Twenty-nine champions were crowned at the EUBC Schoolboys & Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships in Erzurum, Turkey in the last day of boxing.
Turkey achieved four titles among the schoolgirls ahead of England’s three and Ukraine’s two gold medals. The English boxers were the best in the male part of the competition with their four titles, Ukraine bagged three while the Irish boxers two gold medals. Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Greece, Scotland, Turkey and Germany were the further winners of the schoolboys weight categories.
Following the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships, the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships, the next continental event was held for the schoolboys and schoolgirls.
The number of the participating boxers was 338 including 100 girls in this new edition of the championship. The competition period of the EUBC Schoolboys & Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships was August 12-20. The Technical Delegate of the EUBC Schoolboys & Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships is Mr. Viorel Sima of Romania.
The following 28 nations participated at the EUBC Schoolboys & Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The bout of the day
Ireland competed at the EUBC Schoolgirls & Schoolboys European Boxing Championships for the very first time after 2019 and eight of their boxers advanced to the finals. Their first finalist, Ellen Winnie Joyce was much smaller than her English opponent, Leah Paylor, but tried to keep the long distance in the first round. Paylor moved forward to the despite her height advantage and ruled the middle of the ring in the first final of the entire championship. The Irish southpaw looked quicker in the exchanges but Paylor’s jabs were effective and arrived with perfect timing therefore England won the first title in the EUBC Schoolboys & Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships.
Turkey’s Asli Donmezoglu was the host nation’s first boxer in action in the day of the finals and she tried to control the first round against Ireland’s Carley O’Herron. The Turkish girl dictated the tempo, she kept her focus effectively in the second round against the smaller Irish talent. The Turkish 38kg boxer had better defensive skills than her Irish opponent and she impressed in the final period of their title contest. Donmezoglu celebrated Turkey’s first gold medal in the EUBC Schoolboys & Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships.
The second Ireland vs. England final battle was held between Elma Barry and Leyla Straughan in Erzurum. The taller English girl used her distance well enough in the first round and took the lead on four out of the five judges’ scorecards in their 40kg final bout. Barry received the right instructions in first break and she returned to the contest in different rhythm controlling the second round. Barry slowed down the taller English in the decisive third round and won Ireland’s first gold medal in Erzurum.
Martina De Felice began boxing just before the Covid-19 pandemic and she won all of her contests during her short career. The 14-year-old Italian arrived from the Abruzzo region and advanced to the final as the first from her nation in Erzurum. De Felice started the first round well against Turkey’s Eda Nur Ilhan but the local favourite turned up the heat in the second. The Turkish 48kg boxer was quicker in the middle part of the final and she used her brilliant footwork to keep the best distance. Ilhan received a strong punch in the third round but the Turkish boxer had the control and the technical skills to win this final.
England’s next finalist was Lexi Walker, one of their new heroes in the schoolgirl team who amazed in the semi-finals with her speed. The 14-year-old talent was not only a hard target in the first round for Ukraine’s Sofia Movchan but she had excellent attacks. Walker landed multiple shots and caught Movchan in the corner therefore she had the advantage in all of the scorecards. The English 60kg boxer continued the final in the same level while the Ukrainian was not able to change her tempo therefore Walker secured her country’s next gold medal in the championship.
Italy’s second finalist in the championship, Sara Scorrano had only six contests prior the start of the event but she proved energetic style of boxing in Erzurum. The 14-year-old Italian was brave in the exchanges against Turkey’s Sudenaz Dokgoz and celebrated her nation’s first title in the championship. Ukraine’s Sofia Novikova began the first round better than Croatia’s Lorena Horvat and she had the clear advantage on the scorecards at the 70kg final. The Croatian stepped into the gas in the beginning of the second round and she was able to turn back the last schoolgirl final of the competition.
England’s Harry Scadeng is a National Champion in this age group and he won some other regional events. He has more than eight years of experience in the trainings and Scadeng was names as the main favourite of the smallest male weight class, the 40kg. The 14-year-old talent faced Ukraine’s Serhii Artemenko in the first male final of the championship and after his amazing performance, he had the advantage in all of the five scorecards. Scadeng landed his shots with quick actions and moved back to his safest distance immediately therefore Artemenko was not able to catch the promising English boxer.
Nearchos Petros Konstanioudis is not only the best Greek schoolboy but one of the top European boxers in this age group. He achieved a bronze medal in the 2021 EUBC Schoolboys European Boxing Championships and a gold at the Gheorgheni Open this June. The 14-year-old Greek talent had a tough semi-final but he looked fresh against his quick Hungarian rival, Abel Koromi in the first round. The Hungarian had three victories prior the final bout and he used the best tactics against the Greek No.1, but Konstanioudis had the pressure until the last gong and won the title in Erzurum.
The Scottish elite boxers earned three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and two of their schoolboys advanced to the finals in Erzurum. Jacob Naismith not only won the Scottish Championships in this age group this year but the Three Nations British Championships. The 14-year-old boxer used similar style of boxing as their elite star, Reese Lynch and tried to find the best attacking positions against Ireland’s James Michael Casey. The Scottish boxer was patient and his speed decided their tight contest in Erzurum, achieving a fantastic gold medal at the 46kg weight class.
England’s Tom Connors had a strong neighbour rival, Scotland’s Thomas O’Reilly in the final of the 52kg weight class. The English southpaw was waiting for the best angles and he landed quick double shots against the promising Scottish boxer. Connors won their tactical chess game and delivered England’s second male gold medal in Erzurum. His teammate, the fantastic Isaac Huczmann spent less than one round in the ring against Ukraine’s Bohdan Tymchuk at the 54kg final. Huczmann was highly confident and knocked down his Ukrainian rival with a tough left-handed hook and finished the final in the first round.
Ukraine’s first gold medal in the male part of the championship was achieved by Vladyslav Zheleznyov who had the success over England’s Johnboy Hodgkins at the 57kg weight class. Ukraine’s best schoolboy, the defending EUBC European Schoolboys Champion Ivan Bezuhlyi had a dangerous Greek rival in the final of the 60kg, Petros Topalos but he managed to win the opening round with excellent performance. Bezuhlyi did not underestimate his Greek rival and celebrated his next gold medal in Erzurum winning the final unanimously. The third-in-a-row Ukrainian gold medal was delivered by Demeter Fedir who had a tight contest against Germany’s Justin Kiz.