The Bocskai Memorial Tournament, one of Europe’s longest-running AIBA Open Boxing competitions, took place in Debrecen, Hungary at the start of February. Now in its 60th edition, the year’s first international elite event for male boxers gathered top AIBA Boxing stars, including six current European Games champions.
Great Britain and hosts Hungary both landed three gold medals, while Spain’s Gabriel Escobar delivered one of the biggest surprises of the week, defeating Kazakhstan’s 2014 Asian Games winner Ilyas Suleimenov to take the flyweight gold. Fellow Kazakh and AIBA Youth World Champion Abylaykhan Zhussupov found more success, beating Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Sotomayor to gold in the final of the light welterweight competition.
The Great Britain trio of Galal Yafai, Joseph Cordina and Joshua Buatsi all took home gold medals, while Hungary’s former EUBC European Champion Balazs Bacskai, drafted in to the Caciques Venezuela World Series of Boxing squad this season, defeated Turkey’s Onur Sipal, one of sixty boxers already confirmed for Rio 2016.
“I’ve been working hard to participate in an Olympic Games since I was a boy and now and I feel close to realising that goal. I faced a very strong Georgian opponent in the semi-final but saved my best for the final against my big rival, and with the support of the home crowd it was a sensational feeling to take the gold in Debrecen. Sipal has already qualified for Rio 2016 and I hope to join him after the forthcoming qualification events,” said Hungary’s Balazs Bacskai after his dominant performance in the welterweight final.
Fellow Hungarian Gergo Savoly beat Azerbaijan’s 2015 European Games winner Abdulkadir Abdullayev on route to the heavyweight final, eventually defeating Netherlands’ Roy Korving to take gold. Croatian WSB star Filip Hrgovic showed once again why he is currently considered one of the best super heavyweight in the world, romping to gold against Turkey’s Ali Eren Demirezen.
Full list of winners at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament
49 kg: Galal Yafai, Great Britain
52 kg: Gabriel Escobar, Spain
56 kg: Tayfur Aliyev, Azerbaijan
60 kg, Group A: Otar Eranosyan, Georgia
60 kg, Group B: Joseph Cordina, Great Britain
64 kg, Group A: Georgian Nyeki, Hungary
64 kg, Group B: Abylaykhan Zhussupov, Kazakhstan
69 kg, Group A: Balazs Bacskai, Hungary
69 kg, Group B: Araik Marutjan, Germany
75 kg: Christian Mbilli Assomo, France
81 kg: Joshua Buatsi, Great Britain
91 kg: Gergo Savoly, Hungary
+91 kg: Filip Hrgovic, Croatia