Algeria’s Imane Khelif and Argentinean male boxers made progress at the Istanbul Bosphorus International Boxing Tournament

March 22nd, 2021 / IBA

The Turkish Boxing Federation’s new elite event, the Istanbul Bosphorus International Boxing Tournament, ended with thirteen finals on the fifth competition day. Algeria’s Imane Khelif and Argentinean men boxers made considerable progress as compared to their previous performance, while Russian girls claimed three gold medals in Istanbul.

The Istanbul Bosphorus Boxing Tournament was held for both genders; five women and eight men winners won their gold medals. Turkey earned four gold medals and topped the medal standings in Istanbul, just narrowly beating the Russian team which bagged three titles in women weight categories. Kazakhstan, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, and Algeria won the remaining titles in Istanbul.

The Istanbul Bosphorus International Boxing Tournament was held in the memory of their officials Mr. Erdinc Güleren, Mr. Abdulaziz Kilic and Mr. Zafer Kaya. Four out of the five Confederations sent female and male boxers to the new international event. Boxers who were born between 1981 and 2002 were eligible to attend in the Istanbul Bosphorus Boxing Tournament.

The Turkish Boxing Federation’s previous international event, the Ahmet Cömert Tournament boasted a great tradition which launched in 1986. The Turkish Boxing Federation has the experience of hosting major AIBA and EUBC Boxing Championships in the past decade, and now they placed a new event on the boxing map.

Algeria’s Imane Khelif exceeded the expectations

Algeria sent their best female and male boxers to the Istanbul Bosphorus International Boxing Tournament in Turkey to train for the upcoming major events. The Algerians had one finalist this time, Imane Khelif who won the gold medal at the African Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. Khelif is turning only 22 this year, yet she has strong international experience of beating top boxers. Following her silver medal at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament, the Algerian used her height advantage well in the final of the Turkish event. Khelif kept Russia’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion, experienced Anastasia Beliakova, at a distance, and her tactics won her the gold medal at the lightweight (60kg).

Abramova, Sandakova and Gapeshina claimed three women gold medals for Russia

The Russian Boxing Federation split their women team and send different line-ups to the international competitions to Bulgaria, Spain and Turkey. Daria Abramova was EUBC European Women’s Champion who returned to international events after a break and won the featherweight title (57kg) after beating Romania’s Claudia Nechita. The next Russian EUBC European Women’s Champion Darima Sandakova delivered a fantastic performance at the welterweight (69kg), her prudent style and tactical superiority paid off in the final bout against Argentina’s Lucia Noelia Perez. The third Russian gold medal was won by Elena Gapeshina at the middleweight (75kg) following her surprise victory over Kazakhstan’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Valentina Khalzova.

Argentina claimed two gold medals in Istanbul

The Argentineans travelled more than 12,000 km to compete at the Istanbul Bosphorus International Boxing Tournament. Their head coach Mr. Fabricio Nieva selected the best female and male boxers to compete in Turkey, and the team rose above their previous level. Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Mirco Cuello not only advanced to the final of the men’s featherweight (57kg) but worked hard to beat Kyrgyzstan’s Akylbek Esenbek Uulu. Following Cuello’s highlight, his teammate Francisco Daniel Veron dominated the middleweight (75kg) final. Veron’s opponent was Azerbaijan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist veteran Kamran Shakhsuvarly, but the Argentinean dominated the final from the first exchanges.

The list of the winners in the Istanbul Bosphorus International Boxing Tournament

Women’s 51kg: Busenaz Cakiroglu, Turkey

Women’s 57kg: Daria Abramova, Russia

Women’s 60kg: Imane Khelif, Algeria

Women’s 69kg: Darima Sandakova, Russia

Women’s 75kg: Elena Gapeshina, Russia

Men’s 52kg: Azat Usenaliev, Kyrgyzstan

Men’s 57kg: Mirco Cuello, Argentina

Men’s 63kg: Hakan Dogan, Turkey

Men’s 69kg: Darkhan Duisebay, Kazakhstan

Men’s 75kg: Francisco Daniel Veron, Argentina

Men’s 81kg: Bayram Malkan, Turkey

Men’s 91kg: Abzal Kuttybekov, Kazakhstan

Men’s 91+kg: Berat Acar, Turkey