Five days and 203 bouts after the start of the 2015 AIBA World Championships in Doha, 40 boxers from 18 countries still have their dreams of being crowned World Champion alive. Among them are seven boxers from the Cuban camp, six from Uzbekistan, three Irish and two Chinese. And three defending champions.
Cuba’s WSB lightweight maestro Lazaro Alvarez took World Championship gold in 2011 and again in 2013, and will be eager to set up a final with Brazilian Robson Donato Conceicao to whom he lost in this year’s AMBC American Confederation Championship final. First, he must overcome Uzbekistan’s less-experienced Elnur Abduraimov in Monday’s semi-final.
Kazakhstan’s No.1 Daniyar Yeleussinov was named AIBA Boxer of the year for 2013 and 2014, and already looks in the kind of form that won him World Championship gold in Almaty two years ago. To reach a title-defending final, however, he must first overcome Azerbaijan’s Parviz Baghirov on Monday evening. Baghirov defeated Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias in the quarter-final and has had a good 2015 so far, with strong performances in WSB’s Season V and a gold medal at June’s European Games in Baku.
The third defending champion to reach the Doha semi-finals is Cuba’s team captain and clear crowd favourite Julio La Cruz. The virtuoso light heavyweight’s impressive footwork and rapid counters have seen him cruise into the semi-finals, where he will now face Russian Pavel Silyagin, unbeaten in this year’s World Series of Boxing.
The 2015 AIBA World Championship semi-finals get will be held on 11 and 12 October from 5pm CET. Watch all the action live on www.iba.sport. #AIBAWorlds2015