Day Seven of the AIBA Youth World Championships saw 40 Quarter-Final bouts take place at the Sibur Arena, and with all the boxers competing for a place in the last four, the prospect of a guaranteed podium finish brought the best out of those left in the tournament. By the end of the two sessions, 40 boxers from 19 nations were guaranteed at least a bronze.
Paalam in command at Light Flyweight (49kg)
The first of the Light Flyweight Quarter-Finals saw tall Frenchman Billal Bennama begin brightly against the USA’s Dylan Price, but it was the American who dug in to earn the judges’ split decision and move to within one win of a place in the final. Cuba’s Jorge Grinan and Ukrainian Oleg Chulyacheyev both delivered some fierce combinations, the nimble Grinan finding the mark more often to progress by split decision. Russia’s Volodya Mnatsakanyan and Philippines’ Carlo Paalam both found early success in their frantic opening round, and Paalam refused to let up the pace as he secured his route to a last-four match against India’s Sachin.
Grau guarantees medal for France at Flyweight (52kg)
Japan’s bright Flyweight prospect Hayato Tsutsumi was in impeccable form as he eliminated Australia’s Jack Bowen with some superb jabs, and Uzbekistan Otabek Kholmatov was in equally uncompromising mood as he powered past Dominican Republic’s Luis Mosquea. An excellent contest between two contrasting styles then saw Cuba’s Elio Santos blunt the attacking instincts of Kazakh Aidos Arapov and he will meet France’s Enzo Grau, winner of a split decision against the Ukrainian Artem Demianko, in Thursday’s Semi-Finals.
Scotland and Ireland progress at Middleweight (75kg)
American Nikita Ababiy was counted at the end of a gruelling first round against Bek Nurmaganbet, and the Kazakh powered home the early advantage to seal a comfortable win. He will face Germany’s Vezir Agirman for a place in the final, after the German came through a tight encounter with Uzbekistan’s Shokhrukhbek Rustamov. Ireland’s European Youth Champion Michael Nevin earned a split decision win over Lithuanian Vytautas Balsys and a Semi-Final against Scotland’s William Hutchison, who emerged victorious from the bout of the session against Venezuelan Diego Mejia.
Russia’s Murashev shines at Light Heavyweight (81kg)
USA’s Christian Montano looked focussed as he faced-off against Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez, but the Cuban’s footwork repeatedly got him out of trouble as he eased through to the last four. It was a very different bout between Croatian Leo Cvetkovic and Russian Sergei Murashev with both boxers determined to stand their ground and endure some draining blows, but Murashev’s overall dominance was reflected in a unanimous win. Ukraine’s Roman Savitskyi edged past a strong challenge from Wales’ Sammy Lee and will meet Kazakhstan’s Bekzad Nurdauletov in the semis after his hard-earned win over Ireland’s Christopher O’Reilly.
India’s Tanwar reaches last four at Heavyweight (91kg)
A determined final round from India’s Naman Tanwar ensured a unanimous win over the Romanian Cristian Filip, but he will need to replicate his very best moments if he is to make it through Thursday’s semi against Cuban Junior World Champion Dainier Pero Justiz, who looked unflappable on route to a unanimous win over Poland’s Kamil Offman. Uzbekistan’s Shokhruz Rakhimov put in a devastating first-round performance against England’s Lewis Williams to assert an unassailable lead and earn a last-four tie against the in-form Russian Vladimir Uzunian.
Germany and Australia into Super Heavyweight (+91kg) semis
Kazakh Super Heavyweight Aiboldy Daurenuly enjoyed a considerable height advantage over Giorgi Tchigladze, but it was the Georgian who successfully outscored his opponent to set up a Semi-Final showdown with Germany’s Nelvie Raman Hess, emphatic winner over Ukrainian Viacheslav Havryliuk. USA’s Richard Torres came through a scrappy affair with Italian Aziz Mouhidine and will meet Australia’s four-time national champion Justis Huni on Thursday for a place in the final after he eliminated Azeri Junior World Champion Mahammad Abdullayev.
Kazakhstan’s Toltayev in control at Bantamweight (56kg)
The Day Seven evening session began with an explosive Bantamweight bout between Australia’s Sam Goodman and Canadian Luis Santana, Goodman’s solid defences providing the perfect base from which to launch waves of attacks and eventually break down his opponent. An intense three rounds of boxing then followed between Turkey’s compact Ali Alagas and Kazakhstan’s Samatali Toltayev, but as his opponent tired, Toltayev was able to seize control and eventually secured a unanimous win. Uzbekistan’s Shunkor Abdurasulov won a narrow split decision against Jiamning Zeng of China before USA’s Marc Castro came through a magnificent contest against one of Russia’s top prospects, Nikita Piskunov.
Delante earns second medal for USA at Lightweight (60kg)
Uzbekistan’s 2015 Junior World Champion Bilolbek Mirzarakhimov used his big right hook time and again to wear down Russian Beslan Khamzaev in the first Lightweight bout of the evening, earning a unanimous win and a Semi-Final against Turkey’s Necat Ekinci. Despite tiring heavily in the third, Ukraine’s Zoravor Petrosian came through a tough test against the Azeri Sarkhan Aliyev, and USA’s Delante Johnson completed the Semi-Final line up after putting an end to the Japanese Lightweight Reo Saito’s superb championship campaign.
Turkey’s Erdemir continues good form at Light Welterweight (64kg)
Ireland’s Gabriel Dossen edged past Dominican Republic’s Rohan Emiliano in the opening bout of the Light Welterweight last eight, progressing to a Semi-Final match-up with
Russia’s Sergei Margaria, winner by split decision against Ashish of India. Turkey’s Junior World Champion Tugrulhan Erdemir narrowly overcame Cuba’s Damian Sifontes and he meets Pavel Mikhailiuk of Belarus on Thursday for the chance to box for gold after he beat Italy’s Cristian Cangelosi by split decision.
Venezuelan Hernandez into last four at Welterweight (69kg)
Melbyn Hernandez of Venezuela put in a superb second-round performance to put his tie against Cuba’s Isamy Ramos out of reach, and he finds himself in the Semi-Finals against
Ukraine’s Pavlo Gula, comfortable winner against Poland’s Eryk Apresyan. Kazakhstan’s formidable Sadriddin Akhmedov came through a breathless affair against Kyrgyzstan’s Aibek Akylbek Uulu and his last-gasp TKO will have brought added confidence into his crucial last-four encounter with England’s bright new talent Mohammed Akbar, Quarter-Final winner over Hungary’s Laszlo Kozak.