The second part of the Round of 16 contests delighted the crowd in the eighth session of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul. Canada’s Tamara Thibeault had a unique re-match against her neighbor, Naomi Graham and she defeated the US boxer once again.
The winners in the minimumweight (48kg), featherweight (57kg) and middleweight (75kg) advanced to the quarter-finals today.
Resztan is the first quarter-finalist in the minimumweight
England’s Demie-Jade Resztan and Japan’s Madoka Wada both won their first contests at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships during the first preliminary round. The Japanese boxer was not confident enough in her debut bout at the competition but she looked better in this second contest against a top rival. Wada, who earned two bronze medals at the Women’s World Boxing Championships, used her footwork better than previously. However, Resztan landed more punches. The English boxer felt comfortable in the middle of the ring and she had the strong will to beat her experienced Japanese opponent. The EUBC European Championships silver medallist from England won their Round of 16 contest becoming the first boxer in the minimumweight (48kg) who advanced to the quarter-finals.
“I have never boxed with my Japanese opponent. In the recent two years, I had less chance to compete due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I did not analyse my rival, but my coaches told me to use double attacks against her,” added Resztan after the contest.
Sevda Asenova won her second contest in Istanbul
Bulgaria’s veteran Sevda Asenova joined the national team fifteen years ago and she is still in shape at the age of 37. The Bulgarian was able to keep her weight in the previous years and she competes in the minimumweight (48kg) in Istanbul. Asenova eliminated her first rival in one of the earliest sessions and she was motivated against Poland’s Natalia Rok who moved down to this category. The Bulgarian was faster than her 10-year-younger Polish rival, she gained the advantage on the scorecards after three minutes. Rok changed her tempo at the beginning of the second round but Asenova was smart enough to win this preliminary contest by split decision.
“I am very pleased with this victory today. The bout was not so easy at all. My opponent is a high-level boxer. I showed that I am better and I am glad that I moved forward to the next round. I need only one more step to get a medal and I hope I can do it better in the quarter-finals,” commented Sevda Asenova, Bulgaria’s most experienced national team member.
Nitu was more confident in her second contest
India’s Nitu Ghanghas and Spain’s Marta Lopez Del Arbol both were born in 2000. The young boxers are members of the next generation. Both joined their elite national team in 2019 but they have different backgrounds and achievements. The two-time Youth World Champion Nitu won the top international tournament this year, the Strandja Memorial Tournament. She was named the main favorite of the minimumweight (48kg). The Indian southpaw danced in the ring and found the best angles to catch the Spanish opponent in the second round. Nitu was patient and waited for the mistakes of the rival, she used them effectively in the first and second rounds.
“We analysed the Spanish opponent and we prepared against her good tactics which I followed in all of the three rounds. This contest was different than my first one, I was confident and much better today. I will do my best in the next quarter-final round to get the medal in Istanbul,” said India’s promising star Nitu.
Italy’s Irma Testa had a third tough contest
Italy’s star Irma Testa had to compete in Round of 64 due to the high number of participants in the featherweight (57kg). The European Champion had a moderate performance against Mali’s Marine Fatoumata Camara at first but she showed much better footwork during her second appearance in the ring. Testa’s third opponent was Poland’s veteran Sandra Kruk who achieved a silver medal at the 2012 Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Polish girl is famous for her attacking style and Kruk worked hard to catch the taller Testa in their high-rhythm bout. The 25-year-old Italian tried to keep her distance and use her best skills to work from a long distance. However, it was not an easy task against the energetic Polish. Kruk’s coaches built up a good strategy but Testa had the right response today and won the bout unanimously.
“It was not an easy contest as three minutes are long time to move back constantly and I am just learning how to box effectifely from a shortened distance. We are trying to improve my first rounds too and I believe they are now better. My Polish opponent has never stopped attacking and made my day complicated,” said Testa after her third success.
Jucielen Romeu eliminated another South American boxer
Colombia’s Yeni Marcela Arias and Brazil’s Jucielen Romeu were favorites at the AMBC American Elite Boxing Championships but failed to get any medals in Guayaquil. The Brazilian girl had a strong preparation for the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and coach Mateus Alves prepared strong strategy against the Colombian. The Cologne Boxing World Cup winner Brazilian started the bout better and she kept her distance well in the second round too. Romeu used her longer hands well in the opening two rounds but she moved not much in the third against the attacking Colombian. Arias gave everything in the final round but she was not able to turn back this hectic bout today. Romeu will be meeting in the quarter-finals with Chinese Taipei’s World Champion Lin Yu-Ting who eliminated a tough South Korean, Im Ae Ji today.
“I could not follow well the strategy which we discussed with coaches but my performance was enough to win this difficult contest. It is always hard to fight against Arias and I should use my footwork better in the next round. I am in the quarter-final but I know the next contest will be very tough,” added Jucielen Romeu.
Canada’s Tamara Thibeault defeated her US opponent on their re-match
Canada’s Tamara Thibeault and the USA Naomi Graham are old friends at the international events, the two middleweight (75kg) stars met each other several times between 2017 and 2022. Thibeault won their last contest at the AMBC American Boxing Championships in Guayaquil where she earned the title. The taller Canadian kept the best distance in the first round against the veteran USA boxer and took the lead on all of the judges’ scorecards. The USA head coach Billy Walsh asked Graham to be more active and aggressive in the second round which paid off as she equalized the result in the second round. The third one should decide the winner of this tough bout and Thibeault worked well enough to beat her USA rival once again in a unique re-match. The Canadian boxer will meet for the guaranteed medal with Australia’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Caitlin Parker.
“We met so many times with Graham and know each other well. I am happy that I could beat her again but this was not my best performance. I will do better in the quarter-finals and I want to win the entire Championships,” said Thibeault.