The second part of the exciting quarter-finals delivered emotional moments at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships today evening. Spain, Uzbekistan and Kosovo won historical first-ever medals in the event’s history while Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira and Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli are on the way to defend their titles.
The winners of the light flyweight (50kg), bantamweight (54kg), lightweight (60kg), welterweight (66kg), middleweight (75kg) and heavyweight (+81kg) all advanced to the semi-finals and earned medals in Istanbul.
Cakiroglu and Valencia are in the semi-finals of the light flyweight
Turkey’s Busenaz Cakiroglu achieved a silver medal in the last edition of the Women’s World Boxing Championships. She has a clear mission aiming for the title in front of a home crowd. The Turkish girl met the Philippines’ prospect Aira Villegas who has a similar boxing style, she works from a long distance as Cakiroglu. Both boxers were waiting for the best attacking moments and Cakiroglu moved forward more than in her previous contests. Villegas progressed this year rapidly and she was competitive for the Turkish girl who received strong support from the local fans. Cakiroglu was a hard target in the third round when she performed over her previous level and celebrated her well-deserved success over a technician rival. Next to Cakiroglu’s success, another favorite, Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia also marched to the semi-finals of the light flyweight (50kg).
“I liked this contest so much, it was fantastic and I respect my opponent. I am in the semi-finals but I still have two further contests to accomplish my goal,” said Cakiroglu.
Historical medals for Spain and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Aziza Yokubova is an experienced boxer on the international stage. She eliminated favorite USA rival in the first preliminary round of the light flyweight (50kg) and she opened her quarter-final bout better than Italy’s Giordana Sorrentino. Her opponent started the second round with some impressive punches but Yokubova had the technical skills to win a historical medal for Uzbekistan. Spain’s Laura Fuertes had a historical result with her place in the quarter-finals but she was still hungry for further success. The 23-year-old Spanish controlled all of the three rounds against Argentina’s Milagros Tatiana Flores and marched to the last four.
“I have never expected that I could win a medal at the World Championships, I just worked hard during my trainings to do my best in Istanbul. After the second round I felt that I am better today and my coach Rafa also told me to continue in this way in the third. It is hard to believe that I am a semi-finalist at the Championships,” said Fuertes.
Perijoc overturned her quarter-final
Romania’s Lacramioara Perijoc eliminated the two main gold medal favorites in the preliminary stages including the defending champion, Huang Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei. The Romanian was a favorite against Dominican Republic’s Estefani Almanzar but the Caribbean boxer had a fantastic tempo in the first round. Perijoc had to improve in the second round and she could adapt to it and increased the rhythm of their bantamweight (54kg) semi-final. The EUBC European Champion Perijoc had a brilliant performance in the third round, the referee counted her opponent and after this great comeback, she was able to overturn this quarter-final taking a medal for Romania.
Donjeta Sadiku made Kosovo proud
Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu-Ting still has the chance to win her second gold medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championships after her success in 2018. Following her performans, her younger teammate Wu Shih Yi tried to follow her path but she was too nervous in the first round against Kosovo’s No.1, Donjeta Sadiku. Wu Shih Yi had more initiative in the second round and landed stronger jabs coming back to the contest with better performance. The Kosovan lightweight (60kg) boxer is not an easy rival for the stars as she has powerful punches and never gives up in any of her contests. Sadiku put her rival under pressure in the third round and following her combinations the referee counted the boxer from Chinese Taipei. Sadiku earned a medal at the 2015 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships but this is her first competition among the elite boxers and a historical one for Kosovo.
“This was what we have prepared for in recent years, to get a medal in such a big event as the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. This is more than an emotional moment for me, the success of my hard work and I am looking forward to my semi-finals,” said Sadiku, Kosovo’s first elite medallist.
Surmeneli stopped her Uzbek rival in the quarter-finals
Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli is one of the biggest stars of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, she was ready to win her quarter-final in the welterweight (66kg). Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira eliminated Serbia’s ex-Russian boxer, Natalia Shadrina in the quarter-finals of the lightweight (60kg) and Surmeneli was planning to meet with the South American on the road to defend her title. Surmeneli landed stronger punches but she received some back from Khamidova in the first round. Uzbekistan boxrt proved at the beginning of the second round that she is also a strong fighter and landed several hooks. The Turkish boxer moved forward and was unstoppable and the Argentinean referee counted the Uzbek after a heavy blow. Surmeneli finished the second round with a strong right-handed hook and she decided the bout in the third, winning by RSC.
“This is a dream for me, I can box in my home country and the fans supported me a lot today. There was only small difference between me and my rival today but I was confident and I want to win the whole Championships,” commented Surmeneli.
Strong performance for Canada in the evening session
Canada’s Charlie Cavanagh won unexpected gold medal at the 2018 AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships in Budapest. Following that, she gradually progressed and after several training camps and smaller events she had the chance to show her skills in Istanbul. Cavanagh was better in all aspects than Cape Verde’s Ivanusa Gomes Moreira and won their quarter-final in the welterweight (66kg) unanimously. Her teammate, Tamara Thibeault is not only the champion in the American continent in the middleweight (75kg) but one of the favorites in Istanbul. The 26-year-old Thibeault used her height advantage against Australia’s Caitlin Parker and claimed the second medal for Canada.
“I was more confident than in my previous contest and I knew my Australian opponent from the past, we met previously. I am so proud of my team, my coaches, they worked hard with me to achieve this in Istanbul,” said Thibeault.