An entertaining Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament was recently held in Vilnius, Lithuania where boxers who were born in 1997 and 1998 were eligible to compete in the event.
Mr. Edis Urbanavicius, the Sports Minister of Lithuania, President of the Lithuanian Boxing Federation Mr. Darius Saluga and the daughter of Lithuania’s legendary boxing champion, Danas Pozniakas, Mrs. Dominyka Pozniakaite visited the competition as well as many boxing fans.
Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Hungary, France, Slovakia and host Lithuania all delivered quality boxing in Vilnius, while Austria’s super talented Aleksandar Mraovic won the gold medal at the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg).
Athlete of the tournament
Austria’s Aleksandar Mraovic is a natural talent who only began his boxing career in 2012.
He claimed a bronze medal at the 2013 EUBC European Junior Continental Championships in Anapa, and achieved the same result in the 2014 EUBC European Youth Continental Championships in Zagreb.
The Austrian Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) eliminated Uzbekistan’s AIBA Junior World Championships bronze medallist Eldar Merzhanov, and Latvia’s AIBA Youth World Championships quarter-finalist Evanders Servuts en route to the finals.
17-year-old Mraovic was impressive in the final bout against Ukraine’s EUBC European Junior Continental Championships silver medallist Vyacheslav Gavrilyuk, and bagged the gold medal in Vilnius.
Team of the tournament
Uzbekistan’s top youth boxers demonstrated their powers in Vilnius as they claimed three gold medals.
ASBC Asian Junior Continental Championships silver medallist Boburmirzo Tolibov met with Hungary’s EUBC European Youth Continental Championships competitor Richard Kovacs in the fourth final of the last competition day, and their narrow and entertaining bout finished with a split decision verdict in favour of Tolibov.
Uzbekistan’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Ikboljon Kholdarov has not lost since April 2014, but had to meet Hungary’s EUBC European Junior Continental Championships quarter-finalist Mark Kontrecz in the final of the Light Welterweight class (64 kg).
The Hungarian boxer was effective in the opening round, but southpaw Kholdarov turned up the heat in the second frame and became an increasingly hard target for Kontrecz to attack.
Kholdarov’s footwork was the best in the whole tournament, and his skills resulted in a second Uzbek gold.
ASBC Asian Junior Continental Champion and AIBA Youth World Championships quarter-finalist Obidjon Tokhirov delivered Uzbekistan’s third gold medal at the Heavyweight class (91 kg).
To win, he had to meet defeat Lithuania’s Arnoldas Taraskevicius who eliminated Ukraine’s AIBA Junior World Champion Robert Marton in the quarter-finals.
Tokhirov knocked down his Lithuanian rival in the final round, and won the top level bout by unanimous decision.
Surprise of the tournament
Uzbekistan’s Kozimbek Mardonov won a bronze medal at the 2014 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Sofia where he was one of the youngest boxers in the whole competition.
He opened with a great success over Hungary’s Bence Papi, and controlled all of his fights in Vilnius excluding the gold medal bout of the Middleweight class (75 kg) where Belarus’ Anton Stelmakhov stopped him.
The Belarusian boxer had the more effective punches in the first part of the final, and caused the biggest surprise of the finals by defeating his Uzbek rival.
Ones to watch
French Junior National Champion Billal Bennama only joined the youth level this January, but he delivered an excellent performance in the Danas Pozniakas Youth Memorial Tournament.
The southpaw is a very tall boxer in the Light Flyweight class (49 kg), and used his height well during his final with Belarus’ Youth National Champion Evgeniy Karmilchik.
After winning by unanimous decision, Bennama celebrated his first ever international tournament success.
Lithuania’s Olympic Hopes Junior Tournament winner Mantas Morkunas is not an experienced boxer at the international level, but he was able to beat all of his three rivals on home soil and achieved the host nation’s lone gold medal in Vilnius.
The 17-year-old Flyweight class (52 kg) boxer impressed against Slovakia’s talented Filip Meszaros, and delivered a gold medal in the front of the home crowd.
Stat/fact of the tournament
20 countries participated in Vilnius, where 106 qualified athletes took part in the competition.
Results of the finals
49 kg: Billal Bennama FRA – Evgeniy Karmilchik BLR 3:0
52 kg: Mantas Morkunas LTU – Filip Meszaros SVK 3:0
56 kg: Michal Takacs SVK – Nikalai Shakh BLR 3:0
60 kg: Boburmirzo Tolibov UZB – Richard Kovacs HUN 2:1
64 kg: Ikboljon Kholdarov UZB – Mark Kontrecz HUN 2:1
69 kg: Sergei Chayka UKR – Sebastian Wiktorzak POL TKO 3rd round
75 kg: Anton Stelmakhov BLR – Kozimbek Mardonov UZB 2:1
81 kg: Stepan Hrekul UKR – Roland Erdelyi HUN 3:0
91 kg: Obidjon Tokhirov UZB – Arnoldas Taraskevicius LTU 3:0
+91 kg: Aleksandar Mraovic, AUT – Vyacheslav Gavrilyuk, UKR 3:0
List of the winners in Vilnius
49 kg: Billel Bennama, France
52 kg: Mantas Morkunas, Lithuania
56 kg: Michal Takacs, Slovakia
60 kg: Boburmirzo Tolibov, Uzbekistan
64 kg: Ikboljon Kholdarov, Uzbekistan
69 kg: Sergei Chayka, Ukraine
75 kg: Anton Stelmakhov, Belarus
81 kg: Stepan Hrekul, Ukraine
91 kg: Obidjon Tokhirov, Uzbekistan
+91 kg: Aleksandar Mraovic, Austria