerbaijan, Moldova, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Romania, Georgia, Turkey, Finland and Armenia also achieved medals in the 2002 edition.
Russia’s Sergey Kazakov achieved gold medal at the Minsk 1998 European Boxing Championships but he was defeated by Ukraine’s Valeriy Sydorenko in the 2000 edition. The Russian boxer returned to his glorious way in Perm where he was too smart for Moldova’s 19-year-old Veaceslav Gojan in the final. Russia claimed its second gold medal quickly at the flyweight (51kg) where Georgiy Balakshin defeated Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Vladimirov in the final while France’s favourite Jerome Thomas achieved bronze in Perm.
Belarus’ Khavazhi Khatsigov won one of the last preparation events before the European Boxing Championships and he continued his winning path in Perm. The Belarusian bantamweight (54kg) boxer eliminated the titleholder Agassi Mamedov who returned to his homeland to Azerbaijan. Khatsigov was highly confident in the later actions and defeated also Russia’s 19-year-old Gennadiy Kovalev in the final. Russia’s Tajik-born Raimkul Malakhbekov won his first European title in 1993 and after nine years of break the two-time Olympic medallists returned to the top of the podium in Perm.
Russia’s AIBA World Champion and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bronze medallist Aleksandr Maletin was titleholder at the lightweight (60kg) who stopped all of his opponents in Perm. The 27-year-old Russian knocked out his younger Bulgarian rival Boris Georgiev in the final and defended his title. The next Bulgarian finalist Dimitar Stilianov changed his silver from Tampere into a gold in Perm. The Bulgarian light welterweight (63.5kg) boxer was slightly better than France’s Willy Blain in the sixth final of the event.
Russia’s two-time Olympic Champion Oleg Saitov missed the Perm 2002 European Boxing Championships but his replacement Timur Gaydalov won the title of the welterweight (67kg) after beating Ukraine’s Oleksandr Bokalo in the absence of his star compatriot. Russia’s Andrey Mishin achieved silver in the Tampere 2000 edition but in Perm he was too smart for Germany’s Lukas Wilaschek in the final of the light middleweight (71kg).
Following Zsolt Erdei’s two gold medals at the middleweight (75kg) another Hungarian shined in the category, Karoly Balzsay. The Hungarian eliminated Romania’s favourite Lucian Bute during his road to the final but he was defeated by Ukraine’s Oleh Mashkin in the title bout. Russia’s new national team member Mikhail Gala was not enough experienced in the international events but he defeated France’s second finalist John Dovi achieving the host nation’s seventh gold medal.
Russia’s Evgeniy Makarenko was involved to the national team in the Berlin 1995 AIBA World Boxing Championships and the AIBA World Champion dominated all of his fights including his final at the heavyweight (91kg) over Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Uzelkov. Russia’s Aleksey Lezin won the European titles at the super heavyweight (+91kg) in 1996, in 1998 and in 2000. His new replacement Aleksandr Povetkin continued Russia’s hegemony in the heaviest weight class and defeated Italy’s powerful Roberto Cammarelle in the final.
List of the winners in the 2002 European Boxing Championships
- Light flyweight (48kg): Sergey Kazakov, Russia
- Flyweight (51kg): Georgiy Balakshin, Russia
- Bantamweight (54kg): Khavazhi Khatsigov, Belarus
- Featherweight (57kg): Raimkul Malakhbekov, Russia
- Lightweight (60kg): Aleksandr Maletin, Russia
- Light welterweight (63.5kg): Dimitar Stilianov, Bulgaria
- Welterweight (67kg): Timur Gaydalov, Russia
- Light middleweight (71kg): Andrey Mishin, Russia
- Middleweight (75kg): Oleh Mashkin, Ukraine
- Light heavyweight (81kg): Mikhail Gala, Russia
- Heavyweight (91kg): Evgeniy Makarenko, Russia
- Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Aleksandr Povetkin, Russia