Serbia’s Vakhid Abasov won the Best Men’s Boxer Award at the Belgrade Winner Tournament

April 28th, 2021 / IBA

The men’s finals of the Belgrade Winner Tournament 58th edition were also concluded in the capital city of Serbia. The Belgrade Winner Tournament returned to the boxing map after a two years break, and the host nation’s new pride European U22 Champion Vakhid Abasov, won the title of the welterweight (69kg) and the Best Men’s Boxer Award.

Belgrade will be hosting the AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships at the end of this year. Therefore, there was a significant interest for the National Federations to attend the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Altogether 35 nations, from 4 Confederations sent 208 boxers to the Belgrade Winner Tournament which is traditionally held in April every year.

The competition was also hosted with the same COVID-19 protocols and safety measures as the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce.

European U22 Champion Vakhid Abasov claimed the gold medal for Serbia

Vakhid Abasov obtained the gold medal at the 2019 EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships in Vladikavkaz, and he moved up in the Russian elite national rankings step by step. The welterweight (69kg) boxer decided to switch to Serbia last year, and he represented his new nation in the previous international tournaments.

Serbia’s new sensation eliminated England’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Pat McCormack in the semi-finals which increased his confidence in the title match of the Belgrade Winner Tournament. Abasov met with Russia’s Alisa Sharifov for the gold medal, and he worked well from closer range to win the gold medal of the strongest weight category of the Belgrade event.

Bibossynov and Zeinulinov are Kazakhstan’s gold medallists

Kazakhstan sent a strong team to the Belgrade Winner Tournament, and their performance in the men’s part of the event was two gold, two silver, and three bronze medals. Saken Bibossynov worked his way into the elite of the flyweight (52kg) in 2019 when he won several international events and claimed a bronze medal at the Yekaterinburg AIBA World Boxing Championships. The 24-year-old Kazakh met with his top neighboring rival, Kyrgyzstan’s ASBC Asian Champion Azat Usenaliev in a unique rematch and won the contest with an outstanding performance. His fellow, defending National Champion Yertugan Zeinulinov, was also born in 1997 as Bibossynov and defeated three Russian boxers in the event including Artur Subkhankulov in the final.

Whittaker and Clarke bagged awards in the event

The English team returned to the international events at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Hungary two and half months ago, and their coaching staff decided to continue their preparation at the Belgrade Winner Tournament. England’s performance won them two gold and five bronze medals in the strong competition where their first line-ups proved their progress.

AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Benjamin Whittaker is a sensational boxer at the light heavyweight (81kg), and he didn’t just win the title of the category but also the Best Technician Award. The 24-year-old boxer was too quick for Kazakhstan’s AIBA Youth World Champion Nurbek Oralbay in the final. His teammate, super heavyweight (+91kg) star Frazer Clarke received the Best Foreign Boxer Trophy in Belgrade, following his triumph and revenge over Russia’s Maksim Babanin.

Participating nations in the Belgrade Winner Tournament

Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mali, Montenegro, Morocco, Moldova, North Macedonia, Norway, Refugee Team, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Wales.

List of the men’s gold medallist in the Belgrade Winner Tournament

52 kg: Saken Bibossynov, Kazakhstan

57 kg: Daniel Asenov, Bulgaria

63 kg: Yertugan Zeinulinov, Kazakhstan

69 kg: Vakhid Abasov, Serbia

75 kg: Nikita Voronov, Russia

81 kg: Benjamin Whittaker, England

91 kg: Timur Gamzatov, Russia

+91 kg: Frazer Clarke, England