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Turkish National Championships

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altBoxing Turkey - Five teenagers were crowned at the annual Turkish Men's Elite National Championships in the southern part of the country, Mersin, at the Edip Burhan Sport Hall, where a record number of boxers fought for glory.


AIBA Article: January 2011

A total of 456 boxers competed at the event from 56 cities across Turkey, making the event the biggest national championships in Europe in 2010.

AIBA World Championships quarter-finalist 27-year-old Kerem Gurgen was unable to compete in Mersi after a knee operation, while Beijing Olympian 19-year-old Furkan Memis Ulas also missed the event. After a busy 2010, Ulas's coach decided to rest him ahead of upcoming and important events in 2011.

Istanbul's Erdal Inanli was flyweigh gold medalist at last year's edition but moved down to 49kg this year and defeated titleholder Aydin Sakal in a close contest where the final verdict was 4:3 to Inanli. The main favourite, European Championships bronze medalist Ferhat Pehlivan, lost his semi-final contest and had to travel back to Trabzon without the title.

Turkey's 19-year-old Selcuk Eker from Kocaeli claimed his first title among elite boxers in Mersin after defeating Turkish Prime Ministry Tournament bronze medalist Ridvan Budak by 3:2 in the semi-final and demoralizing rival Alkan Ozdemir from Samsun 10:2 in the flyweight final.

In Furkan Memis Ulas's absence another 19-year-old boxer, AIBA World Championships participant Mehmet Topcakan, outpointed experienced Abdullah Dursun at the bantamweight final. Topcakan is hot on the heels of his top rival, Furkan Memis Ulas for next year's events and secured his place in the national squad.

European Youth Championships silver medalist and Ahmet Comert Tournament silver medalist teenager Bunyamin Aydin eliminated Ural Karslioglu by 2:0 in the semi-final and defeated Fatih Keles from Kocaeli in the lightweight division to acquire his first national elite title in Mersin.

AIBA World Championships quarter-finalist and Beijing Olympian Onur Sipal is only 21 but has been in the Turkish national squad since 2006. His experience won out over strong opponent Yakup Sener, who was silver medalist at the Turkish Prime Ministry Tournament in April. Sipal defended his throne in Mersin among 79 boxers in the 64kg division.

Mediterranean Games winner 23-year-old Onder Sipal has been in the Turkish squad since 2005. At the National Championships Sipal's main rival was veteran Abdulkadir Koroglu in the monumental welterweight event with 74 competitors.

Sipal won a really close and hectic preliminary contest against Hasan Demir 1:0. In the final bout against Koroglu he had to show his skills and did his best to win the gold medal match.

As expected Beijing Olympian and AIBA World Championships bronze medalist 24-year-old Adem Kilicci from Istanbul defended his middleweight title in Mersin after defeating his biggest opponent, Ulus Kaya by 4:2.

Youth Olympic Games silver medalist and AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medalist 17-year-old Burak Aksin is one of Turkey's biggest hopes for the future and claimed the final victory in his first elite tournament at the Nationals. Ankara-based Aksin triumphed over Caner Sayak by 1:0 in the light heavyweight final, while National Team boxer Onder Ozgul achieved only a bronze medal.

Beijing Olympian and former European Junior Championships silver medalist Bahram Muzaffer was unexpectedly defeated by Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist 18-year-old Umit Can Patir in the heavyweight final. The young Turkish hope had a hard fight against Hamza Ali Guney during the preliminaries, while Patir outpointed Bahram Muzaffer in the gold medal contest.

Newly-crowned heavyweight champion Muhammet Guner, who defeated Metin Coruk 3:1 in the final, is aiming to qualify for the Olympic Games and end Turkey's drought of successes in the heaviest weight category.

Article and Photo Credit: AIBA