The AIBA Women’s Junior/Youth World Boxing Championships Taipei 2015 semi-finals took place today at the Xinzhuang Stadium, and there was much drama and entertainment throughout every vital contest.

Bout of the day

China’s Chang Yuan has been a gold medal machine in recent years, and is on the cusp of adding a third triumph to her glittering collection after defeating Dominican Republic’s Estefani Almanzar De Leon in the semi-finals.

Yuan is not one of the tallest boxers in the Youth Flyweight class (51 kg), but her incredible footwork was one of the main differences between herself and De Leon in the ring.

The skill and strength of the Chinese athlete is a joy to watch, and though her opponent was brave, sharp attacks in round two caused the referee to stop the bout in the middle of their contest.

Her final opponent will be Chinese Taipei’s Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympian Huang Hsiao Wen, who eliminated Korea’s Lee Suk Yeong.

Team of the day

The United States of America and India both enjoyed a successful day in Taipei, but it was the Italian team who provided a perfect performance.

All three of Italy’s semi-final combatants advanced through to their respective finals, beginning with EUBC European Women’s Junior Continental Champion Concetta Marchese who was too fast for Russia’s Umeda Saidova in the semi-final of the Youth Bantamweight class (54 kg).

Marchese’s final opponent will be Kazakhstan’s AIBA Women’s Junior World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Balaussa Muzdiman.

Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Irma Testa then defeated Greek Youth Featherweight (57 kg) boxer Nikoleta Pita in an absorbing fight.

Testa is a very technically sound boxer, and her clever use of angles and movement against Pita resulted in the Italian winning all three rounds in Taipeo.

The third Italian finalist will be EUBC European Women’s Junior Continental Champion Angela Carini, who demonstrated her power against Poland’s Justyna Walas in the semi-final of the Youth Light Welterweight class (64 kg).

Surprises of the day

DPR Korea’s Junior National Champion Won Un Gyong is one of the youngest competitors in the Championships, but belied her tender years with an outstanding performance against Russia’s 50 fight veteran Karina Tuvakova.

After a ferocious first round, Won raised her number of the attacks from the beginning of the second frame, and eventually defeated her Russian rival.

She now moves onto the Junior Pinweight (46 kg) final where she will meet Turkey’s Beyza Saracoglu.

Kosovo’s Donjeta Sadiku became the first boxer from her country to win a medal at an AIBA Championships when she reached the semi-finals, and her outstanding competition will now include the Junior Lightweight class (60 kg) final.

Sadiku knew she had a tough match in store against Russia’s Ekaterina Dynnik, but she established a dangerous rhythm during all three rounds, and eventually edged a spectacular contest.

A wonderful final is now set between Sadiku and rising American star Guadelupe Gutierrez.

Ones to watch

Two Ukrainian boxers continued their ascent in Tapei, as firstly Kateryna Rohova outpointed Ireland’s Kelsey Leonard in the Junior Flyweight (50 kg) semi-final.

Her teammate Karolina Makhno continued her dominant tournament against Elif Siha Gunhan, and stopped her Turkish opponent before the final bell.

Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Jajaira Gonzalez is the perhaps the best women’s youth boxer in the entire world, and the Youth Lightweight class (60 kg) star used wicked body shots to eliminate Kazakhstan’s AIBA Women’s Junior World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nazym Ishchanova.

England’s boxer Chantelle Reid had previously defeated two tough boxers in Taipei, but now exits the Championships despite a brave effort against Turkey’s Surmeneli Busenaz.

Both won the gold medal in the 2014 EUBC European Women’s Junior Continental Championships in Assisi, Italy, however this time Busenaz will compete in the Youth Middleweight (75 kg) final against China’s new sensation Zheng Lu.

Fact of the day

After the culmination of the AIBA Women’s Junior/Youth World Boxing Championships Taipei 2015 semi-finals, the following nations have boxers in the finals:

– Russia: 10 finalists

– United States of America: 6 finalists

– India, Kazakhstan: 5 finalists

– China: 4 finalists

– Italy, Ukraine: 3 finalists

– DPR Korea, Turkey: 2 finalists

– Chinese Taipei, Germany, Ireland, Kosovo, Poland, Sweden: 1 finalist

Quote of the day

“I was aware of the weak points of my Greek semi-final opponent, and she tried to attack me in the middle of the ring. I attempted to avoid direct contact and organise my defence, while my counter-attacks were successful. I am looking forward to the final, and of course I want to win the gold medal this time,” commented Italy’s Irma Testa.

Tomorrow’s program

Tomorrow is finals day in the AIBA Women’s Junior/Youth World Boxing Championships Taipei 2015, as 46 Junior and Youth boxers are hoping for gold.