Finalists confirmed at five weights after first day of World Championship Semi-Finals underlines the talent on show in Hamburg

August 31st, 2017 / IBA

Thursday evening’s Light Flyweight (49kg), Bantamweight (56kg), Light Welterweight (64kg), Middleweight (75kg) and Heavyweight (91kg) bouts confirmed the first finalists who will go for gold in Hamburg on Saturday


ROUND ONE: First timers
On Thursday, no fewer than three newcomers to the unique pressures of the AIBA World Championships made it through to the Final on debut to contest the gold medal. At Bantamweight (56kg), the USA’s Duke Ragan overcame a spirited challenge from India’s Gaurav Bidhuri, Uzbek Light Welterweight (64kg) Ikboljon Kholdarov defeated Ragan’s talented teammate Freudis Rojas, and Kazakhstan Middleweight (75kg) Abilkhan Amankul edged past Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly, leaving all three one win from the title of World Champion.

ROUND TWO: Take your chances
Two years ago, Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko banished the disappointment of losing the final in 2013 and turned his silver to gold in Doha. This year, in Hamburg, it is Erislandy Savon’s turn to try and convert his opportunity to be crowned World Champion. The Cuban Heavyweight lost to the Russian to go home with the silver in Doha, and will be going all out on Saturday to defeat his rival.

On route to Saturday’s Middleweight (75kg) Final, Oleksandr Khyzniak has emerged as the man to continue Ukraine’s great tradition of tough, close-in boxers. After shining in Kharkiv, the 2017 EUBC Champion has continued to impress in Hamburg, powering past USA’s Troy Islay on Thursday evening to reach the gold-medal bout.


The first bout of the day saw defending World Champion Joahnys Argilagos once again show his patience in the opening stages of the Light Flyweight (49kg) Semi-Final with Kazakhstan’s Zhomart Yerzhan. The Cuban chose his moments to attack carefully from a solid defensive base that Yerzhan struggled to break down, and looked comfortable on the way to the Final. There he will meet Olympic Champion Hasanboy Dusmatov after Uzbekistan’s Olympic Champion came through a thrilling test against Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez courtesy of his unerring accuracy.

Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev got his bout against England’s European Champion Peter McGrail off to a strong start, only for McGrail to work his way back into the bout with some smart counter-attacking combinations. It was Yeraliyev who was able to dig deep and hold off the challenge, however, reaching his first World Championship final against Duke Ragan, the American revelation overcoming India’s Gaurav Bidhuri by unanimous decision.

A tight bout unravelled between two newcomers to the Light Welterweight (64kg) elite level, with both eager to leave their mark on the competition. After three tight rounds it was Uzbekistan’s Ikboljon Kholdarov who stood firm under considerable pressure from USA’s Freudis Rojas, and he will meet  Andy Cruz after the Cuban emerged victorious after a huge test against the tough Armenian Hovhannes Bachkov.

Abilkhan Amankul and Kamran Shakhsuvarly exchanged some huge blows in the opening round of their Middleweight (75kg) contest, before the Kazakh managed to establish enough of an advantage to secure a narrow split decision win. Amankul meets Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzniak, winner of three brilliant rounds of close-quarters boxing with American Troy Isley.

Reigning Olympic and World Champion Evgeny Tishchenko delivered a performance worthy of a place in the final as he managed to keep Sanjar Tursunov at bay despite the Uzbek’s best efforts to close the distance on his opponent. The unanimous decision saw him through to a gold-medal match-up against Cuba’s Erislandy Savon, winner over Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit after a tense duel saw the tall Cuban edge a narrow 3-2 split decision.