The final night of the 2015 World Boxing Championships 2015 brought Doha’s boxing fans to their feet as five world champions – at flyweight, lightweight, welterweight, light heavyweight and super heavyweight – were crowned on a historic night in Qatar.
Cuba Domadores’ flyweight Yosbany Veitia and Baku Fires’ European Games Champion Elvin Mamishzada displayed similar game-plans early on, but it was the Azeri who’s patient tactics paid off. Veitia was left chasing the match, and Mamishzada chose his moments well to precision counter and take the title.
Defending World Champion Lazaro Alvarez started cautiously against unbeaten Azeri Albert Selimov. With the Selimov struggling to get close enough to the Cuban to threaten, he was cut at the end of the second round, leaving the referee no choice but to award a technical knockout – and deserved third World Championship gold – to Alvarez.
In the welterweight final, Morocco’s newly crowned WSB Boxer of the Year Mohammed Rabii dominated defending champion Daniyar Yeleussinov from the centre of the ring. The Kazakh star tried to launch his usual aggressive attacks, but as he struggled to hit the target, a delighted Rabii struck gold.
Irish light heavyweight Joe Ward presented Julio la Cruz with the biggest test of his Doha campaign so far, but the AIBA Boxer of the Year looked focused on a third successive world title. After the Cuban captain took the first two rounds, Ward’s late rally wasn’t enough, and la Cruz, every bit the champion throughout the tournament, retained the gold in style.
Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko was looking to go one better than his silver medal two years ago, but was unable to raise his energy levels after a gruelling tournament, leaving Tony Yoka – the man who overcame Joe Joyce in the semi-finals – to be France’s first World Champion since Willy Blain in 2003.
Earlier in the session, the box-off for a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games between Elnur Abduraimov and Brazil’s Robson Conceicao saw a delighted Uzbekistan lightweight qualify, along with China’s Wei Liu, who had a walkover against Aerbaijan’s Parviz Baghirov.
The 2015 World Boxing Championships ended with 4 golds for Cuba, 2 for Russia and one apiece for Azerbaijan, France, Ireland and Morocco, with the latter two making history with their first ever AIBA World golds.
The winners in Doha:
49 kg: Joahnys Oscar Argilagos Perez, Cuba
52 kg: Elvin Mamishzada, Azerbaijan
56 kg: Michael Conlan, Ireland
60 kg: Lazaro Alvarez, Cuba
64 kg: Vitaly Dunaytsev, Russia
69 kg: Mohammed Rabii, Morocco
75 kg: Arlen Lopez, Cuba
81 kg: Julio Cesar La Cruz, Cuba
91 kg: Evgeny Tishchenko, Russia
+91 kg: Tony Yoka, France