Decisive Day Nine in Saint Petersburg as Youth World Championships Semi-Finals see 12 nations left chasing gold

November 25th, 2016 / IBA

Friday at the AIBA Youth World Championships saw two superb sessions of Semi-Finals as the competition entered its final stages. Following in the footsteps of the tournament’s previous gold medallists who have gone on to become world beaters, the crowds at the Sibur Arena witnessed a breath-taking day of action from tomorrow’s elite champions.

Bantamweight (56kg) Castro marches on
Cuba’s Jorge Grinan Merencio met the USA’s promising Dylan Price in the opening Light Flyweight (49kg) Semi-Final, and the Cuban pounced on Price’s rare openings with some big rights to book himself into a final against India’s Sachin Singh, who controlled a tight bout against Philippines’s Carlo Paalam. At Bantamweight (56kg) Kazakhstan’s Samatali Toltayev kept his composure and landed some clear blows against Australian Sam Goodman to reach the final. The Kazakh will go for gold against USA’s Marc Castro, who stayed on course to replicate his 2015 Junior World title after edging a split decision against Uzbekistan’s Shunkor Abdurasulov. “it was a tricky bout and he was a tough opponent, but I knew I’d done enough to win,” said a relieved Castro afterwards.

Scotland take on Kazakhstan for Middleweight gold

Russia’s Sergei Margarian caught Ireland’s Gabriel Dossen with a big right at the end of the second round to seize the advantage and move into the Light Welterweight (64kg) final, where he will have a shot at gold against Turkey’s Tugrulhan Erdemir. A brilliant first Middleweight (75kg) semi then saw Kazakhstan’s technical Bek Nurmaganbet outscore Germany’s Agriman Vezir. Ireland’s Michael Nevin and Scotland’s William Hutchison were both fired-up for their Celtic encounter, and it was Hutchison who continued his impressive journey to the final. “What a bout and what a competitor. I’ve beaten a Cuban, a Hungarian, a Venezuelan and now the three-time European champion. I just have to beat the Kazakh and I’m going home with the gold,” the delighted Scot said afterwards.

Cuba’s Pero and Russia’s Uzunian to meet on Saturday
Cuban Heavyweight (91kg) Dainier Pero repeatedly found his target as he stalked India’s Naman Tanwar around the ring, and the 2015 World Junior Champion’s unanimous win set up a hotly anticipated final against Russia’s European Youth Champion Vladimir Uzunian, who put in a virtuoso performance against Uzbek Shokhruz Rakhimov. Hayato Tsutsumi earned the judges’ decision in the first bout of the evening session against Uzbek Otabek Kholmatov, and a place in the Flyweight (52kg) final against Cuba’s nimble Elio Santos. The Lightweight final will see Uzbekistan’s Bilolbek Mirzarakhimov take on the USA’s Delante Johnson after both secured comfortable passage to Saturday’s gold-medal showdown.

Georgia and Australia set to go head-to-head

Kazakhstan’s Sadriddin Akhmedov showed his title potential with an impressive win over England’s talented 17-year-old Mohammed Akbar, and faces Pavlo Gula of Ukraine, winner against Venezuela’s Melbyn Hernandez, for Welterweight (69kg) gold. Cuban powerhouse Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez managed to avoid the worst of Russian Sergei Murashev’s attacks, with the Light Heavyweight stifling his opponent to set up a final against Ukrainian Roman Savitskyi, winner of a hard but sporting contest against Kazakh Bekzad Nurdauletov.

The Super Heavyweight semis wrapped up the day, Georgia’s potent Giorgi Tchigladze delivering a powerful performance over German Nelvie Tiafack and declaring his win “…the perfect birthday present for my sister and for all my family and Georgia”. Tchigladze meets Justis Huni after the Australian battled through against USA’s Richard Torres.

Watch the AIBA Youth World Championship Finals in Saint Petersburg live on from 2pm local time.