The Adem Jashari Tournament was recently held in the city of Gjakova, Kosovo, as nine European nations competed for the medals, and amongst many strong boxers competing, the host nation’s Armend Xhoxhaj was named the best boxer.
Kosovo is a new boxing nation within the AIBA Family and joined the International Boxing Association as an affiliated federation member in 2012.
Athlete of the tournament
Kosovo’s top elite athlete Armend Xhoxhaj won bouts at the 2012 AIBA Youth World Championships in Yerevan and at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty as well.
The 20-year-old local favourite is a strong boxer who put his opponents under pressure, while his tactical skills have also developed well over the past year.
Xhoxhaj had to meet with Albania’s Aleksander Ramo in the final of the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) and he was able to dominate all of the rounds against his neighbouring rival.
Albania’s Vllaznia Memorial Tournament winner Asmer Bilali was named as the winner of the Adem Jashari trophy in 2013, but the award returned back to Kosovo this year following the decision of the LOC as Armend Xhoxhaj was appointed as the best boxer of the tournament.
Team of the tournament
Kosovo claimed four gold medals on home soil to solidify their burgeoning reputation as a future boxer power.
Armend Xhoxhaj was their star in Gjakova, but former Adem Jashari Tournament trophy winner Liridon Zeqiri also achieved great performance on home soil.
Zeqiri competed in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty and defeated Albania’s Esild Kalemi in the Lightweight class (60 kg) final.
Violant Sylejmani became involved in the Kosovan national team this year, and achieved his first title in Gjakova as he was too strong for F.Y.R. of Macedonia’s Nikola Arsovski, while their fourth gold medal was delivered by Naser Shala who triumphed over Montenegro’s young hope Dragan Pesic.
Surprise of the tournament
Germany’s Eric Brechlin was a silver medallist at the AIBA Youth World Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2008, and he has achieved well at elite international tournaments, but despite his previous experiences he was defeated by Slovenia’s 21-year-old Labinot Xhoxhaj in the Super Heavyweight class.
Ones to watch
Albania’s former EUBC European Junior Continental Championships bronze medallist Albi Sorra has returned to the world of boxing to get an Olympic quota for Rio de Janeiro, and the 25-year-old Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer defeated F.Y.R. of Macedonia’s experienced Bojan Ristevski in the final of the category.
Germany’s EUBC European Youth Continental Championships bronze medallist 19-year-old Albon Pervizaj won his first elite national title in October, and the Kosovan-descent German Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer did not give any chances to Albania’s best boxer Christian Demaj in the gold medal bout.
His teammate, the AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Denis Radovan claimed a silver medal at their National Championships in October, and the strong Middleweight class (75 kg) boxer bagged gold for Germany in this tournament.
Stat/fact of the tournament
The Adem Jashari Tournament was hosted by the local association for the very first time in 1999, and this was the sixteenth edition.
Besides the region’s best athletes, Germany also competed in the tournament and claimed two gold medals in Gjakova, while the strong Bulgarians achieved the same result.
Europe’s developing boxing nation Slovenia also won a weight class in Gjakova which was their first international gold medal in men’s elite events in 2014.
Adem Jashari Trophy winners from 1999
F.Y.R. of Macedonia
List of the winners in the Adem Jashari Tournament
52 kg: Zdravko Mihaylov, Bulgaria
60 kg, Group A: Liridon Zeqiri, Kosovo
60 kg, Group B: Violant Sylejmani, Kosovo
64 kg, Group A: Airin Ismetov, Bulgaria
64 kg, Group B: Naser Shala, Kosovo
69 kg: Albi Sorra, Albania
75 kg: Denis Radovan, Germany
81 kg: Armend Xhoxhaj, Kosovo
91 kg: Albon Pervizaj, Germany
+91 kg: Labinot Xhoxhaj, Slovenia