The AFBC African Confederation Boxing Championships semi-finals were held on Day 5 in Casablanca, Morocco, where fighters from all ten weight classes competed to reach the gold medal bouts.
As well as having a chance to win a coveted gold medal, the triumphant boxers also qualified for October’s AIBA World Boxing Championships.
Bout of the day
Tunisia’s All Africa Games winner Ahmed Mejri aimed to keep the perfect run going for his nation on Day 5, but the 25-year-old Lightweight (60 kg) boxer lost to Egypt’s Bocskai Memorial Tournament silver medallist Mahmoud Abdelaal in a brilliant bout.
Abdelaal is famous for his attacking style, which led to Mejri attempting to keep the distance and work from long range in the early stages of their contest.
It prove to be an effective tactic in the opening round, before the superior pressure and footwork of Abdelaal saw him take control in the remaining two frames to claim a fantastic victory.
After his triumph, the Egyptian boxer will compete in the Lightweight final against Algeria’s WSB hope Reda Benbaziz, who eliminated Uganda’s Hassan Abdu Asuni.
Team of the day
Algeria and hosts Morocco became the most successful nations after five competition days, but only Egypt was able to deliver a series of perfect performances on Day 5.
Shortly after Mahmoud Abdelaal’s victory, his strong teammate Walid Sedik Mohamed walked over to the Welterweight (69 kg) final as his Tunisian rival Mohamed Amine Meskini was not able to fight against him.
Abdelrahman Salah Araby eliminated Mauritius’ Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kennedy St. Pierre in the quarter-finals, and continued his winning path in Casablanca when he won all of the rounds against Botswana’s African Zonal Champion Thabang Motsewabeng at Light Heavyweight (81 kg).
Egypt’s fourth triumph on Day 5 was delivered by their veteran Middleweight (75 kg) APB boxer Hossam Hussein Bakr Abdin, who was excellent against Tunisia’s London 2012 Olympian Yahya Elmekachari.
Surprise of the day
Mauritius’ All Africa Games winner and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Richarno Colin arrived to the venue of the AFBC African Confederation Boxing Championships as the top favourite of the Light Welterweight (64 kg) division, but the 28-year-old was stunned by Morocco’s Abdelhak Aatakni on Day 5.
The two-time Olympian and his Moroccan opponent have similar styles, so their contest was a real tactical battle in Casablanca.
Aatakni’s game plan proved to be more efficient, and his victory sets up an intriguing final with Algerian veteran Abdelkader Chadi.
Imad Ahyoun replaced Zouhir El-Bekkali as Morocco’s Light Flyweight (49 kg) representative, and proved the decision was a correct one as he defeated Uganda’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Fazil Juma Kaggwa.
Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi then reached the Flyweight final (52 kg) after the AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medalist eliminated Tunisia’s Montassar Bouali.
Morocco’s Mohamed Hamout competed well last season in the World Series of Boxing, and his new experiences were enough to stop his young Ugandan opponent Rogers Semitala in the semi-final of the Bantamweight (56 kg) division.
Botswana’s Zibani Chikanda won gold in April’s African Zone 4 Championships, and kept his dream alive to achieve the same in Casablanca by stopping Togo’s John Shina Olawale Koudeha at Middleweight (75 kg).
Fact of the day
After the completion of the semi-finals, the following countries have finalists in Casablanca:
- Morocco: 7 finalists
- Algeria: 6 finalists
- Egypt: 4 finalists
- Botswana, Ghana, Tunisia: 1 finalist
Quote of the day
“I am the happiest man after my semi-final battle, which opens doors for my career as I can compete in the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Doha. After starting with a quick triumph, I was not expecting another win by TKO. I am satisfied with my performance in the whole championships, but I am so sorry that three of my teammates could not win today,” said Botswana’s Zibani Chikanda.
The gold medal bouts will be held on the sixth competition day, featuring the following matches:
- 49 kg: Sulemanu Tetteh GHA – Imad Ahyoun MAR
- 52 kg: Mohamed Flissi ALG – Achraf Kharroubi MAR
- 56 kg: Mohamed Hamout MAR – Bilel M’Hamdi TUN
- 60 kg: Reda Benbaziz ALG – Mahmoud Abdelaal EGY
- 64 kg: Abdelhak Aatakni MAR – Abdelkader Chadi ALG
- 69 kg: Mohammad Rabii MAR – Walid Sedik Mohamed EGY
- 75 kg: Hossam Hassan Bakr Abdin EGY – Zibani Chikanda BOT
- 81 kg: Abdelhafid Benchabla ALG – Abdulrahman Salah Araby EGY
- 91 kg: Chouaib Bouloudinat ALG – Abdeldjalil Abouhamada MAR
- +91 kg: Mohammed Arjaoui MAR – Mohamed Grimes ALG