Forty-seven bouts concluded in the third competition day at the EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy. Bulgaria’s Yasen Radev is two-time EUBC European Youth Champion but he had to box over his limit to beat Spain’s new hope, Joan Manuel Torres Valdez.
The men’s flyweight (52kg), bantamweight (56kg), lightweight (60kg), welterweight (69kg), light heavyweight (81kg) and heavyweight (91kg) boxers were in action in the third competition day when all of the winners advanced to the last eight.
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
Joan Manuel Torres Valdez was born in the Dominican Republic but he switched to Spain and joined to the national team. The Spaniard moved down to the flyweight (52kg) and opened his campaign with a success in Roseto degli Abruzzi on Day1. Torres used his impressive footwork against Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Youth Champion Yasen Radev in the first round and shocked his star opponent. The 19-year-old Bulgarian stepped into the gas in the second round and his fighting spirit was enough to turn back their battle which was one of the closest ones in the whole competition day.
The surprise of the day
Ukraine’s Yuriy Tomyuk was EUBC European Junior Champion in 2017 and he has done strong performance in the previous elite tournaments. The 20-year-old Ukrainian felt the tempo well in the first round against Azerbaijan’s Maksud Khasmetov who was born also in 2001 as Tomyuk. The Azeri boxer was a hard target in the second round and his patient style looked effective in the middle of the bout. Tomyuk moved ahead in the third but Khasmetov’s counter-punches guaranteed his success in their bantamweight (56kg) battle.
Italy’s Halit Eryilmaz moved more on feet than Georgia’s Giorgi Kapanadze in the first round of their preliminary contest at the bantamweight (56kg) but he received tough punches from close distance. The smaller Georgian moved forward more in the second round and landed stronger punches than his Italian opponent. Eryilmaz had massive disadvantage after six minutes of fight but he had a strong stamina to turn back their contest in Roseto. The Italian boxer proved his very best in the third but Kapanadze advanced to the last eight of the championships.
Italy’s Francesco Iozia and Finland’s Arslan Khataev both competed in the major youth events in 2015 and in 2016. Khataev, who claimed silver medal at the 2015 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships, tried to work from longer distance against the smaller Italian. Iozia and Khataev have done a great tactical game in the first round and both of them increased the tempo in the second. The Italian lightweight (60kg) boxer worked hard in all of the three rounds and advanced to the quarter-finals.
Hungary’s Gabor Virban claimed bronze medal at the 2016 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships and since then he moved up two weight categories. The Hungarian started better than Ireland’s Adam Hession and took the lead on the scorecards after three minutes of fight. The Irish bantamweight (56kg) boxer received strong advices in the first break and he opened the second round in different tactic and rhythm. Hession jumped into the best fighting range and moved back quickly to avoid the Hungarian counter-attacks. The Irish talent was better in the second and third rounds and turned back their contest in Roseto.
Georgia’s Seed No.1 Artush Gomtsyan competed already at the 2017 EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships at the age of 18. The Georgian bantamweight (56kg) boxer was bronze medallist in the 2018 European Union Boxing Championships and he started well against a top rival, Ukraine’s Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Taras Bondarchuk. The Ukrainian tried to use his longer hands better in the second round but Gomtsyan’s aggressive fighting style was uncomfortable for him. The Georgian won their contest by split decision and bowed out one of his main rivals in the event.
Russia’s Ivan Stupin is a new national team member at the welterweight (69kg) but he is a well-experienced boxer in the international stage. He won the title at the 2016 EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships in Kaposvar, Hungary and claimed gold also in his first elite competition at the Golden Gloves Tournament in Serbia two and half years ago. Hungary’s four-time National Champion Laszlo Kozak was competitive against him in the first round but Stupin increased his tempo in the second. The Russian boxer controlled the last round and advanced to the quarter-finals in Roseto degli Abruzzi.
Italy’s Gianluigi Malanga involved to the U22 national team in 2018 and he was also member of their squad at the Yekaterinburg 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The Italian welterweight (69kg) boxer opened with a nice success in Roseto degli Abruzzi and he had strong motivation in his second bout against Croatia’s Petar Cetinic. Malanga used better tempo in the first round and he was able to share his power well between the three rounds to win the bout by unanimous decision.
France’s EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships bronze medallist Ibrahim Boukedim is a fantastic talent at the flyweight (52kg) and his development is significant this year. The 20-year-old French has got similar technical and tactical knowledge as their AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Billal Bennama. He used virtuoso style of boxing against Serbia’s Rade Joksimovic and the French was a hard target on their contest. Boukedim was quicker and knew more about boxing than his Serbian opponent therefore he advanced to the quarter-finals.