The first stage of the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships quarter-finals took place today in Bangkok, Thailand, where 20 bouts were held across two sessions.
Watched by AIBA President Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu in the venue, the winners of the Light Flyweight (49 kg), Bantamweight (56 kg), Light Welterweight (64 kg), Middleweight (75 kg) and Heavyweight (91 kg) matches earned guaranteed medals in the event, and secured their quota places for the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships.
Bout of the day
Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly is the current AIBA World Champion, Asian Games winner and ASBC Asian Champion Middleweight champion, but lost the chance to add another gold medal to his collection after being narrowly defeated by Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev.
The young Uzbek star won gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, and maintained his undefeated elite record with a tremendous performance.
With both boxers fighting in the southpaw stance, the two fighters combined to create a classic in Bangkok, as Melikuziev’s supreme footwork and speed impressed in the opening round.
Alimkhanuly improved greatly in round two, and his ferocious punches seemed to take some of the sting out of his young opponent.
The 19-year-old Melikuziev rallied in the third frame however, as his excellent stamina allowed him to progress via split decision after the final three minutes of the contest.
Melikuziev will now fight Sajad Mehrabi in the semi-final, after the Iranian eliminated Thailand’s Aphisit Kanankhokkhruea.
Team of the day
Uzbekistan enjoyed a flawless day in Bangkok, where all of their competing boxers advanced to the semi-finals.
Hasanboy Dusmatov began a day of great success for his country when he outpointed Japan’s Tomoya Tsuboi at Light Flyweight.
Murodjon Akhmadaliyev (56 kg) then triumphed over Vietnam’s Tran Phu Cuong by unanimous decision, while Fazliddin Gaibnazarov was impressive against Manoj Kumar at Light Welterweight.
Uzbekistan’s last boxer to emerge victorious on Day 7 was AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Rustam Tulaganov, who earned a close victory against tough Heavyweight Manpreet Singh.
Surprise of the day
Korea’s Lim Hyun Chul won silver at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, but was not the favourite in his quarter-final contest against Kyrgyzstan’s AIBA Top 5 ranked Light Welterweight Ermek Sakenov.
Despite his underdog status, Chul unsettled his taller Kyrgyz rival in the opening round, and ultimately won their engrossing contest.
Thailand’s Chatchai Butdee delighted the local fans at ringside when he defeated Turkmenistan’s talented youngster Yakub Meredov in a brilliant Bantamweight bout.
Kazakhstan’s Heavyweight star Vasiliy Levit is a serious gold medal contender in Bangkok, and stopped Jordan’s Ihab Darweish Al-Matbouli in impressive fashion.
Tajikistan’s Doha 2006 Asian Games winner and two-time Olympian Jakhon Qurbonov is another Heavyweight contender, and he asserted his dominance of the division by knocking out Pakistan’s Mehmood Ul Hussan.
Fact of the day
After the first day of the quarter-finals, 20 boxers have achieved guaranteed medals in the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships from the following 11 nations:
- Uzbekistan: 5 medallists
- AIBA Team: 3 medallists
- Iran, Kazakhstan, Thailand: 2 medals
- Iraq, Korea, Mongolia, Philippines, Syria, Tajikistan: 1 medal
Quote of the day
“Our youngster Bektemir Melikuziev and Kazakhstan’s AIBA World Champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly delivered a really great and close bout today, and I think our Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Champion deserved the triumph. Melikuziev was quicker, and I think the final round was the main difference between them. We are so proud of him,” said Bekzhod Mirtimirov, the General Secretary of the Uzbekistan Boxing Federation.
The second stage of the quarter-finals will take place tomorrow, where a further 20 bouts are scheduled.