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Albania, Finland and Iran delegate boxers to the quarter-finals at AIBA World Boxing Championships

The winners of the lightweight (60kg), light middleweight (71kg) and heavyweight (92kg) contests during the evening session of the 7th competition day advanced to the quarter-finals at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade. Next to the top boxing countries, Iran, Albania and Finland also won tough contests today and their boxers will compete for the guaranteed medals on Tuesday.

France’s No.1 Sofiane Oumiha is better by round by round

Sofiane Oumiha from France achieved a bronze medal at the 2012 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and became the best boxer of his national team in recent years. The French team captain won the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships and arrived in Belgrade with great expectations. Oumiha had a tough opening round against Armenia’s 29-year-old Karen Tonakanyan who won several international events in various countries. The French found his best rhythm in the second round and he was able to eliminate a tough European rival in the lightweight (60kg).

“I am going ahead step by step at this AIBA World Boxing Championships and I believe my performance is better and better in Belgrade. I knew my Armenian opponent, he is very experienced but I did not prepare directly for him, I used my own strategy and plan to win the bout.”

Sofiane Oumiha (FRA)

Vsevolod Shumkov eliminated Hayato Tsutsumi in a top contest

Japan’s AIBA Youth World Champion and two-time ASBC Asian Youth Champion Hayato Tsutsumi eliminated Cuba’s three-time champion, Lazaro Alvarez, in the first preliminary round and he is in fantastic shape. For the quarter-final, he had to meet with the RBF Team’s EUBC European Youth Champion Vsevolod Shumkov who is their new National Champion in the lightweight (60kg). Tsutsumi landed the first hooks in their contest but Shumkov also adopted the rhythm and moved forward in the opening three minutes. The Japanese boxer counter-attacked Shumkov in the second round, therefore, their final-level bout was still open before the third round. The 22-year-old Tsutsumi opened the third round with an impressive left-handed hook but both boxers amazed the fans with their high speed. Their contest was a fantastic promotion of our sport which was won by the younger Russian.

Uzbekistan’s Abdumalik Khalokov progressed to the last eight

Uzbekistan’s AIBA Youth World Champion Abdumalik Khalokov is their top talent who arrived at the event for no less than the gold medal. The 21-year-old Uzbek met with Slovenia’s Tadej Cernoga who have already won two contests at the AIBA World Boxing Championships which is his best ever performance which exceeded all expectations. Khalokov used his best strategy and overcame the Slovenian in the attacks and controlled their contest. The Slovenian’s foot was injured in the final minute but he was able to survive this bout and fought until the last gong with serious pain. Khalokov also respected the efforts of the Slovenian boxer in their fair play game but now the Uzbek can prepare for the important quarter-final in Belgrade.

“I am in a good mood, I consider all of the contests as a test of myself. I have seriously prepared for this World Championships, my coach and my father played the biggest role in my top shape in Belgrade. Following my today’s success, I will meet with a Russian talent whom I defeated earlier but we will study his development and choose the right tactic against him.”

Abdumalik Khalokov (UZB)

Iran’s Daniyal Shakhbakhsh amazed the experts once again

Iran’s Daniyal Shakhbakhsh broke in the world of boxing in 2018 when he reached the quarter-finals at two major youth competitions in Bangkok and in Budapest. The Iranian lightweight (60kg) boxer was soon involved in the elite national team and he claimed a silver medal at the Dubai 2021 ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships which is his career highlight until today. Shakhbakhsh used his counter-attacking tactic against Kyrgyzstan’s Munarbek Seyitbek Uulu and worked from a longer range from the first seconds. Shakhbakhsh used a tricky style of boxing which means he needs only one further step to win Iran’s first-ever medal at the AIBA World Boxing Championships.

“I trained so hard in the recent months after the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships to be in shape in Belgrade. I surprised about the strength of my Kyrgyz opponent but I tried to avoid his punches with footwork. My coaches supported me during the breaks and I used various techniques to stop my opponent. This is a World Championships, there are not any weak opponents so I have to careful with everyone. Our team train together, we are friends and I hope we can be medalists at the Championships.”

Daniyal Shakhbakhsh (IRI)

Promising Finland and Albania have quarter-finalists in Belgrade

Finland’s Arslan Khataev achieved a silver medal at the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships six years ago and he is the most experienced boxer in their current national team. The 23-year-old Finnish used three different styles of boxing in his three contests and all of them were the perfect option for him. Khataev, who was born in Grozny, overcame Azerbaijan’s Tayfur Aliyev in the attacks and became a quarter-finalist, the first from Finland since Joni Turunen’s performance at the Belfast 2001 AIBA World Boxing Championships. Their previous star, Turunen supported Arslan in the ringside as a coach today.

“The feeling is fantastic, I am in the quarter-final now. This is my best performance at the AIBA World Boxing Championships. I attacked more today which was part of our tactical preparation and I used my jabs and back foot to land shots. I will do my very best in the next bout to get a medal.”

Arslan Khataev (FIN)

Albanian boxer Alban Beqiri proved that his coutry’s sport is developing, and following his strong preliminary victories, he reached the quarter-finals of the light middleweight (71kg) in Belgrade. He controlled the bout against Panama’s Eduardo Beckford in the first round and he could keep it until the final gong.

Magomedov, Mouhiidine and La Cruz won their key contests in the heavyweight

Serbia’s ex-Russian boxer Sadam Magomedov competed in several top international events between 2014 and 2017 but the 29-year-old heavyweight (92kg) boxer returned in top shape. Magomedov demonstrated his power immediately in the first round against Bosnia & Herzegovina’s veteran Dzemal Bosnjak. The referee counted the Bosnian two times but he was able to fight against Magomedov until the end of the final minute. The Serbian will be meeting for the guaranteed medal with Cuba’s four-times AIBA World Champion Julio La Cruz who bowed out Iran’s Toufan Sharifi.

Another tough heavyweight (92kg) boxer Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine is only 23 but he is a well-known participant in all of the big events since 2016. The Italian had a strong rival in the last 16 but he managed to win his contest against Ecuador’s Julio Castillo Torres who claimed silver at the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships.

“I won three big events in 2018 but I feel I found my way back to the glories and I believe I can reach something big here in Belgrade. My today’s Ecuadorian opponent was quick but my legs are even stronger than ever and I could win this bout using my speed.”

Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine (ITA)

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