Twenty contests were held on the third competition day at the Mediterranean Games in Algeria’s port, Oran. Amazing re-matches delighted the session and Italy’s star Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine defeated his main heavyweight rival, Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes on Day3. Montenegro’s 19-year-old Bojana Gojkovic and the Turkish World Champions also won their contests on the third day of boxing.
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
Italy’s best male boxer Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine had to fight against his main heavyweight rival already in the quarter-final stage of the Mediterranean Games in Oran. He defeated Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes in the semi-finals of the Belgrade 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships and in the final of the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships. Reyes also won one of their meetings at the Strandja Memorial Tournament therefore their contest was the most anticipated battle of the third competition day. The Italian used his speed to avoid the attacks of the Spanish boxer and both had clear boxing in the most important bout of the session. Mouhiidine used his distance well enough to win their fourth meeting in the last nine months and advanced to the semi-finals.
Spain won a historic bronze medal at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul last month but their boxers did not get any rest to prepare for the Mediterranean Games and be in top shape once again. Their 22-year-old minimumweight (48kg) boxer, Marta Lopez Del Arbol had a tough rival in the last eight, Morocco’s Yasmine Moutaki, but she managed to keep control from the first seconds until the last moments.
The Italian girls are one of the bests in the European continent and their Giordana Sorrentino proved her amazing fighting spirit against Egypt’s Eman Mohamed on Day3. The Egyptian girls returned to the international stage this year after a few years of hiatus but Sorrentino was too strong for their talent. Rebecca Nicoli returned to the national team and enjoyed her lightweight (60kg) contest against Greece’s Olga Pavlina Papadatou achieved the next Italian success. The 23-year-old boxer never stopped attacking and her pressure was too much for the Greek girl who reached the quarter-finals in Istanbul.
Montenegro’s best female boxer Bojana Gojkovic is only 19, she turned to elite only this January but she is one of the top future hopes in Europe. The Montenegrin girl won four European titles as junior and youth and she won almost all of her international contests in the recent five years. Gojkovic faced Croatia’s Tokyo Olympian Nikolina Cacic in a unique battle between the neighbours and both gave in everything from the first seconds. The former AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Croatian was not able to use her longer hands effectively this time and suffered a loss from the teenager.
Turkey’s World Champions such as Ayse Cagirir, Busenaz Cakiroglu and Hatice Akbas all succeeded in the third day of boxing in Oran. Cagirir had a tough job against Italy’s Roberta Bonatti in the quarter-final of the minimumweight (48kg) but she survived the dangerous moments and won this crucial battle. Cakiroglu also had a hard battle against Algeria’s Fatiha Mansouri but her technical skills were decisive in that contest. Akbas used a similar style of boxing as Cakiroglu and defeated another EUBC European U22 Champion, Italy’s Sirine Charaabi at the bantamweight (54kg).
Spain’s Gazimagomed Jalidov lost his preliminary bout at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia but he arrived in Oran in fantastic form and eliminated Italy’s promising Alfred Commey who won the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships in Porec and achieved a silver at the EUBC Elite European Boxing Championships in Yerevan. Jalidov had an easier job as second in the Games, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Ahmed Dananovic was not able to adopt the rhythm of their light heavyweight battle. The Spaniard dominated the first round and his shots were lethal for the younger Bosnian in the second.