The semi-finals of the men’s competition in the Asian Games produced some of the most exciting bouts of the entire event in Incheon, as Kazakhstan secured seven final places.
Perhaps the most anticipated semi-final of Day 9 took place between Kazakhstan’s London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist Adilbek Niyazymbetov, and Iran’s Ehsan Rouzbahani at the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg).
Bout of the day
Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov has been a silver medallist at the last four main international events: the 2011, and 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships, the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the 2013 ASBC Asian Continental Championships.
The 25-year-old Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) boxer is currently hunting for his first gold medal in the boxing tournament of the Asian Games in Incheon.
His semi-final opponent was Iran’s strong London 2012 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Ehsan Rouzbahani, who joined the WSB franchise Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in the third season of the tournament.
Niyazymbetov defeated the Iranian boxer in the semi-final of the 2013 ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Amman.
During their rematch in the Asian Games, the Kazakh’s will was tested by his opponent severely following effective punches from his opponent.
A ferocious three rounds of action saw great body shots from Niyazymbetov, but the Iranian southpaw did not give up, and the fight was one of the greatest of the tournament so far.
Finally it was Niyazymbetov’s hand that was raised, but Rouzbahani also provided a world class performance.
Team of the day
Kazakhstan had eight semi-finalists in the men’s part of the boxing tournament in Incheon, and only one failed to advance through to the finals.
Their first boxer to advance through to the gold medal bout was AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifiers winner Ilyas Suleimenov, who was too smart for Japan’s National Champion Shota Hayashida.
Suleimenov controlled all of the rounds, while the Japanese boxer received two warnings during the bout, which resulted in a huge victory for Suleimenov.
In the opening round of the evening session, Kazakhstan’s AIBA World Champion Birzhan Zhakipov continued their winning path against Kyrgyzstan’s Turat Osmonov.
National icon, AIBA World Champion and Asian Games winner Daniyar Yeleussinov is in great form in Incheon, and he won of all of the rounds against Turkmenistan’s former ASBC Asian Continental Champion Serdar Hudayberdiyev.
Their Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) star Ivan Dychko is the best Asian boxer at the highest weight class, and he used his height advantage and strength against India’s Satish Kumar, who was a quarter-finalist at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty.
The 24-year-old London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist dominated all of the rounds against his Indian rival, and will now meet with Iran’s Jasem Delavari in the gold medal bout.
Zhanibek Alimkhanuly and Adilbek Niyazymbetov delivered Kazakhstan’s sixth and seventh triumphs in Incheon on Day 9.
Surprises of the day
Korea’s Kim Hyeong Kyu won the 2011 ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Incheon, but he had to meet with another continental champion, Uzbekistan’s Oybek Mamazulunov who was a bronze medallist at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty.
The Korean hope was especially motivated, and produced one of the best performances of his career by winning the bout.
He now goes on to compete in the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) final against Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov.
His teammates Hang Sang Myeong and Lim Hyun Chul also shocked their more experienced rivals in the semi-finals.
Both are just 19-year-old but dazzled in front of the home crowd.
Han Sang Myeong defeated Kazakhstan’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Kairat Yeraliyev at the Bantamweight class (56 kg), while his teenage compatriot Lim Hyun Chul eliminated Japan’s Masatsugu Kawachi.
Ones to watch
Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Continental Championships silver medallist and Sportaccord World Combat Games winner Shakhobiddin Zoirov is one of the most developed Flyweight class (52 kg) boxers, and the 21-year-old Uzbek hope won his last preparation event, the Republic of Kazakhstan President’s Cup in Almaty.
Zoirov dominated all of the rounds in his semi-final against Pakistan’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Muhammad Waseem, and the Andizhan-based Central Asian athlete will be fighting for the gold medal against Kazakhstan’s London 2012 Olympian Ilyas Suleimenov.
Zhanibek Alimkhanuly won the gold medal at their 2012 Kazakhstan National Championships, and demonstrated his strength of punches last year when he won the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty and the ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Amman.
His semi-final opponent was a top rival, India’s Vikas Krishan Yadav who won the gold medal at the last edition of the Asian Games in Guangzhou.
The Indian Middleweight class (75 kg) boxer started the bought better, and tried to move more than Alimkhanuly who eventually adapted to the level of the contest, and finally his strong punches were the ultimate difference between them.
Stat/Fact of the day
Nine nations have got at least one boxer in the final of the boxing tournament in the Asian Games in Incheon.
Kazakhstan: 7 boxers
Korea: 4 boxers
Iran, Uzbekistan: 2 boxers
China, Jordan, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand : 1 boxer
The ten men’s finals will be held on the final day of the Asian Games.
The Schedule of the men’s finals:
49 kg: Birzhan Zhakipov KAZ – Shin Jong Hun KOR
52 kg: Shakhobiddin Zoirov UZB – Ilyas Suleimenov KAZ
56 kg: Ham Sang Myeong KOR – Zhang Jiawei CHN
60 kg: Dorjnyambuu Otgondalai MGL – Charly Suarez PHI
64 kg: Wuttichai Masuk THA – Lim Hyun Chul KOR
69 kg: Daniyar Yeleussinov KAZ – Israil Madrimov UZB
75 kg: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly KAZ – Odai Riyad Al-Hindawi JOR
81 kg: Kim Hyeong Kyu KOR – Adilbek Niyazymbetov KAZ
91 kg: Ali Mazaheri IRN – Anton Pinchuk KAZ
+91 kg: Ivan Dychko KAZ – Jasem Delavari IRN