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Golden Gloves - Serbia

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Local super heavyweight boxer Goran Despotovic won the trophy at the Golden Gloves Tournament which was held in Serbia's capital city, Belgrade last weekend.

AIBA Article: 3 - 12 - 2010

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The young Serbian boxer has not competed in a major tournament such as the European Championships or World Championships yet because Milutin Stankovic is currently the Serbian No.1 in this weight division. However, since Stankovic is now competing in the World Series of Boxing with the Astana Arlans, he had to miss the Golden Gloves Tournament, opening up an opportunity for Despotovic to shine.

Despite his inexperience Despotovic first defeated Bulgaria's Zheko Zhekov in the quarter-final, followed by his biggest rival Magomed Omarov of Russia in the semi-final and finally Slovenia's Rok Urbanc in the final by 7:3.

At the tournament 62 boxers competed from eleven nations: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Spain.

Russia's AIBA World Championships bronze medalist and reigning European Champion 22-year-old flyweight Misha Aloyan had two unexpectedly close fights against his North African rivals in the Serbian capital city.

Aloyan defeated Algeria's Samir Brahimi in the semi-final by only one point and Morocco's Abdelfatah Nafil in the final. The strong North African boxers have been preparing for the 2nd African Cup of Nations, which will be held in December.

Russia's 21-year-old Dmitriy Polyanskiy became National Champion two months ago at bantamweight but was unexpectedly defeated by Armenia's Garnik Harutiunyan in the final by accepted scores.

Russia's newcomer Ildar Vaganov, who defeated former World Champion Albert Selimov in the National Championships final, was too strong for Algeria's Abdelkader Chadi at lightweight.

European Youth Champion 19-year-old Aleksandr Besputin from Russia claimed a bronze medal at the National Championships. Mihail Bakatura of Belarus, Beijing Olympian Driss Moussaid of Morocco and Jonathan Alonso of Spain were all unable to stop him in Belgrade.

Russia's welterweight Andrey Zamkovoy made a sensational debut at the AIBA World Championships last year, where he secured a silver medal. However he was eliminated by Ukraine's Taras Shelestuk in the first preliminary round at the European Championships in Moscow in June. Zamkovoy returned with fantastic performance at the Golden Gloves Tournament and won the gold medal after beating Serbia's Predrag Kovacevic.

Former University World Champion Vitaliy Bondarenko defeated reigning European Champion Artem Chebotarev of Russia in the middleweight semi-final and then beat Morocco's Ahmed Barki in the final. The Moroccan corner abandoned the fight in the first round and Bondarenko claimed his deserved gold medal.

Reigning AIBA World Champion and European Champion 26-year-old Yegor Mekhontsev of Russia had a great battle against Serbia's Marko Nikolic in the lightheavy weight final. Mekhontsev won the close contest by 9:5 in his new weight category because he moved down from heavyweight after the European Championships.

European Championships silver medalist 27-year-old Tervel Pulev of Bulgaria eliminated new Russian Champion Pavel Nikitayev in the semi-final by 9:3 and went on to defeat Albania's strong 19-year-old Christian Demaj in the final to take the gold.

Photo: Goran Despotovic with his trophy

Photo Credit: Mojas Stijepovic