36 top level contests were held on the fourth competition day of the Baku 2015 European Games, where the women’s athletes entered the event for the first time.
Bout of the day
Netherlands’ defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Nouchka Fontijn arrived to the venue of the Baku 2015 European Games as the main favourite of the Women’s Middleweight class (75 kg), but had a very difficult opening match in store against Britain’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall.
The two boxers gave it their all throughout the contest, but it was Fontijn who had the better tactics, which she consistently followed in each round.
After three rounds of excellent action, Fontijn’s hand was raised in victory, and she will now meet Ukraine’s Kateryna Shambir in the quarter-finals.
Team of the day
Six Russian boxers were in action on Day 4 in Baku, and all successfully qualified for the next round of the event.
The perfect day began with EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships silver medallist Saiana Sagataeva, who achieved a superb victory over Italy’s AIBA Women’s World Championships silver medallist Terry Gordini.
Former AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion Iaroslava Iakushina has already won three gold medals in international tournaments this year, and looks set for another successful event in Baku after she eliminated Azerbaijan’s EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships bronze medallist Leyla Cavadova.
24-year-old Light Flyweight (49 kg) Bator Sagaluev is an entertaining fighter, and he used his low center of gravity to much success against Britain’s Bocskai Memorial Tournament winner Harvey Horn.
Young Bantamweight (56 kg) Bakhtovar Nazirov performed well in his match with Moldova’s Beijing 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist Veaceslav Gojan, while the fifth Russian triumph was delivered by Light Heavyweight (81 kg) WSB veteran Pavel Silyagin who controlled the first and the second rounds against Slovakia’s Matus Strnisko.
Russia’s last winner on Day 4 was former AIBA Junior World Champion Gasan Gimbatov who had to perform at his very best to beat Croatia’s Marin Mindoljevic at Super Heavyweight (+91 kg).
Surprises of the day
Frederik Lundgaard Jensen joined the Danish national elite team last year following a successful junior and youth career, and 19-year-old Bantamweight (56 kg) enjoyed an amazing victory over Finnish APB star Matti Koota in Baku.
The tall Danish teenager will now meet Azerbaijan’s Tayfur Aliyev in the quarter-finals.
Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Dzemal Bosnjak has also fought in APB, but he was not the favourite in his bout with France’s Souliman Abdourachidov, who arrived in Baku with a flawless undefeated record in 2015.
Bosnjak surprised his French opponent in the first round with positive attacks, but Abdourachidov was able to turn up the heat in the second frame.
With everything hinging on the final round, Bosnjak used his superior stamina to great effect as he threw some dangerous punches to win the fight, and now moves on to the next round where he will fight Italian sensation Valentino Manfredonia.
Ones to watch
Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Nicola Adams looks back to her best after recovering from a serious shoulder injury, and she enjoyed a wonderful performance in Baku over Hungary’s EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships bronze medallist Katalin Ancsin.
An in-form Adams is one of the best boxers on the planet, and she knocked down Ancsin en route to a clinical victory.
Adams will now face old rival Stoyka Petrova in the quarter-finals, which will be one of the most anticipated battles of the Baku 2015 European Games.
Ireland’s Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament winner Brendan Irvine is a very talented Light Flyweight (49 kg) boxer who always gives 100% effort in his fights.
Such hard work was rewarded in Baku as he won by unanimous decision over Bulgaria’s Tinko Banabakov, which means he now needs only one further victory to claim a guaranteed medal in Baku.
Fact of the day
The incredible Russians continued their winning series, with all eleven of their athletes winning so far in the preliminary rounds.
Quote of the day
“It was good to finally to get into the ring today after a long wait but I was a bit unhappy after my first match in Baku. I knew I had won the contest, but I let too many punches through. I beat Timea Nagy six weeks ago ago so I had a lot of thoughts on my mind before the bout, but she fought much better than last time,” commented Sweden’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Anna Laurell after eliminating Hungary’s Timea Nagy in the Women’s Middleweight class (75 kg).
The Round of 16 preliminary bouts will continue in the Baku 2015 European Games tomorrow.
Boxers from the Women’s Bantamweight (54 kg), Women’s Light Welterweight (64 kg), Men’s Flyweight (52 kg), Men’s Lightweight (60 kg), Men’s Welterweight (69 kg) and Men’s Super Heavyweight (+91 kg) classes will be in action across 31 bouts on Day 5.