The 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships opened with 12 contests today that were held in the evening session in Istanbul. Boxers in the bantamweight (54kg), featherweight (57kg), light welterweight (63kg), and light middleweight (70kg) competed on the first day of boxing.
The first winner of the entire Championships was Dominican Republic’s Estefani Almanzar who stopped her South African opponent Lethokuhle Sibisi. Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu-Ting and India’s Lovlina Borgohain won the most anticipated contests of the first session and eliminated star rivals.
Estefani Almanzar was the first winner of the entire event
Dominican Republic’s Estefani Almanzar claimed a bronze medal at the 2015 AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships and became part of the elite national team immediately after that success. The 25-year-old Dominican is now an experienced boxer. She used her best distance in the first round against Sibisi. South Africa did not attend the recent big championships but they sent a big delegation to Istanbul. Almanzar caught her South African opponent with excellent left hooks in the second round and the Dominican boxer became the winner of the very first bout.
Irma Testa had a narrow opening success
The Vice-Chairwoman of the IBA Athletes Committee Irma Testa from Italy is one of the favorites in the featherweight (57kg) who returned to the international events this April after a short break. She had to meet in the first fight with Mali’s Marine Fatoumata Camara who lives and trains in France. The Italian used her longer distance in the first round against the well-prepared Camara who looked more competitive than was expected. Testa increased her tempo at the beginning of the second round and she had control of this contest in the final minutes.
“The first bout is always very difficult at any competition and I did not feel my speed in the opening round of this contest. This is a long championships, therefore, I had to keep myself fit until the very end but step by step I will be better and better,” Testa said.
Claudia Nechita defeated her Hungarian opponent once again
Claudia Nechita from Romanua reached excellent results in the recent years winning several international tournaments. The Romanian featherweight (57kg) boxer used her aggressive style against Hungary’s Szabina Szucs in the first round but received jabs from her opponent. Nechita defeated her Hungarian opponent two times in the recent two years but Szucs was more prepared this time and used a different strategy. The Hungarian moved ahead more in the third round and tried to find the best angles in their re-match. The Romanian boxer received a warning in the final minute and Szucs gave in everything but Nechita was slightly better in the exchanges to win this contest by a split decision.
Lin Yu-Ting eliminated a super talented French youngster
Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu-Ting is another gold medal contender next to Testa in the featherweight (57kg) and she had to box in 1/16 final in Istanbul today. She won the title of the Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi four years ago and returned to international competitions after 10 months break. She used her height advantage in the first round against France’s Sthelyne Grosy who achieved a silver medal at the Kielce 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. Lin received a strong punch from the French side in the first minute but after that, she found her rhythm. 20-years-old Grosy was very competitive despite her young age, she developed in strength and technical skills rapidly to make some surprise combinations in their preliminary bout. Lin moved forward more and at the end her level of experienced was decisive in their contest.
“It was my first international contest after long time and I did not feel the distance well in the first round. To be honest, my young French rival was excellent today and she is a great prospect who need to be watched. From the second round, I was better but this is not my best performance yet,” said World Champion Lin Yu-Ting following her debuting bout.
Morelle McCane turned back her contest
United States arrived with the eight-strong team at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and their first boxer in action was Morelle McCane who moved down from the middleweight (75kg) to the new light middleweight (70kg) category. The US girl received the right for the very first time to compete in a big championships but she had a hard tactical job against Germany’s tall Leonie Mueller. The 23-year-old German had excellent strategy in the first round but her opponent increased the rhythm in the second. McCane caught the younger Mueller in the second round and she was able to turn back their close contest in Istanbul.
“It is a great feeling to win the first contest at these wonderful Championships. I believe the light middleweight is better for me, I am faster and felt better today. I am looking forward to my next bout in Istanbul,” said McCane after her first success.
India’s Borgohain defeated Chen once again on their re-match
India’s Lovlina Borgohain defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien Chin in their last big championships and the two stars had to meet each other already in the first preliminary round of the light middleweight (70kg). Chen, who claimed the gold medal at the 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, won the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament last month, and she seemed to be in a top shape in the first round. The Indian enjoyed her comeback to the events and she delivered her very best in this final-level contest which was one of the most anticipated meetings of the first session. Borgohain had reach, while Chen moved a lot on feet to land her multiple punches in their amazing contest. The Indian was slightly better in the decisive third round and won this contest by split decision once again.
“I did not have any competition since last August and I did better than I expected today. I am focused on my next contest but it was a great start against one of the stars in my weight class,” commented her triumph Borgohain.