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AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships – Expectations of the men’s weight classes

The first competition day starts in the men’s part of the AIBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships on April 13. Poland has never hosted any AIBA Championships in the past, however, the country has the experience of how to host major international sports events.

Russia, Uzbekistan, Cuba, Kazakhstan and Ukraine are the most powerful nations and all of them have gold medal expectations in Kielce. The Bulgarians never had such a strong team in the history of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, therefore, the Kielce edition could be their peak performance. The Japanese male team contains three top stars while the Brazilians and the Indians also have strong line-ups in Kielce.

The total number of male boxers is 274 which is higher than in the last Budapest 2018 edition despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The welterweight (69kg) is the busiest category with the participation of 36 boxers but there will be contests also for the last 32 in the light welterweight (64kg) as well.

Men’s 49kg (22 boxers):

Cuba’s Yislan Barrera has been attending national events since 2016 and in spite of the fact that the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships will be his first international event, he is one of the favorites in Kielce.

Japan’s Kazuma Aratake won all of his five national events and proved the top quality of boxing in these competitions. Uzbekistan’s Ibrokhim Ishjonov is one of the leaders of their strong youth team and following his titles at Belarusian international events, he could also be a gold medallist in Kielce.

India’s ASBC Asian Junior Champion Bishwamitra Chongtham, Russia’s EUBC European Youth Champion Robert Badalian and Kazakhstan’s Sanzhar Tashkenbay are also aiming for the gold medals. Serbia’s EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships bronze medallist Omer Ametovic and Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup winner Nijat Huseynov arrived for at least a podium place to Kielce.

Men’s 52kg (28 boxers):

Bulgaria’s Yasin Radev remained unbeaten in the youth events, he won the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships twice. Except for the Bulgarian, Japan’s ASBC Asian Junior Champion Daiya Kira is also a fantastic talent who could continue his nation’s strong tradition in the flyweight (52kg) division which was won by Hayato Tsutsumi at the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.

Russia’s Evgeniy Zhorov regained his place in the youth national team and will meet in the first bout with a serious rival, Belarus’ Uladzislau Smolouski. Uzbekistan’s Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament winner Shakhzod Muzaffarov and Thailand’s best men’s youth boxer Thanakon Aonyaem are also experienced boxers.

Moldova’s Mihail Taranu and Kazakhstan’s Youth National Champion Kenzhe Muratuly both moved up to the flyweight (52kg) following their success in the light flyweight (49kg). Mongolia’s Enkhzorigt Sukhbat, Azerbaijan’s Ali Zamanov, Spain’s Juan Pantoja and Armenia’s Rudolf Garboyan have a realistic chance to win a medal in Kielce.

Men’s 56kg (26 boxers):

Russia’s Aleksey Shendrik won the title of the 2020 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships using his long-distance tactic well in Montenegro. The tall Russian’s opponent will be Germany’s Malik Shadalov.

Cuba’s Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament bronze medallist Saidel Horta has six years of experience at national and international events. His first rival is a tall Belarusian boxer, Kiryl Levankou who claimed a bronze medal at the 2019 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships.

Asia’s top trio as Kazakhstan’s Yerbolat Sabyr, Uzbekistan’s Dilshod Abdumurodov and Mongolia’s Altantulga Bayarsaikhan are well-known names on the international stage. Italy’s best youth male boxer, EUBC European Junior Champion Michele Baldassi and Colombia’s Jose David Valdez are among the favorites in Kielce. Romania’s Adrian Preda, Armenia’s Ruslan Aslikyan, Latvia’s Matvejs Prokudins and Azerbaijan’s Azrak Babirov are medallists from the previous editions of the European Championships.

Men’s 60kg (32 boxers):

Japan’s Reito Tsutsumi claimed gold medals at the Puerto Princesa 2017 ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships and at the Ulaanbaatar 2019 ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships. Reito is AIBA Youth World Champion Hayato Tsutsumi’s younger brother, however, he is more talented and he could be a gold medallist in Kielce.

Kazakhstan’s 17-year-old Yelnur Suyunbay is the only boxer in their youth national team who won the 2020 and also the 2021 editions of the Youth National Championships. Uzbekistan’s Aydos Tagaybayev has fantastic footwork, he already won an elite event, the Zolotarev Memorial Tournament.

Cuba’s Jadier Herrera also has strong experience from various competitions including elite tournaments. Bulgaria’s Radoslav Rosenov defeated Russia’s Tengiz Kotoyan in the final of the 2020 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships and now both of them are gold medal contenders in Kielce.

India’s Akash Gorkha, Mexico’s National Olympiad winner Gustavo Rivera, Denmark’s Elias Idrissi, Armenia’s Artur Sahakyan and Serbia’s EUBC European Junior Champion Semiz Alicic have got the potential to earn a medal in Kielce.

Men’s 64kg (34 boxers):

Russia’s Mikail Zainulabidov joined the national team in 2020 but he quickly won the title of the EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships. Bulgaria’s EUBC European Junior Champion Krasimir Dzhurov moved up to the light welterweight (64kg) but his energetic boxing could be difficult for many of his rivals.

Kazakhstan’s Sabyrzhan Akkalykov received the right to compete in a big event for the first time but he has all skills and more than 120 contests to accomplish his goals. India’s ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Ankit Narwal and Uzbekistan’s Akhmadjon Akhmadov are Asia’s further hopes in Kielce.

The best Czech youth male boxer Erik Suchy won the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament twice within one year and could be competitive against the stars. Belarus’ Aliaksandr Dovnar took part in the last edition of the Liventsev Memorial Tournament among the elite boxers and won several youth competitions.

Cuba’s Darian Favier has international experience, while Ukraine’s Uzbek-born Bozorboy Matyakubov, Serbia’s strong Stefan Camovic, Scotland’s Colin Cairney and Brazil’s Youth National Champion Ezequiel Da Cruz are also medal hopes.

Men’s 69kg (36 boxers):

Ukraine’s Yuriy Zakhareiev is a two-time EUBC European Youth Champion who dominated all of his contests at international events. The Ukrainian boxer is the main gold medal contender of the most crowded weight category in Kielce where Cuba’s Dany Lafos could be his main opponent. Not only did the Cuban win the youth and junior national events but he claimed a gold medal at the Revolution Cup.

Uzbekistan’s Alokhon Abdullaev developed rapidly in the recent one and half years and he has experience in the elite age group as Lafos. Russia’s EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Chezrav Ashalaev will face Kazakhstan’s Nurzhan Amankeldi in the first preliminary round which could be an exciting bout.

Armenia’s Narek Zakharyan, Moldova’s EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Vladislav Gudzi, Iran’s youth No.1 Fahad Moradi, Ecuador’s Arutam Amazonico Tournament winner Piero Prieto and Azerbaijan’s Samir Nasirov are all good level boxers.

Men’s 75kg (29 boxers):

Bulgaria’s William Cholov began boxing only in 2016 but one year later he became European Schoolboy Champion. The Bulgarian won the 2018 and 2019 editions of the EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships and returned after his illness with a top performance at the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament.

The Bulgarian defeated already Russia’s Mikhail Usov who has got nearly 300 bouts during his career and arrived in Kielce to do a rematch. The 18-year-old Russian will compete against Colombian Santiago Rivera in his first bout and he could not expect an easy fight. Brazil’s Isaias Ribeiro Filho won all of his national events during his career and he claimed a gold medal at the Cologne Boxing World Cup in Germany last month.

Ukraine’s EUBC European Youth Champion Ilya Tohobytskyi, Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Junior Champion Nurislom Ismoilov, Kazakhstan’s Dias Molzhigitov and Cuba’s Albert Gonzalez increase the quality of the event. Croatia’s youth No.1 Antonio Grabic will be meeting with Lithuania’s EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Aleksandr Trofimcuk in the first preliminary round.

Men’s 81kg (25 boxers):

Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Junior Champion Yerassyl Zhakpekov is a strong puncher, same as Cuba’s top talent Brayan Leon Salgado. Both boxers have gold medal expectations but the two promising stars will meet each other already in the last 32. Russia’s Vasiliy Kaverin and Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Youth Champion confident Shokhjakhon Abdullaev arrived also for the gold medal of the light heavyweight (81kg).

Montenegro’s first-ever European Champion in men’s boxing is Petar Lijesevic claimed gold at the 2020 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships in Budva. Azerbaijan’s Murad Allakhverdiyev, Germany’s Delil Dadaev, Ukraine’s Denys Salabay and Finland’s Nikita Nystedt are further top boxers from the European continent.

Men’s 91kg (24 boxers):

Russia’s Ramazan Dadaev has been competing at international events since 2016 and following his loss in the last European youth final, he decided to move up to the heavyweight (91kg). Ukraine’s Mykyta Gorbatenko is the defending EUBC European Youth Champion and he could be a powerful rival for Dadaev as well as Uzbekistan’s Amirshokh Samadov and Kazakhstan’s Madi Amirov.

India’s Vishal Gupta competed several times at the European continent and returned to the international competitions. North Macedonia’s sensation Ardijan Azemi, Germany’s Michel Dobler and Poland’s Jakub Straszewski are all aiming for a medal in Kielce. Cuba’s Jorge Luis Felimon will make his international debut at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.

Men’s +91kg (18 boxers):

Uzbekistan’s Jakhongir Zokirov’s father Lazizbek was a national team member in the 1990, his son continues the family traditions at the super heavyweight (+91kg). He is ASBC Asian Junior Champion and already claimed a valuable silver medal at the Uzbekistan Elite National Championships.

The Uzbek boxer has two experienced rivals as Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Youth Champion Amanat Sabyrgali and Russia’s Ivan Onishchenko. All of the three gold medal contenders are in the bottom part of the draw while Cuba’s Fernando Arzola is in the upper section of the weight class.

Hungary’s EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Levente Kiss opens his campaign against a tough rival, India’s Jugnoo. Ukraine’s Vasyl Tkachuk, Armenia’s Hovhannes Papazyan and Croatia’s Josip Coric are medal hopes in this weight category.

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