The EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships started with 36 preliminary contests in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy. The Italian boxers have done perfect opening in the EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships, all of their three talents eliminated strong rivals in the opening day.
The men’s lightweight (60kg), light welterweight (64kg), welterweight (69kg), middleweight (75kg) and heavyweight (91kg) boxers were in action in the first competition day. The total number of U22 boxers is 285 in the first European continental event of the year including 92 young ladies. The Technical Delegate of the EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships is Mr. Maxim Cherticovtsev of Moldova.
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales sent their boxers to the event.
The bout of the day
Netherlands’ Cas Van Peer claimed bronze medal in the 2018 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships which was held in Roseto degli Abruzzi. After three years, he returned to the Italian city to represent his nation as U22 boxer. The Dutch moved up to the welterweight (69kg) but he had the height advantage against Bulgaria’s Vensan Kirkorov. Van Peer moved ahead more but the quick Bulgarian counter-attacked him with good punches in the first and second rounds. The Dutch was able to use his excellent physical skills only in the third round but his efforts were not enough to turn back the contest.
The surprise of the day
Wales has got fantastic boxers in the 2001 age group, one of them is Ioan Croft who won several international youth tournaments. The 20-year-old Welsh welterweight (69kg) boxer had a three-years older Polish rival, Filip Wachala but he handled the first round tactically much better. The Polish was brave to Croft stopped him with left-handed jabs and opened the contest better. Wachala was never stopped attacking and despite of his disadvantage after three minutes, he could turn back their narrow contest in Roseto.
Albania’s Xhoi Eliazi claimed bronze medal at the 2020 Zagreb Grand Prix but he is not an experienced boxer in the international stage yet. The Albanian welterweight (69kg) boxer landed nice hooks against Croatia’s Petar Cetinic who claimed several medals in the recent years in various competitions. The Croatian tried to rule the middle of the ring and dictate the tempo which was effective from the second round. The 22-year-old Cetinic had enough technical skills to win their difficult contest in the afternoon session.
Sweden’s Peter Cook Ahlberg competed at the 2017 EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships and after four years, he returned to the continental events. The Swedish welterweight (69kg) boxer moved ahead smartly against Armenia’s Armen Mashakaryan in the first round and waited for the best attacking angles. The Armenian also did not box in the continental level since 2017 but he proved strong development in footwork and he was hard target for the younger Swedish talent. Mashakaryan has done also a great finish and landed tough combinations in the end of the third round therefore he advanced to the next stage.
Hungary’s Laszlo Kozak was quarter-finalist already in the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and he claimed four national titles in the recent years. The Hungarian welterweight (69kg) boxer started well against Slovenia’s Aljaz Sircelj and landed punches from longer distance. The 22-year-old Hungarian enjoyed the contest in the second round when he controlled the exchanges well enough. Kozak was too experienced for the Slovenian and as expected, he advanced to the next preliminary round.
Italy’s first boxer in action at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships was Gianluigi Malanga at the welterweight (69kg). The Italian boxer competed already at the Yekaterinburg 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships and used his excellent footwork to land punched from longer range against his first opponent, Slovakia’s newcomer Marian Misalko. The Italian southpaw proved that he prepared well to the championship and won his debuting match by unanimous decision.
Italy’s second boxer, Remo Salvati boxed at the middleweight (75kg) with Spain’s Pablo Coy who competed at the 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. The Italian middleweight (75kg) boxer started better and took the lead on the scorecards after three minutes of boxing. The Spaniard came back in the second round with better punches but Salvati’s stamina was enough to keep his advantage and won their contest. His teammate Francesco Iozia impressed also in the opening day and eliminated England’s Nico Leivars at the lightweight (60kg).
Scotland’s EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships silver medallist Sam Hickey controlled his contest against Montenegro’s Stefan Savkovic in the middleweight (75kg). France’s Moreno Fendero is a great puncher in this weight class who defeated Moldova’s Andrei Vreme in the next excellent contest. The closest bout in the category was held between Germany’s Cologne Boxing World Cup winner Kevin Boakye-Schumann and Finland’s three-years younger Anton Embulajev. The German boxer proved strong progress this year and he has done enough to win their narrow fight.