Roars could be heard around the Mika stadium at the IBA Junior World Boxing Championships as nine of the 10 home boxers made it to the finals in Armenia.
Feeding off the support of the crowd in Yerevan, four of their athletes claimed victory by referee’s stoppage.
In the afternoon session, Heghine Petrosyan had one of the fastest victories of the day, forcing her women’s 48kg bout to end in the first round against Sin-Ai Shen of Chinese Taipei. She faces Payal from India in the final, who unanimously defeated Sila Bibolsynkyzy from Kazakhstan.
Two more referee’s stoppages came in the evening session almost simultaneously, as Tigran Ovsepian was named the men’s 50kg bout winner during the second round against Hungarian Dominik Gombai; followed by Vagharshak Keyan in the men’s 48kg fight with Kazakhstan’s Nygman Nygmet, putting in one of the performances of the day.
They respectively face Angel Dimitrov from Bulgaria – who won on a 3-2 split decision against Khusan Kokhkhorov of Uzbekistan – and IBA Germany’s Emal Hamdam, who also won by split decision over India’s Sikander.
Andranik Martirosyan also had his arm raised early, vanquishing Akram Zeadeh of Jordan within two rounds and faces Firiuzjon Sadullaev of Uzbekistan in the men’s 60kg final.
Convincing Armenian wins were found elsewhere too. Aren Kharatyan was the first victor of the day, beating Yanko Iliev in the men’s 52kg semi-finals and faces Amantur Dzhumaev of Kyrgyzstan next; Samvel Siramargyan looked comfortable in his match with Norbek Abduallev of Uzbekistan to set up a men’s 70kg final with Poland’s Fabian Urbanski; and Arno Darchinyan made the men’s 45kg final against Russian Islam Magomedov by defeating Abdurakhmon Makhmudjonov from Uzbekistan.
Argishti Hakobyan booked his spot in the men’s 66kg final with victory over Uzbek Akbar Ahmadov, where he will face Ivan Siniak of Belarus; while Albert Harutyunyan came out on top in the men’s 75kg semi-finals against Yolber Bandomo Carbonell of Spain, with his final challenger being Sahil from India, who won a winner-takes-all final round with Vladimir Dranko of Russia.
The only defeat that stopped a “perfect 10” Armenian finalists came at the hands of Hemant Sangwan in the men’s over-80kg competition, unanimously defeating Tigran Khachatryan. The Indian faces Islam Salikhov of Uzbekistan in the final.
In fact, India will have the most finalists of any country with 12, compared to Armenia and Russia with nine and Uzbekistan with seven. Of the 13 women’s finals, India will be represented in eight of them.
Emblematic of her country’s dominance, Prachi Tokas had the fastest victory of the day, winning by referee’s stoppage after just 1 minute and 33 seconds against Mariia Osipova of Russia in the women’s over-80kg semi-finals. Not to be outdone, Uzbekistan’s Sobirakhon Shakhobidoinova also won her semi-final in the first round, delivering two clear blows to Belgian Zaineb Sammar in the dying seconds before the break, forcing the referee to intervene.
In the weight class below, Megha Sheokand was on the front foot throughout her bout with An-Chi Tseng of Chinese Taipei, also winning by referee’s stoppage. Anna Buzuleva stands between her and the women’s 80kg gold medal. Buzuleva was one of the nine Russians to make the finals, having her arm raised a ring across from teammate Ekaterina Frolova, who advances to the women’s 75kg finale by beating Flora Budai of Hungary. Uzbekistan’s Maftuna Yangieva will be a tough challenger for the title, having defeated Indian Kritika Wasan by referee’s stoppage.
Unanimous Indian wins came for Amisha Kerketta in the women’s 54kg category against Romanian Rocio Trigos Bucur; Vini with a comfortable destruction of Ouriana Kantzari from Greece in the women’s 57kg; Hardik Panwar over Andrei Rumiantsau of Belarus in the men’s 80kg; Akansha Phalaswal in the women’s 70kg over Ireland’s Mary McDonagh; and Shrushti Sathe in the women’s 63kg against Alina Kudaigenova of Kazakhstan.
They respectively face unanimous winner Sydyk Ayazhan of Kazakhstan; Sevara Mamatova of Uzbekistan, who vanquished Anasatasiia Taratynova from Russia in under two minutes with a flurry of punches; Bairamkhan Ashurov of Russia, another first-round winner; unanimous winner Elizaveta Taimazova from Russia; and Siofra Lawless of Ireland, who put in a dynamic performance to beat Ana Khevedelidze of Georgia by referee’s stoppage.
There were many Russia-India bouts, but one of the fieriest was between Diana Sikstus and Nisha in the women’s 52kg semi-final. Both utilised the method of offence being the best defence, and both were penalised for infringements. But through all the drama, it was the Indian Nisha who prevailed by split decision – now facing Farinoz Abdulloeva of Tajikistan in the final.
Another saw Jatin beat Russian Pavel Kondrashov by a split decision in the men’s 54kg to set up a final bout with Kazakh Nurassyl Tulebek. Yet, in another bout that prioritised attack over defence, Russia’s Anastasia Tiunina defeated India’s Nehu Lunthi, smartly picking her punches to advance to the women’s 46kg final against Uzbekistan’s Maftuna Musurmonova.
Some of the most impressive wins came from Russian boxers too – Snezhana Kuznetsova struck with a swagger in her women’s 50kg victory over Gaukhar Zarden of Kazakhstan, while Kira Leonova was the unanimous winner over Molka Khalifi from Tunisia in the women’s 60kg semi-finals, meaning they next face Maria Georgopoulou of Greece and Tolganay Kassymkhan of Kazakhstan.
Platon Kozlov saved the best until last, dominating in his men’s 57kg bout over Dilerbek Sadirov of Kyrgyzstan, next facing Albanian Adam Maca, the comfortable winner in his bout with Amanollah Sanak of Afghanistan.
Only two finals will not feature an Armenian, an Indian or a Russian. Aisulu Mukhit of Kazakhstan was the unanimous winner against Russia’s Anastasiia Gribanova; while Amalia Tugui from Romania picked her shots wisely to defeat Nidhi Dhull of India in the women’s 66kg. Khikmatillo Ulmasov of Uzbekistan unanimously defeated Ecuador’s Derlys Martinez in the men’s 63kg, next facing Irish boxer John Maher – a split-decision victor over Greece’s Emmanouil Fotiadis.
The finals of the IBA Junior World Boxing Championships are scheduled for 3-4 December at Mika arena with 26 gold medals being at stake in 13 junior men’s and 13 junior women’s weight divisions.
To watch the IBA Youth World Championships Finals, visit iba.sport.