In total, 29 bouts were on the program on the second session at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade. The winners of the flyweight (51kg), light welterweight (63.5kg) and light heavyweight (80kg) advanced to 1/16 finals. The Croatians opened their campaigns at the event strongly, both of their winners, Mateo Komadina and Luka Plantic proved their skills in their first fights.
Roscoe Hill delivered the third-in-a-row US success in Belgrade
The United States accomplished two successful performances on the first day of boxing in Belgrade. The US team contains of new boxers who competed mostly in national events in the recent years but all of them have the potential to be future champions. Following the positive start, their flyweight (51kg) boxer, Roscoe Hill continued their winning path today. The US athlete started slowly, he used classic style of boxing against his Dominican opponent, Mario Lavegar who is well-known on the international stage. Despite the lack of international experience, Hill landed stronger punches and following the second standing count, the Slovakian referee stopped the bout.
“It was a fantastic feeling to make a debut at the AIBA World Boxing Championships, this is the biggest event in my life. I believe the speed was the difference between me and my Dominican opponent. I attacked fast but I did not expect to win by RSC today and now I am focusing to the next step,” the boxer commented his success.
Hungary’s Attila Bernath won his tight opening bout
21-year-old Hungarian Attila Bernath competed in several U22 and elite competitions in the recent two and half years and arrived to Belgrade after five-weeks long preparations. The Hungarian landed strong uppercuts in the first round and took the lead on four scorecards against the Irish talent. The Hungarian, who trains and lives in the historical city of Debrecen, used his power well enough and eliminated his Irish opponent in a manly fight.
“It is amazing feeling to win. I tried my best in the first round to land as many punches as possible but my Irish opponent was tough, he is a good fighter. I felt in the third round that I am better at longer and closer distances so I am happy that I won my opening contest in Belgrade,” said Attila Bernath after the bout.
Serbia’s first boxer, Pavel Fedorov thrilled the local fans
The 25-year-old boxer Pavel Fedorov had a first opponent, Germany’s David Gkevorgkian who joined the elite national team only this year. The Serbian tried to find the best attacking angles but his German rival had good defensive skills and his height advantage made Fedorov difficulty in the first round. However, the local boxer was more experienced and he was able to handle the tactical issues in the opening minutes and increased his tempo in the second. Following the standing count, Fedorov was confident and eliminated his talented German rival delighting the Štark Arena.
Cuba’s Andy Cruz made a good start
Andy Cruz is Cuba’s amazing boxer who joined the elite national team in 2014, and since the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships, he is undefeated at all levels of boxing. The two-time AIBA World Champion Cuban star met with an opponent from Panama Jonathan Miniel in the first preliminary round of the light welterweight (63.5kg). The Cuban dictated the rhythm and he moved ahead more in comparison to his previous contests against the Central American. Cruz controlled all of the three rounds and marched into the 1/16 final. To win the Championships he must win six contests in Belgrade.
“I like the atmosphere of the AIBA World Boxing Championships and the start is always difficult. I have to warm-up and I hope I will do better in the next fight. I tried to use my own game and follow the strategy and I concentrate on the next step. Even though it was my first fight, it was quite acceptable and I think that as competition goes I will improve step by step.
Andy Cruz Gomez (CUB)
India’s Shiva Thapa returns with amazing performance
India’s Shiva Thapa claimed bronze medal at the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships and he earned five-in-a-row medals in the history of the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships. Following these experiences, the 28-year-old boxer is highly confident. On the second competitions day, he met with Kenya’s Victor Nyadera in the first preliminary round and gained control immediately. Thapa was energetic until the final gong and he delivered the same strong performance as in his golden years.
“It was a strong performance today and an excellent opening at the AIBA World Boxing Championships. I felt I am better in all of the aspects. I am confident and I want to become a world champion for the first time, this is my mission here”.
Shiva Thapa (IND)
Croatia won two important contests in the afternoon session
Croatia’s Mateo Komadina returned to the national team after three years of break and the 28-year-old boxer met with South Korea’s Lee Jong Seung in his first fight. His Asian opponent started better but Komadina knocked down Lee in the end of the first round which determined the later exchanges in their light welterweight (63.5kg) contest. Komadina did an impressive comeback defeating his veteran South Korean opponent. His teammate, EUBC European Youth Champion Luka Plantic defeated his Slovenian opponent Gregor Starasinic in the first round of the light heavyweight (80kg) fight.
“I spent the whole September doing intense physical trainings and after that I did 20 days of sparring to prepare well to the World Championships. I dominated the first and second rounds, it was a good start in Belgrade. I won several medals as a youth seven years ago and now it is time to get a title among the elite boxers.”
Luka Plantic (CRO)