World Boxing Tour

IBA World Boxing Tour Golden Belt Series event in Marrakesh set to reach thrilling finale

February 9th, 2023 / World Boxing Tour

  • Four Moroccans have qualified for gold medal bouts at the World Boxing Tour Golden Belt Series event in Marrakesh
  • A total of 14 different countries are represented across the finals, demonstrating the reach of the event
  • Gold medal-winners in Marrakesh will receive 900 valuable ranking points towards their 2023 campaign

The stage is set for a thrilling conclusion to the International Boxing Association (IBA) World Boxing Tour Golden Belt Series event in Marrakesh, with four Moroccans among a multinational line-up of finalists.

Demonstrating the global reach of the event, boxers from a total of 14 different countries will compete across the 25 gold medal bouts after jaw-dropping displays of skill, speed and power at the 2,500-seat M’Hamid competition venue.

In the men’s competition, Mohamed Hamout, a gold medal-winner for Morocco at the 2015 African Championships and 2022 Mediterranean Games, will be joined by compatriots Hamza Essaadi and Imad Azoui in finals against Russian opponents.

Hamout will face Vsevolod Shumkov in the lightweight final after nail-biting split-decision victories for both athletes in their semi-finals against Jordan’s Mohammad Abu Jajeh and José Quiles Brotons from Spain, respectively. Essaadi will take on Edmond Khudoian in the 46-48 kg minimum weight category, while bantamweight Azoui will face Dmitrii Dvali.

In the women’s competition, home favourite Khadija Mardi will aim to go one better than her silver medal at last year’s World Championships after stopping Russian Diana Piatak in the third round of their heavyweight semi-final. Mardi will encounter 2016 world champion Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan after the latter swept to a unanimous points win against Spain’s Zaira Garay Garcia.

In other highly anticipated finals, Kazakhstan’s Karina Ibragimova, who claimed a unanimous win on points against Chinese Taipei’s two-time women’s world champion Lin Yu-Ting in the semi-finals, will take on World Championships silver medallist Russia’s Liudmila Vorontsova in the women’s featherweight category.

Meanwhile, Italian Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine will be hoping to avenge his defeat to Cuba’s five-time world champion Julio La Cruz in the 2021 Men’s World Boxing Championships heavyweight final.

“The quality of the contests has been truly outstanding, and the finals will bring this memorable event to a fitting conclusion,” IBA’s Secretary General and CEO, George Yerolimpos, says. “With four Moroccans ready to compete in the finals, the atmosphere in the competition arena promises to be electric. Aside from the gold medals on offer, the winners will also receive 900 valuable ranking points that could make a huge difference to their hopes of reaching the season-ending Diamond Belt Series event.”

Marrakesh is hosting the third event on the World Boxing Tour, the IBA’s groundbreaking new competition series, after successful Silver and Golden Belt Series tournaments in Slovenia and Mexico, respectively, last year.