The Republic of President’s Cup is one of Asia’s strongest international competitions, and was recently held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
With the Incheon 2014 Asian Games taking place later this year, many of the competing boxers used this tournament to check their current skills ahead of the major competition.
Athlete of the tournament
Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussi is a titleholder of the AIBA World Boxing Championships, the ASBC Asian Continental Championships and the Asian Games, so therefore his final victory in the President’s Cup was not a major surprise.
Yeleussinov was named as the best boxer of the year in 2013, and continued his winning path in Almaty.
The 23-year-old Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer dominated all of his contests in the event, outsmarting Uzbekistan’s new National Champion teenager Israil Madrimov in the semi-final, and defeated his teammate Sagadat Rakhmankulov in the gold medal bout.
Team of the tournament
Kazakhstan topped the team rankings in the President’s Cup, replicating their performance at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty.
Many of the same names who won gold in that event also triumphed here, including Birzhan Zhakipov (49 kg), Kairat Yeraliyev (56 kg), Berik Abdrakhmanov (60 kg), Daniyar Yeleussinov (69 kg), Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (75 kg), Adilbek Niyazymbetov (81 kg) and Ivan Dychko (+91 kg) who all won their weight classes in the front of the home crowd, while four of their boxers claimed silver medals at the event.
Surprises of the tournament
Kazakhstan’s National Championships silver medallist Zhanbolat Tilegenuly is a young boxer with a lack of experience at international level, but he was able to defeat Cuba’s star London 2012 Olympic Champion Robeisy Ramirez in the quarter-final of the Bantamweight class (56 kg).
Tilegenuly was eventually defeated by his tough teammate Kairat Yeraliyev in the gold medal contest, but he proved his developing skills in the strong competition.
Uzbekistan’s Sportaccord World Combat Games winner Shakhobiddin Zoirov had previously lost two contests against Kyrgyzstan’s ASBC Asian Continental Champion Azat Usenaliev, but it was third time lucky in Almaty as he finally beat his rival in the quarter-final.
Following that triumph, the 21-year-old Uzbek Flyweight class (52 kg) boxer defeated Russia’s Gavril Popov and Philippines’ Asian Games winner Rey Saludar to clinch gold.
One to watch in the future
Thailand’s Asian Games bronze medallist Wuttichai Masuk had a very successful 2013, and has managed to improve even further in 2014.
The 24-year-old Thai Light Welterweight class (64 kg) athlete defeated Kazakhstan’s Almasbek Alibekov and Cuba’s young hope Luis Oliva in Almaty, impressing many onlookers along the way.
Gold medal winners at the President’s Cup
49 kg: Birzhan Zhakipov, Kazakhstan
52 kg: Shakhobiddin Zoirov, Uzbekistan
56 kg: Kairat Yeraliyev, Kazakhstan
60 kg: Berik Abdrakhmanov, Kazakhstan
64 kg: Wuttichai Masuk, Thailand
69 kg: Daniyar Yeleussinov, Kazakhstan
75 kg: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, Kazakhstan
81 kg: Adilbek Niyazymbetov, Kazakhstan
91 kg: Henrich Ruiz, Cuba
+91 kg: Ivan Dychko, Kazakhstan