The AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships finished with the top 10 male finalist contests in Kielce, Poland. Uzbekistan’s Shakhzod Muzafarov and Japan’s Reito Tsutsumi won the closest final contests with amazing performance in Kielce.
There were 52 participant nations from four different Confederations, who had sent 414 boxers to the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Cuba, India, Japan and Ukraine shared the gold medals of the men’s finals.
Men’s 49kg – Kazakhstan’s Sanzhar Tashkenbay is the first male champion
Russia’s EUBC European Youth Champion Robert Badalian eliminated Thailand’s master Ritthiamon Saengsawang in the quarter-finals and his excellent style of boxing was also proven in the semi-finals of the light flyweight (49kg). The Russian talent met with Kazakhstan’s Sanzhar Tashkenbay in the first male final of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, and he used a different tactic than in the previous rounds. They’re both tall boxers in this category and worked from their best fighting range in the opening three minutes. The Kazakh boxer found his rhythm earlier than Badalian and took the lead on the scorecards after three minutes of fight. The Russian tried to play his game in the second round which was successful against his Thai and Azeri rivals. Badalian returned to the match and tried to move on feet more, but his Kazakh opponent could follow his steps and defeated the Russian by split decision.
“My coach had a great strategy against the Russian in the final and I followed that. I believed that could do my best and I felt good in the title contest. Thanks to the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation for support me, it was a good fight today,” said Kazakhstan’s Sanzhar Tashkenbay after the final contest.
Men’s 52kg – Uzbekistan’s first male title was achieved by Shakhzod Muzafarov
Uzbekistan’s, Shakhzod Muzafarov eliminated Japan’s ASBC Asian Junior Champion, Daiya Kira in the quarter-finals and he proved to be at his best performance on the road to the finals. The Uzbek Elite National Championships silver medallist Muzafarov maintained the best fighting distance well in the first round against Russia’s Evgenii Zhorov and he looked quicker than his opponent. Muzafarov, began the second round more actively and caught Zhorov with several combinations while the Russian tried to land punches from a longer distance. Muzafarov controlled the middle of the ring and his effectiveness, footwork, and speed were enough to beat his Russian opponent once again.
“I was ready for this fight and I knew my Russian opponent from the previous tournaments. I defeated him in the past and I was sure about that I can do it once again in the final of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships,” commented Shakhzod Muzafarov, Uzbekistan’s multi-international tournament winner, on his success..
Men’s 56kg – India’s Sachin caused the main surprise of the finals
Kazakhstan’s, Yerbolat Sabyr defeated the top favorites one by one including, Russia’s Aleksey Shendrik, who won the title of the 2020 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships. The Kazakh boxer is already 19 and had the strong strategy to control the first round against India’s solo male finalist, Sachin. In the battle of the southpaw boxers, the Kazakh was a tough target for the Indian and his counter-punches were impressive in the second round when he controlled the contest from longer range. Sabyr was technically better but Sachin’s fighting spirit in the middle of the second round took the match to a different turn, which led the Indian to cause the biggest surprise of the day.
Men’s 60kg – Japan’s Reito Tsutsumi followed the family traditions
Japan’s No.1, Reito Tsutsumi claimed the gold medals at the Puerto Princesa 2017 ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships, and at the Ulaanbaatar 2019 ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships. AIBA Youth World Champion Reito,Hayato Tsutsumi’s younger brother, already surprised the audience in the previous rounds in Kielce. Tsutsumi met with Kazakhstan’s two-time Youth National Champion ,Yelnur Suyunbay in the final round,who had height as his advantage. Tsutsumi jumped off with an effective fighting range with quick attacks, and he had the speed to catch the taller Kazakh in the first round. Suyunbay is only 17, and he also proved his strong technical skills, but Tsutsumi finished the second round with tough shots, and he had very little advantage after six minutes of word class contest. The Japanese boxer started the third round more aggressively, and his uppercuts worked well, and just like his older brother, he is also now the AIBA Youth World Champion.
“It was the most difficult contest of my life, but I was able to succeed against the tall Kazakh boxer, and I accomplished my target with this gold medal in Kielce,” said Japan’s newly crowned AIBA Youth World Champion, Reito Tsutsumi.
Men’s 64kg – Kazakhstan’s Sabyrzhan Akkalykov kept the distance successfully
Kazakhstan’s Sabyrzhan Akkalykov, eliminated a highly strong boxer as Cuba’s Darian Favier, and India’s ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Ankit Narwal, during his road to the final. The 19-year-old Kazakh used his distance well in the first round against Ukraine’s Bozorboy Matyakubov who reached his career highlight with the final. The Kazakh southpaw was more experienced than his Ukrainian rival, and his counter-punches were dangerous today. Matyakubov, who was born in Uzbekistan but his parents moved to Ukraine when he was three, tried to reduce the fighting distance but Akkalykov’s technical skills made adifference between them today.
“I was expecting a hard battle as I knew my opponent from previous international competitions. I prepared well to go against him, and I had to follow a strategy to work from a longer distance in the final,” said Kazakhstan’s second AIBA Youth World Champion, Sabyrzhan Akkalykov after the contest.
Men’s 69kg – Ukraine’s Yuriy Zakharieievacchieved his gold medal expectations
Ukraine’s, Yuriy Zakharieiev is a two-time EUBC European Youth Champion, who is the top favorite in Kielce,proved it with his impressive performance in the preliminaries and also in the medal phase. The Ukrainian met with Russia’s, Chezrav Ashalaev which was the rematch of the Budva 2020, EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships. Zakharieiev had a similar fighting rhythm as their AIBA Elite World Champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak, but Ashalaev surprised him in the first round with effective punches. The Ukrainian turned up the heat in the second period and he landed more shots than in the first. Zakharieiev caught his Russian opponent also in the third round despite of Ashalaev’s longer reach. The Ukrainian was able to beat his Russian rival by split decision once again and claimed his nation’s first gold medal in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.
Men’s 75kg – Russia’s Mikhail Usov takes revenge in the final
Russia’s most experienced team member, EUBC European Junior Champion Mikhail Usov,lost to Ukraine’s Ilya Tohobytskyi, in the final of the Budva 2020 EUBC European Youth Boxing Championships.The two promising stars met once again in the championship title contest of the middleweight (75kg) in Kielce. Usov was more focused this time in the first round and took the lead in each of the scorecard. The Russian controlled the exchanges, and his right-handed hook was tough in the beginning of the second round. Usov stopped the Ukrainian attacks with different combinations, his tactic worked well therefore he got his vengeance in the final.
“I lost to this Ukrainian boxer 3-2, in the final of the last European Youth Boxing Championships in Budva, therefore I was so motivated in this competition. Thanks to my coach who helped me build up a strong tactic. Therefore I am now AIBA Youth World Champion which is a fantastic feeling,” Russia’s Mikhail Usov commented on his gold medal.
Men’s 81kg – Russia’s second gold medal was taken by Vasiliy Kaverin
Russia’s Vasiliy Kaverin, won the title of the 2016 EUBC European Schoolboys Boxing Championships, and the talented boxer regained his place in the national team, after a few years of taking abreak, therefore he was highly motivated in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. The 19-year-old Russian arrived from Irkutsk to Kielce and had done a fantastic opening round against Montenegro’s EUBC European Youth Champion, Petar Lijesevic in the eighth final of the competition. The Budva-based Lijesevic received strong support from his coach, Mr. Nikola Ruzic. in the first break. Therefore Montenegro’s pride returned to the competition with full speed in the second round. Both boxers gave their allin the final round and the taller Russian was able to manage his narrow success in Kielce.
Men’s 91kg – Cuba’s next star is Jorge Luis Felimon
The big four of the heavyweight (91kg) category, Russia’s Ramazan Dadaev, Ukraine’s defending EUBC European Youth Champion Mykyta Gorbatenko, Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships silver medallist Amirshokh Samadov, and Kazakhstan’s Madi Amirov, surprisingly were not able to advance to the final in Kielce. Cuba’s Jorge Luis Felimon, tried to push Poland’s solo male finalist Jakub Straszewski to the corners and controlled the tempo of the contest. The 17-year-old Polish was brave in the first round, and some of his punches surprised the Cuban in the opening minutes. Felimon doubled his tempo in the second round and following his tough combinations, the Italian referee counted the Polish youngster twice. The Cuban was too strong for his Polish rival in the final round and celebrated his emotional gold medal in Kielce.
“I boxed from my heart, from the very first seconds of this final, and I believed that I can make it. I am the champion and this is a fantastic feeling,” said Cuba’s Jorge Luis Felimon after his final match.
Men’s +91kg – Uzbekistan’s Jakhongir Zokirov stopped his Armenian rival
Uzbekistan’s top favorite, ASBC Asian Junior Champion 200cm tall Jakhongir Zokirov, had a tough semi-final against Hungary’s Levente Kiss, and he was well-prepared all the way to final where he faced with Armenia’s Hovhannes Papazyan. The Caucasian boxer started with some effective hooks, but Zokirov quickly regained the control and landed some stronger punches. The 17-year-old Uzbek dominated the second part of the first round and he continued the dominancy against the Armenian for the next three minutes. Zokirov’s left hand was dangerous in all of the exchanges for Papazyan, and one of his body shots was lethal therefore the referee stopped their final.