The fifth competition day of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest saw a wealth of exceptional boxing action, as the second part of the quarter-finals were completed.
There was mixed results for the big names of European women’s boxing, with Ireland’s Katie Taylor, and Russia’s Sofya Ochigava both advancing to the semi-finals.
However, in what was a massive surprise to the watching world, England’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Nicola Adams suffered her first defeat in over two years, and unexpectedly exited the tournament on Day 5.
Bout of the day
Romania’s EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Steluta Duta has been one of the best boxers of the Light Flyweight class (48 kg) in Europe since 2005.
The 32-year-old athlete trains in the city of Buzau, and has claimed two silver medals in the AIBA Women’s World Championships, which proves her consistent class.
She met with one of her old rivals in her weight class on Day 5 in Russia’s Svetlana Gnevanova, who won the last two editions of the continental championships.
Duta thrived on the home support however, and due an excellent final round she beat the defending titleholder of the championships by split decision.
Team of the day
France had three boxers in the quarter-finals in Bucharest, and all of their hopes advanced to the semi-finals.
Their new Flyweight class (51 kg) team member 18-year-old Wassila Lkhadiri secured her place in the semi-finals after beating Azerbaijan’s fellow teenager Anakhanim Aghayeva by split decision.
The French boxer has had a mere 41 bouts during her career, and is only 160cm, tall but she used her aggressive style to beat the Azeri athlete.
Marine Rostan is another new face in the French national squad, but she fought patiently in her quarter-final, and controlled her contest against Spain’s Cristina Gomez.
France’s third semi-finalist is Estelle Mossely, who won the 2010 European Union Women’s Championships at the age of 18, and she was too smart for Italy’s tough Romina Marenda.
Surprises of the day
Bulgaria’s best female boxer Stoyka Petrova secured a bronze medal in the last edition of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Rotterdam, and she also took part in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
After some recent good form, she met the London 2012 Olympic Champion Nicola Adams in the quarter-finals in Bucharest.
Surprisingly to many, Petrova and her coaches found a winning tactic against the English star, causing Adams her first defeat in over two years.
Petrova’s teammate Denitsa Eliseeva is another experienced female boxer, who has claimed silver and bronze medals in various international events.
In spite of her medal collection she was not the favourite against Poland’s former AIBA World Champion Karolina Michalczuk who has moved up to the Lightweight class (60 kg).
Eliseeva attacked more successfully in their quarter-final contest, and Michalczuk could not find the best fighting distance, which saw Bulgaria celebrate its fourth semi-finalist in Bucharest.
One to watch
England’s AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist, and London 2012 Olympian Natasha Jonas followed up her triumph over Switzerland’s Anais Kistler, by continuing her winning path against Italy’s newcomer Valentina Alberti.
All of the rounds finished 10:9 in favour of the Liverpool-based Jonas, who became the second English athlete to advance to the semi-finals, joining Manchester’s Stacey Copeland, who secured a points win over Russian Irina Poteyeva
Fact/stat of the day
Fifteen of the competing thirty one nations still have at least one remaining athlete in the competition.
Hosts Romania, and Russia both have five semi-finalists, while Hungary and Bulgaria have four athletes remaining.
France and Italy still have three chances for the gold medal, and Azerbaijan have secured its first ever medals in the history of the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships.
Quote of the day
“I felt great in my opening bout against the Finnish boxer two days ago when I showed top boxing excluding the second round. In my quarter-final bout against the Turkish athlete I had to do my very best to get the expected medal in the championships. I think it was not a nice bout, and I tried to prevent her attacks so I am happy now to get at least a bronze in the continental event,” said Hungary’s experienced Katalin Ancsin following her triumph over Turkey’s young Elif Nur Coskun.
Tomorrow will be the rest day in the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest, and boxing fans can watch the semi-finals on Friday when the stars of our sport can continue their road to final glory.