The 1/16 final bouts were the target for all of the boxers in the afternoon session of the Day 4 at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia and Romania’s Lacramioara Perijoc eliminated strong favorites in their weight categories, while Chile could be proud of Valentina Bustamante.
Boxers in the light flyweight (50kg), bantamweight (54kg), lightweight (60kg) and welterweight (66kg) competed in this fifth session.
Ingrit Valencia won the final-level fight of the light flyweight
Kazakhstan’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Nazym Kyzaibay returned to the light flyweight (50kg), her glorious category, and won the Strandja Memorial Tournament this February. The Kazakh talent had a tough draw as she had to meet with Colombia’s No.1, Ingrit Valencia who is the best in their weight class in the American continent for many years. The Colombian southpaw took the lead on the scorecards after three minutes, therefore, the Kazakh ringside had to change their strategy. Kyzaibay moved forward in the second round but stepped into Valencia’s best fighting range several times and the Colombian counter-attacked her effectively. The Kazakh was active in the second part of this period and remained her chance to win alive in this difficult preliminary bout. The final verdict depended on their performance in the third round when Valencia landed the stronger punches which delivered a tight success for her.
“It was a fantastic contest, my Kazakh opponent was so fast and I had to be smart today. The third round was difficult for me but I tried to deliver as many strong punches as possible,” said Valencia.
Haqnazarova is Tajikistan’s second winner in Istanbul
Tajikistan sent a young team to the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Their biggest strength is in the ringside, their experienced coach Mr. Mirzo Shamsiev who built up strong boxing generations in the recent three and half decades. Shoira Zulkaynarova won their first contest at the World Championships in Istanbul and Ruhafzo Haqnazarova was ready to continue Tajikistan’s winning path. The young boxer controlled the first round against Bolivia’s Ayda Santalla and took the lead on the judges’ scorecards. Haqnazarova was smart in the exchanges and she landed her punches with perfect timing.
“I was trying to keep control in the first round and followed my coaches’ instruction. I knew that I had an advantage after two rounds, and I did not take any risks in the third one,” added Haqnazarova to her unanimous success.
Sirine Charaabi had harder contest than she expected
Italy’s Sirine Charaabi proved her impressive development at the 2021 EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships which she won in front of the homecrowd. Emanuele Renzini’s boxer spent the recent months in competitions including the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament and training camps. The 23-year-old Italian used her high tempo against South Korea’s Jin Hye Jeong who is a newcomer on the international stage. Both boxers knew each other from the last training camp in Assisi but this bout was not a sparring. Charaabi started better but the South Korean adopted the rhythm in the second round. Both had the chance to win the contest after six minutes of fight. The Italian bantamweight (54kg) boxer used all her experience to handle this situation and win the contest.
“This fight was much harder than I expected after the official draw. I knew my South Korean opponent from the Assisi training camp. I could beat her in the sparring sessions easily but it was different in the Championships. She was much better and I had to produce a top third round to beat her,” commented Charaabi.
AMBC Champion Scarlett Delgado had a strong opening bout in Istanbul
Canada’s Scarlett Delgado attended her first-ever international event, the AMBC American Elite Boxing Championships in Guayaquil, and earned an unexpected gold medal. The Canadian was selected to compete at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. In the first bout, she met with another newcomer, Australia’s Rachael Kavanagh. Delgado was quicker in the exchanges than her rival and used her right-handed hooks to catch Kavanagh in their bantamweight (54kg) meeting. The Canadian found the way for the success in the first round and she kept that strategy until the last bell. Kavanagh showed her best performance in the third round but Delgado was too strong for her today.
“This is my first World Championships, and I like the atmosphere of the event in Istanbul. I could follow most of my strategy which we discussed with my coaches, it was not perfect but enough to win today. I did not check my next opponent but whoever comes to me, I am ready to fight,” said Delgado.
Perijoc eliminated the defending champion of the bantamweight
Chinese Taipei’s Huang Hsiao-Wen arrived at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships as titleholder in the bantamweight (54kg). She competed only in one international competition in the last two years during the Covid-19 period. In the first bout, she met with Romania’s EUBC European Champion Lacramioara Perijoc who had plenty of bouts in the recent months and surprised Huang today. Huang moved forward a lot in the first round despite her height advantage which was perfect for the Romanian. Perijoc had a narrow advantage on the scorecards after three minutes. Huang returned to her best strategy but she was not effective today. Perijoc felt the big chance in the third round and her hard work was enough to beat the defending champion.
Strong session for Serbia with impressive triumphs
Serbia’s Jelena Zekic made one of the surprises of the afternoon session when she eliminated France’s silver medallist from the last Championships, Caroline Cruveillier. The best Serbian woman boxer Natalia Shadrina represented Russia in Ulan-Ude three years ago but switched to her new country in 2020. Shadrina and the three-time Asian Champion Oh Yeon Ji from South Korea made an excellent bout in the lightweight (60kg). The Korean boxer did not feel the distance in the first round and Shadrina had the experience to use her faults to take the lead on the scorecards. Both boxers were born in 1990 and had dozens of international contests but Oh Yeon Ji was not active in the recent two years which caused the difference between them today. Shadrina was strong and her pressure was a key to win in this the bout, so she advanced to the 1/8 final.
Bustamante writes history for Chile
Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson is 26 now, and she has 11 years of international boxing experience. The former Youth World Champion, lightweight (60kg) boxer had to meet with Chile’s, former Italian, Valentina Bustamante and used her best strategy against the strong rival. However, it was not effective in the first round. Alexiusson had speed and a good footwork to land effective counter-punches in the second round. Bustamante moved forward permanently as in all of her previous contests this year. Chile has never won any contests in the history of the Women’s World Boxing Championships but Bustamante made it happen in Istanbul today. Bustamante meets in the next round with Brazil’s defending champion Beatriz Ferreira who stopped her young Mongolian opponent today by RSC.
“I had the simple tactic for today, to move forward and put pressure on my Swedish opponent. It makes me proud that I am the first boxer from Chile who won a bout at this level and hopefully, it will inspire others to join and invest in women’s boxing in my country. I can meet in the next round with Beatriz Ferreira and this is so exciting, looking forward to it so much,” added Bustamante.