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The EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships kick-off in Samokov, Bulgaria today as one of the first five AIBA Confederation Boxing Championships taking place across the globe this summer.

A high class field of ten men’s weight classes will compete for gold medal glory. There is additional significance for this year’s tournament, as it will also act as a qualification event for the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The best six athletes per weight class will secure their place in October’s World Championships and the top 60 boxers in the Championships will earn quotas for Doha 2015.

“EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships represent the ultimate step to qualify to AIBA World Boxing Championships 2015, where the best boxers from all over the world will compete for the ultimate boxing glory. Samokov, Bulgaria is the perfect stage to showcase the best European boxers in front of thousands of passionate boxing fans”, said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.

241 elite men’s boxers from 42 nations are on the entry list, which demonstrates the vitality of boxing due to the high importance of the event. Among the most established nations, Russia have taken a highly decorated team, while the strong Ukrainian squad has an average age of just 21-years-old.

Developing boxing nations including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyprus, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro and Slovenia all compete with their biggest squads ever, while Netherlands have named a five-strong team with great expectations including Enrico La Cruz, Max Van der Pas and Peter Mullenberg. They will have a chance to compete against the traditional boxing nations, such as Germany, Italy, France and the UK.

Franco Falcinelli, President of European Boxing Confederation said: “I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the organization of this event, especially the Bulgarian Boxing Federation, the Local Organizing Committee, governmental and institutional support. Their excellent work and dedication has made these Championships a reality, for which EUBC is very grateful“.

The first European Continental Championships were held at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games, where the best boxers of the region also became European Champions. European legends such as Hungary’s Laszlo Papp, Lithuania’s Algirdas Socikas, Poland’s Zbigniew Pietrzykowski, Germany’s Henry Maske, Armenia’s Vladimir Yengibaryan, Russia’s Valeriy Popenchenko, Italy’s Francesco Damiani and Bulgaria’s Daniel Petrov all won titles in this competition which were significant highlights of their golden careers.