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20 sensational 2015 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships semi-final bouts delighted the watching audience in Samokov, Bulgaria today, as well as many more fans watching around the globe online and on television.

Bout of the day

Russia’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Evgeny Tishchenko prevailed over Bulgaria’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Tervel Pulev in a tremendously entertaining Heavyweight (91 kg) semi-final.

This was one of the most keenly anticipated bouts of the tournament, and the two decorated boxers produced a superb match full of skill and power.

Pulev tried to control the opening round as he attacked from the first seconds, before Tishchenko’s reach and fluid footwork allowed him to dominate the second round.

The counter-attacks from the Russian fighter proved to be very successful, and his stamina allowed him to pull away in the third round towards a well deserved victory.

Team of the day

Both semi-finalists from Poland qualified for the gold medal bouts, beginning with a victory for Middleweight (75 kg) Tomasz Jablonski over Italy’s Salvatore Cavallaro.

Jablonski recently enjoyed a tremendous Season V in the World Series of Boxing (WSB), and edged a narrow split decision triumph against Cavallaro.

The Polish star will now compete in the final with WSB’s number one ranked Middleweight  Petr Khamukov.

Jablonski’s teammate Igor Jakubowski also excelled last season in WSB as he achieved a top five ranking, and the Heavyweight used his tactical prowess to defeat Latvia’s veteran Nikolajs Grisunins.

Jakubowski’s win has set up an intriguing final with Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko.

Surprises of the day

Lithuania’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Evaldas Petrauskas arrived to the EUBC European Confederation Continental Championships fresh from a series of great performances in AIBA Pro Boxing (APB), but surprisingly lost his Light Welterweight (64 kg) semi-final contest to Great Britain’s former AIBA Junior World Champion Pat McCormack.

McCormack is an emerging talent at world level, and achieved one of his best ever career performances against the in-form Petrauskas.

The Round-Up

Four further Great British athletes reached the finals of their respective weight classes, beginning with Light Flyweight (49 kg) Harvey Horn whose victory over Azerbaijan’s Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Rufat Huseynov sets up a final with Russia’s National Elite Champion Vasilii Egorov.

Great Britain’s Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Muhammad Ali defeated Spain’s two-time Olympian Jose Kelvin De La Nieve at Flyweight (52 kg), while his teammate Qais Ashfaq will face Ireland’s Michael Conlan in the Bantamweight final.

The fifth British finalist will be Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Joseph Cordina.

Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis reached the Welterweight (69 kg) final by outpointing Spain’s Boxam Tournament winner Youba Ndiaye Sissokho, while Russian Middleweight Petr Khamukov dominated Georgia’s Zaal Kvachatadze.

Ireland’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Joseph Ward defeated Croatia’s WSB star Hrvoje Sep in a world class Light Heavyweight (81 kg) semi-final, and will battle for his second European Championships gold against Netherlands’ Peter Mullenberg.

Both Croatia’s former AIBA Youth World Champion Filip Hrgovic and Romania’s Mihai Nistor have earned qualification quotas for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through their WSB and  APB exploits, and they met each other in the semi-final of the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg).

After three rounds of great action, it was Hrgovic who used his height advantage well to set up a final with Germany’s Florian Schulz.

Fact of the day

The following nations have finalists in the 2015 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships in Samokov:

  • Great Britain: 5 finalists
  • Russia: 4 finalists
  • Ireland, Poland: 2 finalists
  • Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands: 1 finalist

Quote of the day

“It is a wonderful feeling to get to the final of the 2015 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships. No Polish boxer has won a medal in the championships since 2008, and now me and Igor are in the finals. It was a tight bout, and there were not a huge difference between me and my opponent. The tactic was to start with many punches, and I used a lot of right-handed jabs to set up my left hooks,” said Poland’s Tomasz Jablonski.

Tomorrow’s program

After the exciting semi-finals, the gold medal bouts will be held on the eighth competition of the 2015 EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships.