The Akim Prizes Junior Tournament took place in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan between 7-13 February, where the host nation claimed eight gold medals out of a strong field of boxers from Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. The new junior event also provided the perfect opportunity to prepare the young athletes for the forthcoming European Confederation Junior Boxing Championships and Children of Asia Games.
Uzbekistan’s big hope for the future Timur Merzhanov was a gold medalist at the AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in St. Petersburg last September, and continued along his winning road in Ust-Kamenogorsk.
“I lost to Kazakhstan’s Beken Pernekhan in the final of the Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov Junior Prizes Tournament in Shymkent last May so I knew my opponent well. I felt great confidence after my triumphs last year and was pleased with my tactics in the gold medal bout here. I exploited my Kazakh opponent’s weak points and am happy to have started the season with a title against a very strong line up”, said Uzbekistan’s Timur Merzhanov afterwards.
Merzhanov’s teammate Samandar Holmuradov claimed the gold medal at pinweight after beating Mogamed Shamsayev of Russia in the final. Defending AIBA Junior World Champion Ilya Popov returned to Kazakhstan after winning the Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov Junior Prizes Tournament, and the promising Russian repeated that title-winning performance.
Russia’s European Schoolboys Champion Timur Slashchinin demonstrated why he is currently the best junior heavyweight as he defeated Kazakhstan’s Damir Toybay in the final of the first junior international event of 2016 and Azerbaijan’s Junior National Champion Aflatun Babayev won his first international title. At just fourteen years old, Kazakhstan’s Biybars Zheksen became the youngest winner at the tournament after beating Kyrgyzstan’s Dastanbek Ormanov in the light flyweight final.
Full list of winners at the Junior Tournament in Ust-Kamenogorsk
44 kg: Bekzat Makzhan, Kazakhstan
46 kg: Samandar Holmuradov, Uzbekistan
48 kg: Biybars Zheksen, Kazakhstan
50 kg: Aflatun Babayev, Azerbaijan
52 kg: Ilya Popov, Russia
54 kg: Sunkar Taldybek, Kazakhstan
57 kg: Talgat Shayken, Kazakhstan
60 kg: Azat Asanov, Kazakhstan
63 kg: Yermakhan Zhakpekov, Kazakhstan
66 kg: Aleksandr Sheshunov, Russia
70 kg: Timur Merzhanov, Uzbekistan
75 kg: Gilani Dadayev, Kazakhstan
80 kg: Aibek Oralbay, Kazakhstan
+80 kg: Timur Slashchinin, Russia