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Dedic and Cvitanovic delighted the local fans at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament

An afternoon and an evening session were held on the second day at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Bosnia & Herzegovina’s ex-German boxers such as Gianni Dedic and Leo Cvitanovic both won their quarter-final bouts in Sarajevo. Slovakia’s 19-year-old newcomer in the elite team, Ladislav Horvath won already his second contest in the international tournament.

The women’s elite, women’s youth, men’s elite and men’s youth boxers are able to participate at the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament in the Bosnian & Herzegovian capital. The Technical Delegate of the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament is Mr. Adam Kusior of Poland.

The international event is a preparation competition for the upcoming IBA Youth World Boxing Championships which will be held in La Nucia-Benidorm on November 13-27. The tournament also gives opportunity for those who are planning to attend at the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships and ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships.

Division General Mustafa Hajrulahovic Talijan was Bosnia & Herzegovina’s commander and hero in the end of the last century and a new boxing tournament was named after him which shows his excellent popularity in Sarajevo. The tournament was held at the Dom Mladih Skenderija Sports Centre in the recent years but the venue moved to the Hotel Hills Sarajevo Congress & Termal Spa Resort.  

The bout of the day

Bosnia & Herzegovina had four boxers in action at the men’s middleweight (75kg) in the second day of boxing. Among them two succeeded, both who have German roots but switched back to their homeland, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Following Gianni Dedic’s success over Lithuania’s Arvydas Dainys, Leo Cvitanovic had a crucial battle in the last quarter-final of this category. Cvitanovic met another young talent, Lithuania’s Youth World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Aleksandr Trofimcuk who earned his first EUBC medal as a junior in 2017. The Lithuanian is a strong attacker and he tried to gain the control of the bout immediately but Cvitanovic had the right responses to win the tight bout.

The surprise of the day

Slovakia’s Ladislav Horvath participated in several top events including the Kielce 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and EUBC Championships. The 19-year-old Slovakian competes at the light middleweight (71kg) in the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament and following his success over Hungary’s Isaac Oroyovwe, he continued his winning path on Day2. The Slovakian teenager eliminated Montenegro’s Djordje Smolovic and won his second contest in Sarajevo within two competition days. Horvath’s next rival will be another Hungarian, the 21-year-old Istvan Gerzsenyi who bowed out Austria’s Esad Avdic.

The Round-Up

Spain’s Asier Jimenez achieved a bronze medal at the minimumweight (48kg) in the Sofia 2022 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships which is his career highlight. The 17-year-old Spanish boxer switched to the flyweight (51kg) due their No.1, Rafael Lozano Serrano moved back to the smallest weight class. Jimenez enjoyed his first contest in his new weight category against North Macedonia’s Sero Mamutovski and won all of the three rounds in Sarajevo.

Romania’s Sally Palapiuc is an experienced boxer at the youth bantamweight (54kg) but he was not expected a KO success in the second competition day against Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Vide Prkacin. Palapiuc landed the lethal shots still in the first round and delivered the first classic KO of the Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament. A Spaniard, Daniel Rodriguez also celebrated a quick triumph in the second competition day, the referee stopped his contest in the first round against Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Hamza Eroglu at the youth lightweight (60kg).

Montenegro’s second boxer at the light middleweight (71kg) was Stefan Savkovic, who had a few nice victories in the international tournaments. The Montenegrin landed the better and stronger shots against Romania’s Sebastian Nitu and he had the speed to keep his opponent on long. Savkovic performed over his previous level therefore he managed to join the semi-finals easily in the second competition day. Montenegro’s No.1 will now meet Jordan’s Asian Games bronze medallist and Tokyo Olympian strong Zeyad Eshaish in the semi-finals of this weight category.

Germany’s Alexander Okafor earned a bronze medal at the cruiserweight (86kg) in the 2022 EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. He is a new addition to their elite national team with relatively low number of bouts but he has the power to beat rivals that are more experienced. The 22-year-old German moved up to the heavyweight (92kg) and made a successful debut against Lithuania’s Darius Voisnarovic, controlling all of the three rounds. Okafor will be meeting in the next stage Hungary’s Daniel Baracsi who earned a silver medal in the 2021 Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament.

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