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Global Reports and Links: AIBA World Championships, Baku 2011
BRAZIL MAKES HISTORY ON BAKU 2011 FINAL DAY
Beijing Olympian and WSB star, 23-year-old Brazilian Everton dos Santos fought against University World Champion, Ukrainian Denys Berinchyk. The Light Welter was the only boxer among the finalists coming from the last 64. Thus the Ukrainian was probably more tired than the South American. The Brazilian athlete dominated the fight in the first three minutes and was leading by 8:3 before both boxers received public warnings in the second round. Lopes kept a four points advantage. The last three minutes brought a real manly fight resulting with a close Brazilian victory: an historical gold medal for the South American country.
On the opening contest of the day, China’s only finalist in Baku was Beijing Olympic Games winner and twice AIBA World Champion, 30-year-old Shiming Zou who fought against current Asian Champion, 22-year-old Korean Jong Shin who secured bronze at the last edition of the Championships in Milan. The Chinese light flyweight dominated the fight in the second round to lead 13:6. Although Shin gave his best in the last round, Zou used all his skills to win his third World Championships title by 20:11. Shiming Zou becomes the first boxer to win three gold medals in the history of the lowest weight division.
MEDAL RECORD HAUL FOR BRITAIN
Great Britain finished with three silver medals and one bronze at the World Amateur Championships after an agonising final day which saw Luke Campbell, Andrew Selby and Anthony Joshua all narrowly denied gold in Baku.
European champion Selby lost 13-12 to world number one Misha Aloyan of Russia at flyweight, while Hull’s Campbell was then edged out 14-10 by Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez in the bantamweight final.
In the final bout of the tournament, Londoner Joshua was defeated 22-21 by Azerbaijan’s Magonedrasul Medzhidov in an explosive super-heavyweight contest in front of a passionate home crowd.
The trio were joined in the podium ceremonies by Liverpool’s Tom Stalker, who won bronze in the light-welterweight division.
The four-medal haul was the best performance by a GB Boxing team at the World Championships and topped the three medals won in Chicago in 2007. The team also qualified boxers in five of the weight categories for next year’s London Olympics.
IRELAND‘S GALLAGHER BEST R&J AT BAKU
Ireland’s Michael Gallagher has finished on top of the referees and judges podium at the 16th AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Gallagher was today chosen as the best R&J following the conclusion of the 113-nation Championships in the Azerbaijani capital.
Michael Gallagher being presented with his award by AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu. The Omagh, Co Tyrone native has officiated at numerous national and international tournaments over the last 20 years.
RAU’SHEE WARREN WINS A BRONZE MEDAL AT THE 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – American flyweight Rau’shee Warren’s (Cincinnati, Ohio) run toward a second world title ended on Friday with a 17-13 loss to Russia’s Misha Aloyan in their semifinal contest at the 2011 World Championships. Warren won a bronze medal in the event as well as securing his berth in a record third straight Olympic Games.
VIKAS KRISHAN HAD TO SETTLE FOR THE BRONZE
In the welterweight (69kg) category after he lost to Taras Shelestyuk of Ukraine in the semi-final of the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Friday.
Pitted against the European Championships bronze medallist Shelestyuk, Vikas failed to play his natural game and lost 12-15. Vikas, an Asian Games gold medallist, repeated the bronzemedal winning feat of Olympic medallist Vijender Kumar (75kg) at the mega-event but became the youngest Indian to clinch a medal at 19. Vijender was the first Indian to win a bronze at the World meet in 2009.
ARMENIAN BOXER BECOMES RUSSIA’S SOLE WORLD CHAMPION IN BAKU
During the final bouts on Saturday at AIBA World Boxing Championships 2011, being held in Baku, Azerbaijan—which serve as first international Olympic qualifier for the London Olympics—Misha Aloyan, representing Russia, stepped into the ring against Welsh Andrew Selby for the championship title in 52-kg category and defeated his opponent on points.
CUBA/ TWO NEW WORLD CHAMPIONS IN BOXING
Cuban boxers Lazaro Alvarez and Julio Cesar la Cruz became world champions after winning their respective bouts in the finals of the Baku 2011 World Championships.
Cuban Boxing Goes down in Baku
Cuba’s team captain, Julio la Cruz proved to be in great shape though the whole tournament, and with excellent footwork and straight punches sorted difficult hurdles, including defending Champion Egor Mekhontsev from Russia in semi-finals.
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AIBA WORLD BOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS, BAKU 2011 – DAILY SCHEDULE & RESULTS:
FINALS – 2011 SAT&CO AIBA WORLD BOXING CHAMPIONSHIPS BAKU
China, Italy and Kazakhstan Secure First Three London 2012 Boxing Places
By WSB: Friday, May 27
The first three quota places for the boxing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games were awarded to Kanat Abutalipov of Kazakhstan, Zhimin Wang of China and Clemente Russo of Italy at the University of Guizhou Stadium tonight after they scooped the first-ever World Series of Boxing Individual Champion titles at bantamweight, lightweight and heavyweight respectively.
Kanat Abutalipov of the Astana Arlans secured the first Olympic qualification place for Kazakhstan on a split decision (68-65, 66-67, 67-66) against France’s Nordine Oubaali of Paris United in a furious opening bout that set the pace for the evening.
Abutalipov won the battle of the two southpaws after Oubaali came out strong from the start but suffered a cut above his right eye in the second round. By the sixth round Abutalipov seemed to be taunting his opponent, but suffered a worse cut himself, leaving him bleeding badly – but victorious – at the end of the WSB’s first seven-round bout.
“I can’t believe it,” he said after the bout. “I need some time to calm down. I’m World Champion!”
To the delight of the home crowd it was China’s Zhimin Wang who emerged victorious after a heated lightweight encounter against Kazakhstan’s Yerzhan Mussafirov of the Astana Arlans. The world title victory by a close split decision (67-66, 67-66, 66-67) more than compensated for Wang losing to Mussafirov in the WSB regular season – his only loss this season.
Wang had enjoyed plenty of time to rest and train for the Individual Championships after finishing the regular season, including time to swot up on his opponent.
“I had analyzed his bouts and we had got a lot of information,” he admitted after his win.
“This was a great help and it was very effective. I now have plenty of time to prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games.”
The final bout on the night’s card was the heavyweight contest between Italy’s 2007 AIBA World Champion and 2008 Olympic silver medallist Clemente Russo of Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder and Azerbaijan’s Magomedrasul Medzhidov of the Baku Fires.
Compared to the astonishing pace of the first two bouts, considering that the boxers were fighting over seven rounds for the first time, the heavyweights appeared slower on their opening.
Nevertheless both boxers looked composed and came out of their defence to unleash ferocious bursts of power before retreating.
Russo took the upper hand over the first four rounds to take a lead, all the time keeping Medzhidov at arm’s length.
But a left thrown by Medzhidov as the closing punch of round five made contact with Russo and signaled a come-back as the Azeri boxer made his mark on the remaining three rounds.
Medzhidov had, however, left it too late to make up the deficit, and Russo took the World Series of Boxing Heavyweight World Champion title and the Olympic qualification place for Italy with a unanimous decision (67-66, 67-66, 67-66).
“After missing out on a place in the Team Finals, we needed thisvictory,” he said.
“I’m tired after seven rounds. We tried this in training but in training it’s different. In the ring here your attention counts, too, and so do the referee and the judges!”
“This is a very important victory for the team. It will allow us to start preparing for the next season from September with renewed enthusiasm.”
In addition to winning the first WSB title belts and the Olympic qualification places, each Individual Champion takes home a prize cheque of USD 20,000.
The World Series of Boxing Individual Championships continue on Saturday, May 28th with the middleweight and light heavyweight contests.
Photo:AIBA President C. K. Wu, right, presents the Bantamweight World Champion’s Belt to Kanat Abutalipov of the Astana Arlans.
Photo Credit / Source: WSB
World Series of Boxing action returns to the city of Guiyang in Guizhou Province, China on May 27 and 28 for the Individual Championships, where the winners will become the first-ever WSB Champions and secure the first five qualification places for boxing at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Individual Championships pitch the top two boxers from the regular season against each other head-to-head in each of the WSB’s five weight categories, for the first time over seven three minute rounds rather than the team competition’s usual five. The competition will take place over two days, with the bantamweight, lightweight and heavyweight bouts contested on May 27 and the middleweight and light heavyweight contests concluding the competition on May 28.
The Astana Arlans, Baku Fires, Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder and Paris United are all represented by two boxers at the Individual Championships, with the remaining two boxers being Algerian light heavyweight Abdelhafid Benchabla from Korea’s Pohang Poseidons and China’s Zhiming Wang from the Beijing Dragons. The Americas conference is the only one without any representative in the Individual Championships.
Astana Arlans, runners-up in the Team Finals, are well represented in the first two divisions with Kanat Abutalipov at bantamweight and Yerzhan Mussafirov at lightweight, both of whom topped the rankings in their weight category and both of whom fought – and won – in the Team Finals against Paris United two weeks ago.
Abutalipov will face Paris United’s Nordine Oubaali, whose last competitive WSB bout dates back to the first semi-final on March 11. Mussafirov will have to contend with the fierce backing of the home crowd for his opponent Zhimin Wang at the University of Guizhou Stadium. But Mussafirov is the only boxer to beat Wang this season, in the Beijing home ring back in week four of the competition.
“His advantage is that he had plenty of time to prepare for the fight,” says Mussafirov of Wang.
“But I think that we both have a chance to win. It is boxing!”
Representing Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder, 2007 AIBA World Champion and 2008 Olympic Games silver medallist Clemente Russo will enter the ring against Magomedrasul Medzhidov of the Baku Fires in the heavyweight contest.
Both boxers are unbeaten in six matches this season and both have stopped opponents early. They have also both defeated Tony Yoka, Paris United’s Youth Olympic Champion who impressed in the Team Finals.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko of the Ukraine is Milan’s second top-ranked boxer in action at the Individual Championships. In another Milan-Baku duel, he will face Soltan Migitinov of the Baku Fires for the middleweight belt.
“Soltan has quite a good boxing school,” says Derevyanchenko. “He’s a boxer devoted to an aggressive boxing in the head-to-head during the fight, without caring for defence.”
Algeria’s Abdelhafid Benchabla, representing the Pohang Poseidons, will lock horns with Ludovic Groguhe of Paris United in the light heavyweight contest that will be the season showdown for the WSB.
Little separates the two boxers on paper: both are 24 years old, both have an orthodox stance and both are also unbeaten in six bouts. Benchabla is one of the few boxers to beat Groguhe in the amateur ring at international level.
“I did meet Ludovic Groguhe on the occasion of the 4th edition of the Mohammed VI Trophy in Marrakech where I beat him on points, but that was already one year ago,” he says.
“I know that my opponent on May 28th, 2011 in Guiyang is not the one I met in 2010, myself as well; I am not the same boxer.
Each WSB Individual Champion will be awarded the WSB titleholder’s belt and a cheque for 20,000 US dollars. In addition, they will receive a quota place for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Grand Slam Puts Astana Arlans Ahead after First Night of Finals
Friday, May 06, 2011
Boxers who had been used to competing in a home or away corner in the WSB for the past six months suddenly found themselves in neutral territory today for the first leg of the WSB Team Finals at the Guizhou University Stadium in the city of Guiyang, China.
It quickly became clear that the opposing boxer was not the only opponent to overcome tonight, as all the boxers had to adapt to fighting in a completely different time zone and a much higher altitude than they are used to.
It was yet another devastating performance by the Astana Arlans’ naturalized Kazakh Kanat Slam that gave the Arlans the edge on the first night. Slam stopped Paris United’s Stéphane Cuevas in the first round of the middleweight contest to notch up a fifth victory for the season. Slam has won all but one of his fights inside the distance, starting with a thrilling knock-out in his debut in week six of the competition.
Paris United had decided to rest their star bantamweight Nordine Oubaali for the Individual Championships in two week’s time, selecting Giorgi Kilanava from Georgia to take to the ring for only his third time this season with the unenviable task of facing world number one WSB bantamweight Kanat Abutalipov of the Astana Arlans.
Despite the enormity of the task, Kilanava commanded respect in the ring and remained unfazed by apparent taunts from his opponent, who appeared to be grinning through his gumshield in the second round.
But it was Kilanava who took the upper hand in the third round, momentarily landing Abutalipov on the ropes. Abutalipov countered in the closing seconds of the third round but the Georgian made a break in the fourth and continued to dominate in the fifth. However, it was too late to make up the difference and Abutalipov took the split decision 46-46, 48-47, 48-47 to open the scoring in the Arlans’ favour.
“I’m very happy,” Abutalipov said after the bout.” Although my opponent wasn’t as strong as I expected, I still found it a difficult fight.”
Paris United’s lightweight Rachid Azzedine missed out on a place in the Individual Championships by four seconds and was determined to make up for this against Merey Akshalov in the University of Guizhou Stadium tonight.
By the end of the second round he was ahead after a cut to his opponent had to be attended to twice by the ringside doctor. He maintained the lead through to the end to take a win by unanimous decision 49-46, 48-47, 48-47.
“I had one bout before this and I’m glad about that because I was worried that the cut might open up again,” he said. “The bout was difficult because of the jet lag”
The middleweight encounter was over very quickly as Stéphane Cuevas came faced a barrage of punches from Kanat Slam from the opening bell. After only half of the first round had elapsed, Cuevas appeared to be unsteady on his feet and the French corner threw in the towel, handing Slam his third straight win inside the distance.
In contrast, the only way the light heavyweight bout between Hrvoje Sep and Ramzjon Ahmedov would have finished early would have been by a knock-out as the boxers traded punches so equally that at one point in second round they even managed to land connecting punches each other at the same time.
Although Sep opened strongly to win the first round, in the later stages of the contest both boxers were visibly tired and Ahmedov took a slight lead. In the closing rounds both boxers hunkered down low to slug it out and the fight was too close to call.
The judges confirmed Ahmedov as the winner with a split decision 47-48, 48-47, 49-46.
Heavyweights Tony Yoka and Ruslan Myrsatayev opted for a very open fight, much to the delight of the spectators, who could see evenly traded blows clearly connecting.
Yoka landed a crushing blow in the second round but moments later Myrsatayev caught him off guard with a straight right that had him staggering a couple of meters back to the ropes.
As the altitude took its toll, both boxers already looked tired by the third round, but nevertheless dug deep into their reserves to withstand the full 15 minutes in the ring.
With Yoka ahead going into the final round, a straight left that connected with Myrsatayev sealed the victory for Paris United to close out the first day’s scores 3-2 in the Astana Arlans’ favour.
“I was very tired and I think my team mates were as well,” Yoka said after the bout. “Part of that is down to the time difference and part to the altitude.”
Youth Olympic Champion Yoka has a great ally in team-mate Filip Hrgovic – the second Croatian boxer of Paris United, who will close out the competition tomorrow night.
“Even if me and Filip are still young, I think we are two of the best junior heavyweights in the world at the moment and we are going to do some damage,” Yoka says.
“Filip and I follow each other closely and we have a great friendly competition.”
The scores make for a thrilling finale tomorrow night in Guiyang in which Hrgovic could play a decisive role in the final bout.
Yoka’s advice for his colleague: “I will tell him he’ll be tired because of the altitude but we are here for the team and that’s what helped me to find that little bit extra tonight.”
Photo: Rahid Azzedine of Paris United, right, lunges with a straight left against opponent Merey Akshalov of the Astana Arlans.
Photo Credit: WSB
April 29, 2011
AIBA Junior & Youth Women’s World Boxing Championships
A solid performance by Russia’s young women boxers leaves the country dominating both the AIBA Junior & Youth Women’s World Boxing Championships in Antalya, Turkey, where the finals are slated for Saturday, April 30th.
Russia has six athletes in the finals of the Junior competition and five in the Youth competition, having started out with 13 junior boxers and ten youth boxers in the respective competitions. Host nation Turkey is hot on Russia’s heels as a potential leader in the medals table for the Junior competition, having also qualified six boxers for the finals, but lags behind in the Youth field with only light welterweight Elif Kayan in action on Saturday.
India remains a force to be reckoned with, having qualified five boxers for the finals across both tournaments, and will be vying with Turkey for the medals in the lower weight categories of the Junior Championships as the two countries go head-to-head in the pinweight and flyweight finals.
India’s triple Junior National Champion Lalenkawli will open the proceedings against Turkey’s 2011 Junior National Champion Neriman Istik at pinweight and Turkey’s double Junior National Champion Ulku Demir will take on Zareen Nikhat, India’s 2010 Schoolgirl Champion, in the flyweight.
The youngest boxer in the Junior Championships, India’s 2009 Junior National Champion Lalfakzvali, will be going for gold in the light bantamweight final against Vietnam’s surprise package Thi Vy Vuong, who has won all three of her preliminary bouts inside the distance after graduating from AIBA’s Road to Antalya training camp prior to the championships.
Vuong’s team-mate Thi Phuong Pham – also a Road to Antalya graduate – has qualified for the finals in her light flyweight division and will take on Japan’s only remaining representative in the competition, Kasumi Saeki.
New Zealand’s Thea Awhitu is Oceania’s sole representative in the finals of the competition. The 2009 New Zealand Junior Champion will face Turkey’s double Junior National Champion Reyhan Cakir in the featherweight final.
The light welterweight final will be an all-European affair featuring Germany’s Larissa Mischanin and Sweden’s Hanna Lundblad, bronze medallist at the 2010 European Junior Championships.
Russiadominates the upper weight categories of the Junior competition with a presence in four of the remaining seven finals, where the team’s boxers will face opposition from their neighbours such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine, well as host nation Turkey.
In the Youth competition, Russia will face tough competition from Sweden and China, who have both qualified four boxers for the finals.
Top favourite Svetlana Dmitrieva, the 2010 European Junior Champion, will start the action in the light flyweight contest against India’s Sarjubala Shamjetsabam, who already has 34 bouts in her international career.
Vietnam’s Thi Duyen Luu takes on China’s Lili Niu in the bantamweight contests after becoming the third of four Vietnamese boxers in the competition to qualify for the finals as part of the country’s superlative performance in Antalya.
The featherweight contest has the potential to be one of the highlights of the Youth finals, since it will be a re-match of the 2010 European Youth Championship final between England’s Charley Davison on Germany’s Ornella Wahner. Triple A Amateur Boxing Club boxer Davison took the European title last year with a close 2:0 victory against the experienced German.
Russiaand Sweden will face-off three times in the Youth competition, with Patricia Berghult taking on Anastasia Belyakova in the lightweight final and favourite Love Holgersson facing Irina Tsarkova in the welterweight contest. Sona Hakhverdyan and Viktoriya Krylova will be the third Sweden-Russia match-up in the finals and will have the honour of closing out the competition in the heavyweight final.