O’Rourke and Çakıroğlu become three-time champions at European Boxing Championships

April 30th, 2024 / IBA, EUBC

Aoife O’Rourke and Buse Naz Çakıroğlu etched themselves into the records as three-time gold medallists at the EUBC Elite European Boxing Championships, following final victories at the Aleksandar Nikolić Hall “Pionir” in Belgrade, Serbia.

Ireland’s O’Rourke came into the tournament unbeaten on the continent since the start of the 2019 European Championships, having also claimed gold at the 2023 European Games. Standing in the way of another title in the women’s 75kg was Russian Anastasiia Shamanova, one of the most successful boxers at youth and junior level. A tight contest would go the way of O’Rourke by a 3-2 split decision.

Expectations were laid heavily on Olympic silver medallist and 2022 World champion Çakıroğlu representing Türkiye, who had a stellar record of two European Games titles, two European Championships titles and a silver medal from 2018. The third gold was draped around her neck after a unanimous decision victory over Anastasiia Kool from Russia in the women’s 52kg final. Her teammate Busenaz Surmeneli added a European gold to her Olympic and two World crowns in the women’s 66kg final, comfortably beating Russian Albina Moldazhanova.

It was a successful Championships for the host nation Serbia who stood atop the podium four times. Sara Cirkovic was the athlete most expected to be there and she delivered in the women’s 54kg, beating 2019 European champion Lacramioara Perijoc from Romania. Jovan Nikolic also won the men’s 71kg over Georgia’s Eskerkhan Madiev. Victories also came for Natalia Shadrina and Kristina Kaluhova in the women’s 60kg and 63kg categories.

Russia finished on the top of the medal table with 11 gold medals, particularly excelling in men’s boxing. Tarkhan Idigov once again denied two-time world medallist and European silver medallist Lasha Guruli from Georgia, a title on the continent – winning the men’s 67kg final by referee’s stoppage. Dmitrii Dvali also defeated three-time world medallist and defending European champion Billal Bennama in the men’s 54kg.

The Bulgarian pair of Javier Ibañez and Radoslav Simeonov Rosenov were defeated consecutively in the men’s 60kg and 63.5kg finals to Eduard Savvin and Vsevolod Shumkov.

However, Rami Mofid Kiwan would exact retribution for Bulgaria in the men’s 75kg, defeating 2021 world silver medallist Dzhambulat Bizhamov from Russia.

In the heaviest category, the men’s +92kg, Spain’s Ghadfa Ayoub would be named European champion for the first time by beating Dusan Veletic by referee’s stoppage.

Moldova and Croatia would also claim golds thanks to Daria Kozorez in the women’s +81kg tournament and European Games silver medallist Gabrijel Veocic in the men’s 80kg.

All the action can be viewed here on the IBA YouTube channel.