The Mediterranean Games is one of the highlights of the week parallel with some other important events such as the Bolivarian Games and the Elorda Cup. Algeria’s port, Oran, is host of the Mediterranean Games for the very first time and several European stars opened their campaigns successfully including Spain’s Gazimagomed Jalidov, Martin Molina, Serbia’s Omer Ametovic and Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli.
The Mediterranean Games is a multisport event which is held every four year and its last edition took place in Tarragona, Spain in 2018. The Opening Ceremony was held on June 25 and more than 3300 athletes from 26 nations are competing in the multisport event until July 6. Boxing is one of the official sports of the Mediterranean Games and the finals are scheduled to take place in Oran’s EMEC Hall on July 1.
Altogether 161 boxers registered to the Mediterranean Games and among them 145 arrived to the event. Such boxing powers as Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Serbia, Croatia, and Syria are also there in Oran with their strong teams. The male boxers can compete in ten weight categories in the Mediterranean Games and the girls are participating for six titles.
The bout of the day
Spain’s Gazimagomed Jalidov was the Seed No.1 at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia but he lost his preliminary bout to the eventual winner Serbian, Artjom Agejev. The Spaniard is one of the top boxers at the light heavyweight in Oran but he had to meet with Italy’s promising Alfred Commey in the first preliminary round. The 21-year-old Italian won the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships in Porec and achieved a silver at the EUBC Elite European Boxing Championships in Yerevan this year. Jalidov prepared well against his Italian opponent and followed the strategy which was built up by his coaches, Rafael Lozano and Ernesto Aroche. Commey is a super strong boxer and he landed powerful combinations but Jalidov was smarter in their meeting and eliminated the young Italian who suffered only his fourth loss during his entire career.
The surprise of the day
Serbia’s Omer Ametovic was medallist in the recent EUBC European U22 and Youth Boxing Championships but he had to meet Algeria’s Mohammed Yassine Touareg in the Round of 16 at the flyweight. The Algerian has eight years of international experience and plenty of medals from various events but the smaller Serbian used an aggressive strategy against him. Touareg was not able to adopt the rhythm of the bout and the 20-year-old Ametovic eliminated one of the host nation’s boxers.
The Turkish girls amazed at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and among their five champions, three are participating at the Mediterranean Games. The two-time World Champion Busenaz Surmeneli was highly confident against Serbia’s Nikolina Gajic and took the lead on the scorecards after three minutes. The referee counted the Serbian and after Surmeneli’s heavy shots, stopped the welterweight contest, and confirmed the RSC triumph of the Turkish star.
Spain’s Martin Molina won an amazing gold medal at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan one month ago but he had only a quick celebration with his family due to the Mediterranean Games. The Spaniard had a difficult opponent, Egypt’s Ahmed Ismail but he kept his North African rival on long enough to win their preliminary contest. The 28-year-old Molina will now meet with one of his old regional rivals, Italy’s Federico Serra which could be a unique re-match in the quarter-finals.
France sent only five boxers to the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships due to injuries but their team consists more athletes in the Mediterranean Games. France’s 21-year-old flyweight boxer, Ibrahim Boukedim achieved a silver medal at the 2019 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and he is in top shape this year. Boukedim used different rhythm as Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Haris Aganovic and dominated the first round in their Round of 16 bout. After the standing counts, the referee stopped their contest and Boukedim marched to the last eight in Oran.
Italy’s super heavyweight boxer at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships as Dmytro Tonyshev, their National Champion but for the Mediterranean Games, he was replaced by Vincenzo Fiaschetti, a younger talent. He had successful youth and U22 events but faced Albania’s veteran and strong Nelson Hysa in the first round of the weight class. The Albanian was medallist in an international event already in 2003 but Fiaschetti’s speed decided their contest in Oran.