The lone qualification event for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics, the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships finished with the finals of the thirteen weight classes in Sofia, where Russia’s Bibert Tumenov and US Jajaira Gonzalez provided the best performances on the eleventh competition day.

Bout of the finals
Ukraine’s two-time EUBC European Junior Continental Champion Viktor Petrov travelled for the gold in Sofia, and his chances were greatly raised following Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Youth Continental Champion Ayan Kalibekov’s early loss in the championships.

The 18-year-old Ukrainian boxer who moved up to the Light Welterweight class (64 kg) faced Russia’s new sensation Bibert Tumenov in the final.

They met in the first preliminary round of the Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament in Anapa two months ago, where the younger Russian boxer defeated him in a narrow bout on home soil.

Tumenov surprised the Ukrainian boxer with extremely high number of punches, and his rhythm
was untenable for Petrov, and therefore the result was the same as in their Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament meeting.

Teams of the finals
Russia’s second finalist after Tumenov’s contest was Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament winner Dmitrii Nesterov, who eliminated the main favourites of the Middleweight class (75 kg) including Australia’s AIBA Junior World Champion Satali Tevi Fuimaono on the road to the final.

The 18-year-old Russian Youth National Champion had a quiet first round in his gold medal bout against Croatia’s Luka Plantic.

Nesterov was able to change in his speed and rhythm as the fight progressed, therefore his hand was raised after the final gongm which was the second gold medal for the Russian delegation.

Besides the Russians, the US team also won all of their finals on the eleventh competition day in Sofia.

Their AIBA Junior World Champion Shakur Stevenson started the winning path in the Men’s Flyweight class (52 kg), while Darmani Rock (+91 kg), and their female star Jajaira Gonzalez (60 kg) also reached the top of the podium in the event, which became the best ever US performance in the history of the championships.

AIBA Road to Sofia boxers of the finals
Cuba’s native talent Javier Ibanez Diaz has won all of international contests during his career, leading to high expectations in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.

The 18-year-old Bantamweight class (56 kg) boxer dominated the final round against Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Youth Continental Champion Sultan Zaurbek, and achieved a well-deserved gold medal after an excellent performance.

Cuba’s Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament silver medallist Yordan Alain Hernandez has also dominated his national level contests in recent years.

The Cuban Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer is the tallest in this division, and operated with strong jabs against Croatia’s Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament winner Toni Filipi.

Hernandez was too strong for the Croatian boxer, who could not repeat his previous performance in the last competition day.

Surprise of the finals
Armenia had never claimed any gold medal in a female AIBA event before, therefore Anush Grigoryan’s performance was a small surprise in Sofia.

She bagged a silver at the AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in Albena last September, but she was not the top favourite of the Flyweight class (51 kg) in this youth event.

The 17-year-old Armenian girl was unstoppable against Italy’s AIBA Junior World Champion Irma Testa in their final.

The Italian boxer could not use up her height advantage, therefore Grigoryan secured the historical gold medal for Armenia.

Ones to watch in the future
Kazakhstan’s first finalist was Shalkar Aikynbay, who won an international tournament in 2013 in Turkestan which was named after their Sydney 2000 Olympic Champion Bekzat Sattarkhanov who died in 2001.

The 18-year-old Light Flyweight class (49 kg) boxer secured his place in the national team only in March, when he won the Youth National Championships.

Kazakhstan’s new hope controlled the first two rounds against Uzbekistan’s younger Sulaymon Latipov, and his skills were enough to win their battle.

His star teammate Abylaykhan Zhussupov was the main favourite of the Lightweight class (60 kg) in Sofia.

The AIBA Junior World Champion and two-time Asian Continental Champion controlled high fight against Romania’s Arsen Mustafam who was a quarter-finalist at the AIBA Junior World Championships in Astana three years ago.

Uzbekistan claimed the gold medal at the Welterweight class (69 kg) in the last edition of the AIBA Youth World Championships in Yerevan, Armenia where Akmalbek Kosimov stepped up to the top of the podium.

His younger compatriot Bektemir Melikuziev fought for the brightest medal against Croatia’s surprise Luka Prtenjaca.

The Uzbek hope used his best weapon in his counter-attacks in winning the bout.

Bulgaria’s EUBC European Junior Continental Champion Blagoy Naydenov was the best boxer for the host nation, and the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) boxer who trains in the club of Slavia Sofia had a marvelous tournament, with his extra motivation on home soil resulting in a clear victory.

Box-offs for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics
Two Hungarian boxers were involved in the last competition day’s box-offs which decided the last available places for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.

Their top youth athlete Richard Konnyu tried his best against Mexico’s AMBC American Youth Continental William Zepeda Segura, who moved down a weight class before the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.

The Hungarian Lightweight class (60 kg) boxer was smart attacking, and managed move away from Zepeda’s punches.

His counter-attacks reached the target in the second round several times, and his smart boxing resulted for him a quota to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.

His teammate Bernard Barsony could not repeat his previous performance, and Ukraine’s Oleksii Tokarchuk defeated him with his excellent final round.

Moldova’s AIBA Junior World Championships silver medallist Vladislav Tugui was involved in the AIBA Road to Sofia Program, and following his quarter-finals loss he received a right to fight for Nanjing in a box-off against Turkey’s EUBC European Junior Continental Champion Furkan Adem Avci.

The Moldovan southpaw proved his technical style with a lot of footwork and counter-attacks, but his Turkish opponent raised the rhythm of the bout and turned back their important contest.

Russia’s only female boxer who kept her chance to qualify to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics was the EUBC European Women Junior Continental Champion Ekaterina Paltceva, who met with Chinese Taipei’s Huang Hsiao Wen.

The Asian lady was fifteen cm taller than the Russian boxer, who tried to reduce her physical disadvantage, but Huang was able to keep the distance between them and triumphed over her European star rival.

Stat of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships
Kazakhstan topped the team rankings in the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, and following that with the same excellent performance in Sofia.

United States finished as runner-up in the team rankings, while Russia placed third in the championships. Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Great Britain, Cuba, Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary also performed well.

Quote of the day
“I was really nervous before the bout as it was my last chance to qualify to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics. I enjoyed my box-off and the whole AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia. I know I was too tired in the final round today therefore this must be do better next time and I will try to raise my physical condition in the future,” commented Hungary’s best youth boxer Richard Konnyu after his box-off victory.