A packed programme of 54 bouts took place on Day Three of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Saint Petersburg, and the city’s Sibur Arena was granted two more absorbing sessions of boxing as the Kazakhstan, Germany, Cuba, Uzbekistan, England and France teams all shone, while Nicaraguan Flyweight Darwin Jose Martinez made history with his country’s first-ever victory in the competition.
The second preliminary bouts at Light Flyweight (49kg), Flyweight (52kg) and Bantamweight (56kg), and the first bouts at Heavyweight (91kg), saw the winners progress to the last sixteen, and it was the United States’ Light Flyweight Dylan Price who made the early impact with a hard-earned victory over Georgia’s EUBC European Confederation Junior Champion Shakhil Allakhverdovi.
Romania’s Junior World Champion progresses at Light Flyweight
Russia’s 18-year-old Youth National Champion Vladimir Mnatsakanyan proved too fast for Hungary’s Gabor Virban, finishing strongly with some excellent final-round combinations, before France’s Billal Bennama was made to work hard to edge past England’s Connor Butler. Cuba’s Jorge Grinan struggled to find his range early on against Kazakhstan’s in-form Yevgeniy Pavlov, but the Caribbean boxer dug deep to continue his medal quest, and Romania’s AIBA Junior World Champion Cosmin Girleanu’s got his campaign in Saint Petersburg under way with an impressive display against Thailand’s Chakhrit Wanichachiwa.
Bantamweight Marc Castro gets campaign underway for USA
At Bantamweight, Germany’s Andreas Jager improved on a nervy first round showing with a bold win against Mongolia’s Gantogtokh Odbold, and Uzbek medal-hope Shunkor Abdurasulov came through a superb battle with Italy’s EUBC European Junior Champion Matteo Pirrera. Talented Welsh boxer and British Youth Champion Michael McDonagh made it three wins from three for his team so far in Saint Petersburg with victory over Denmark’s Ahmad Chaouki El Ahmad, before Russia’s AIBA Junior World Champion Nikita Piskunov counter-attacked his way through another testing encounter against Georgia’s Otar Naveriani. The gifted American Marc Castro then set up an enticing last-16 bout with England’s Charles Frankham with a win over Armenian Vahe Badalyan.
Flyweight competition hots up while the Heavyweights debut
Cuban Flyweight Elio Crespo was able to endure some attacking prowess from Ireland’s Conor Quinn, and it was an equally close affair that played out between Germany’s Hamsat Shadalov and United States’ Fernando Martinez, with Shadalov eventually making it through. Kazakhstan’s two-time Brandenburg Youth Cup winner Aidos Arapov used his dangerous jab to brilliant effect as he bypassed the challenge of Russia’s Nikolai Matveev, before Darwin Jose Martinez delivered the performance of the day to eliminate the Italian Damiano Cordella and record a historic first win for Nicaragua in the competition. England’s EUBC European Confederation Youth Champion Akash Tuqir and France’s Enzo Grau also progressed with impressive displays.
Cuba’s AIBA Junior World Champion Dainier Pero and Georgia’s EUBC European Youth Champion Nikoloz Begadze then met each other in one of the most highly anticipated match-ups of Day Three, and the two Heavyweights did not disappoint. Begadze surprised Pero in the first round with his accuracy but the Cuban soon found his rhythm to earn the judges’ decision at the end of a superb bout.