The last day of the preliminaries took place at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia today. Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Ireland, England and Serbia are the most successful nations after the preliminaries of the championship.
Boxers at the light welterweight (63.5kg), welterweight (67kg), light middleweight (71kg), heavyweight (92kg) and super heavyweight (+92kg) competed in the fourth day of boxing. The remaining 104 boxers have the chance to get a medal in the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships.
Altogether 219 boxers from 39 nations are fighting for the 52 available medals in the Armenian capital. The EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships holds at the 13 official weight categories: 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63.5kg, 67kg, 71kg, 75kg, 80kg, 86kg, 92kg and +92kg. Mr. Adam Kusior of Poland is the Technical Delegate of the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan.
The EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships will continue with the anticipated quarter-finals in Yerevan, Armenia on Friday.
The bout of the day
Spain’s Ayoub Ghadfa Drissi El-Aissaoui and France’s Djamili Dini Aboudou Moindze knew each other well from training camps and preparation tournament. The smaller French achieved a bronze medal at the 2017 EUBC European Elite Boxing Championships but he had hard tactical job against the taller Spaniard. Ghadfa was invited to the national team in 2018 and used the recent four years to increase his international routine. The Spanish was not only taller but he looked physically stronger and his athletic skills guaranteed his advantage after three minutes. The French was aggressive in the second round but the Spanish landed the stronger punched in the third and bowed out Aboudou Moindze.
The surprise of the day
Norway’s Omar Mohamed Shiha won their recent editions of the National Championships at the super heavyweight (+92kg) but he is not enough experienced in the international stage yet. Shiha surprised Ukraine’s EUBC European U22 Champion Dmytro Lovchinskyi in the first round with his effective shots and the judges favoured him after three minutes. The Egyptian-descent Shiha landed several uppercuts and his jabs reached the target in all of the three rounds. The Ukrainian was too static in this contest and Shiha’s speed and timing decided their contest in the afternoon session. Following Mindaugas Gedminas’ surprise at the middleweight (75kg), Shiha continued Norway’s winning path in Yerevan.
Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov is two-time titleholder in the EUBC European Boxing Championships and he is the best hope for the host nation. The Armenian has already signed his professional career but he returned to the championship to earn his third gold medal. The 30-year-old boxer caught England’s promising Joseph Tyers with tough shots in the first round and he moved forward without any stoppage. Bachkov was stronger and his body shots stopped the quick English in the second round and his in-fighting style of boxing paid off in the middle part of the bout. The Armenian Seed No.1 had the stamina and strong physical condition to beat the younger English talent in Yerevan.
Ukraine’s Yaroslav Khartsyz is one of the favourites at the light welterweight (63.5kg) who has five years of international experience and competed in all levels of boxing. The Ukrainian moved forward more in comparison to his previous contests and tried to keep the control against Serbia’s ex-Russian Pavel Fedorov. Khartsyz landed better hooks and overcame the Serbian in most of the attacks therefore he had the advantage after three minutes. The Serbia ringside changed Fedorov’s strategy but Khartsyz had the experience to adopt this level and the Ukrainian marched to the last eight at the light welterweight (63.5kg).
Hungary’s Richard Kovacs was quarter-finalist at the 2017 Kharkiv EUBC European Boxing Championships and after many years of experiences, he is ready to earn his first medal in Yerevan. The 24-year-old Hungarian faced Moldova’s teenage hope Stefan Vozneacovschii and dominated the first round with his stronger shots. The Moldovan southpaw tried to avoid the Hungarian punches but Kovacs caught him with a powerful combination and the referee counted Vozneacovschii. The Bocskai Memorial Tournament winner landed clear shots in the second round and he was almost untouchable for the Moldovan teenager. Kovacs showed excellent performance today and he saved fuel for the quarter-final against Israel’s Ahmad Shtiwi.
Georgia’s Lasha Guruli moved up to the new welterweight (67kg) last years and immediately earned a bronze medal at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade. The tall Georgian is the Seed No.1 in this weight category in Yerevan and he opened the first round with confident style of boxing against Hungary’s Milan Fodor. The Georgian landed more shots in the first and second periods keeping the Hungarian on long in this Round of 16 bout. Fodor moved forward more in the third round and he tried to reduce the distance but Guruli was too quick for today and eliminated the Hungarian. Another experienced boxer in this weight class, Poland’s Damian Durkacz controlled his contest over Italy’s Giacomo Micheli.
Turkey’s Tugrulhan Erdemir achieved gold medals at the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and at the 2017 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships. Following his impressive successes, he was not able to achieve top results in the elite age group yet but he received the right to participate in Yerevan. The Turkish southpaw was not enough active in the first round against Moldova’s Alexandru Paraschiv who moved forward and he used his pressure to catch Erdemir. The Moldovan had enough advantage after two rounds to save his power to the next actions and despite of Erdemir’s great final minutes, Paraschiv marched to the quarter-finals.
The Welsh boxers impressed in the recent four years especially the Croft brothers and Taylor Bevan. The young talents are attending at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan and all of them are in shape. Ioan Croft is a strong medal hope at the welterweight (67kg) who kept the long distance against Netherlands’ Delano James in the first and second rounds effectively. Croft had better technical skills than the attacking Dutch boxer and the young Welshman advanced to the quarter-finals in Armenia eliminating James unanimously.
Armenia’s Gurgen Madoyan won his Round of 16 contest by RSC at the welterweight (67kg) and his teammate, Davit Chaloyan was planning to win his opening bout in the same way. The AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist local star had tough jabs in the first round and he looked stronger and more focused than Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Juraj Soldo. Chaloyan landed shots from all of the ranges and he had the clear dominance in the first and second rounds. The Bosnian & Herzegovian newcomer received strong punches but he had to stamina to survive until the very end of this bout. Seed No.1 Chaloyan won their preliminary bout by unanimous decision and made a good warm-up for the later actions.
Germany’s Nelvie Tiafack achieved a bronze medal at the 2019 European Games and he is one of the best hopes of his nation in Yerevan. The powerful German controlled the first round against Serbia’s ex-Russian Sergej Kalcugin who has nearly two decades of experience in our sport. The 23-year-old German’s coach Mr. Lukas Wilaschek was silver medallist at the 2002 European Boxing Championships but Tiafack’s goal is to reach the top of the podium. Cologne’s pride landed tough hooks in the second round and his speed was decisive today against the Serbian veteran.
Spain’s Youba Ndiaye Sissokho is already 31 but he is still highly motivated to achieve strong results in the international stage. The Spanish light middleweight (71kg) boxer was a hard target in the first round for Moldova’s Davron Bozorov and he looked focused in this contest. Sissokho was taller and stronger than his Moldovan opponent but Bozorov had a better second period therefore the final verdict depended on their performance in the third. The Spanish boxer stepped into the gas, his speed increase decided their contest today and Sissokho is quarter-finalist in this strong weight category.
Albania’s light middleweight (71kg) boxer, Alban Beqiri caused a big sensation at the 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships last November when he earned his nation’s historic bronze medal. The Albanian was the Seed No.2 in this weight class but he had a super talented opponent on Day4, Wales’ Garan Croft, the silver medallist from the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. The Welsh boxer was smarter in the first round than the attacking Albanian and took the lead on the scorecards. Croft used his long distance well in all of the three rounds today and eliminated one of the favourites of the category.
Italy’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine is one of the stars of the heavyweight (92kg) who demonstrated his speed against France’s Soheb Bouafia in the first round. Mouhiidine enjoyed the second when he danced through the ring and his counter-punches reached the target all the time. The 24-year-old Italian southpaw waited for the attacks of the French boxer and used his opponent’s faults to land shots in their Round of 16 bout. The speedy Mouhiidine was in different level today and secured his place in the quarter-finals winning the bout unanimously. Another favourite in this tough weight category, Armenia’s Narek Manasyan stopped Slovakia’s David Michalek.
The quotes of the day
“The first round was the best for me today against a very tough opponent and the judges favoured me after three minutes. It was not so easy to keep the right distance today but I succeeded and defeated a good boxer,” added Ukraine’s Yaroslav Khartsyz.
“I had to wait for four days to start my campaign at the European Boxing Championships so I was excited. I felt from the first seconds that my strategy works and after two rounds I did not make any risks in this bout. I am looking forward my quarter-final, I am fresh and ready for that contest,” said Hungary’s Richard Kovacs after his first bout in Yerevan.
“I knew my Dutch opponent well and I think this was a good performance today. It looked might be easier from outside but he was tough and I had to do my best to win this contest. We prepared for a long championship therefore I am fresh and at the evening we will work on the strategy for tomorrow,” said Wales Ioan Croft.
“We are good friends with Aboudou Moindze, spent lot of time together but this is boxing and we are opponents in the ring. The first round was good enough today and I surprised a bit that I lost the second but I found my speed in the third and won this contest. I am not afraid to anyone and I have big goal in this championship,” said Spain’s Ayoub Ghadfa Drissi El-Aissaoui.
“I was expecting that I could win over the European U22 Champion today and I am fully focused on this championship to beat my opponents. I was born in Egypt but represents Norway since 2018 and I am proud of my efforts and today’s success against the tough Ukrainian,” added Norway’s Omar Mohamed Shiha after his surprise success.
“It was better performance than my first contest at the European Boxing Championships. I defeated the World Championships bronze medallist today and only one more step ahead for the medal in Yerevan,” said Wales’ Garan Croft.
“My full respect to my French opponent, Soheb Bouafia, he is strong, experienced and a dangerous opponent. I had the full concentration in the first round and from the second I used a Cuban style of boxing. I had the speed advantage today and opened the championship with a good fight,” added Italy’s outstanding Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine.