Armenia, Serbia, Croatia and Mozambique shined in the opening sessions of the WBT in Maribor
October 24th, 2022 / World Boxing Tour
Following the trials at the Bocskai and the Strandja tournaments, the World Boxing Tour (WBT) has been officially launched in Maribor, Slovenia with the Silver Belt Series tournament. Boxers from Armenia, Serbia, Croatia and Mozambique shined at the opening sessions of the WBT event.
Slovenia hosted a few international tournaments in recent years, but the World Boxing Tour became the biggest one. The Slovenians participated in the last editions of the World Boxing Championships with several boxers, and they had a record size delegation in Belgrade one year ago.
Armenia vs. France 3-1 in Maribor
The Armenians selected a strong men’s team for the Maribor event, and their boxers made a fantastic start at the WBT. Artur Bazeyan achieved a gold medal at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships in 2021, but he was not a favorite against France’s Samuel Kistohurry, who claimed a bronze medal at the last World Boxing Championships in Belgrade. Bazeyan didn’t stop attacking in their featherweight (57kg) fight and eliminated one of the stars. His teammate, the 26-year-old Narek Manasyan had experience to beat France’s Soheb Bouafia in the heavyweight (92kg). The silver medalist from Belgrade, Davit Chaloyan had a tight success over France’s Djamili-Dini Aboudou Moindze. Among the French boxers, their new light middleweight (71kg) hope, Makan Traore was able to beat Armenian teenager Narek Zakharyan.
Luka Pratljacic defeated an ex-Cuban boxer
Croatia’s Luka Pratljacic made an impressive opening in super heavyweight (+92kg). The Croatian was a member of the junior and youth national teams in the mid-2010s and earned a bronze medal at the 2019 EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. Pratljacic moved up to the heaviest weight category and had strong progress in the previous year, which he showed against Bulgaria’s ex-Cuban Yordan Hernandez in Maribor. The Croatian surprised his opponent with his speed and won their match unanimously, which means that he is now a medalist in Slovenia. His teammate, the quarter-finalist from Belgrade, Gabrijel Veocic knocked out Mexico’s Juan Jose Vargas in the light middleweight (71kg).
Mozambique won two contests in the opening sessions
Mozambique hosted the recent AFBC African Boxing Championships in Maputo one month ago, and their best prospects arrived to Slovenia to earn points for the new IBA World Ranking System. Their Commonwealth Games silver medalist Tiago Osorio Muxanga is one of the new sensations and the discovery of the year. The 22-year-old light middleweight (71kg) boxer was patient and used the best attacking angles to beat Hungary’s Istvan Gerzsenyi in Maribor. Their new AFBC African Champion, Armando Rugoberto Sigauque was too strong for Slovenia’s Mohammad Dawood Rezai at the Silver Belt Series competition.
Tight Serbian triumphs in the quarter-finals
Among Serbia’s best boxers, several of them have been selected to participate in the WBT Silver Belt Series evet in Maribor. Vakhid Abbasov is the defending EUBC European Champion in welterweight (67kg), however, he competes on the light middleweight (71kg) in Maribor. The ex-Russian boxer had a difficult start against the Netherlands’ Tony Jas, who returned to the national team and was not an ideal first opponent for Abbasov. Following the Serbian boxer’s narrow victory, his teammate, another European Champion, Artjom Agejev won his debuting match against Hungary’s Pal Kovacs by a split decision.