World-class fights were held between great names at the 49th Belgrade Winner Tournament in the Serbian capital city last weekend.
At the traditional tournament 66 boxers from 14 nations competed, they were: Algeria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, F.Y.R of Macedonia, Germany, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Qatar, Scotland, Serbia and Uzbekistan.
Bulgaria’s new light flyweight hope Georgi Andonov had only one fight due to the low number of participants in his division. He achieved the gold medal at the tournament after beating Mongolia’s young and inexperienced Ariunbold Ganselem by 10:8.
Reigning AIBA World Champion and Olympic Games silver medalist 25-year-old Purevdorj Serdamba has decided to move up to flyweight after his unsuccessful Asian Games. He fought with the same speed as two years ago and won the gold medal in Belgrade where he triumphed over Serbia’s biggest hope, 17-year-old Vanja Bacic, by 17:6.
India’s Youth Olympic Games and AIBA Youth World Championships silver medalist Shiva Thapa celebrated his 17th birthday only in December and was the youngest participant in the bantamweight division. Despite of his lack of experience among elite boxers he eliminated Hungary’s rising star Krisztian Nagy by 12:7 in the semifinal and even defeated reigning AIBA World Champion Detelin Dalakliev by a narrow 9:8 in the final.
Scotland’s Commonwealth Games silver medalist 20-year-old Josh Taylor is aiming for a place on Great Britain’s podium squad. He is currently in perfect form and showed all of his excellent skills in Belgrade. In the lightweight division’s semifinal he defeated European Championships bronze medalist Miklos Varga of Hungary by a close 7:6 and then triumphed over Mongolia’s rising power Javkhlan Bariadi in another hectic contest.
Two veteran boxers fought for the light welterweight class gold in Belgrade in a contest which finished with a Mongolian victory. AIBA World Championships bronze medalist 29-year-old Uranchimeg Munkherdene defeated Hungary’s multiple medal-winner Gyula Kate after a great battle.
Kazakhstan’s former National Champion 21-year-old Manat Omirzakov advanced to the welterweight final after beating Uzbek National Champion Khurshidbek Normatov on his opening contest and followed that with a win against Serbia’s Predrag Kovacevic in the semifinal. In the final he had a great bout against Hungary’s welterweight No.2 Arpad Klasz where the young Kazakh boxer shocked the Hungarian head coach Dr. Laszlo Kovacs because his third boxer was defeated after a close contest.
Uzbekistan’s new talent AIBA Youth World Championships silver medalist 19-year-old Ahmad Mamadjanov claimed the middleweight gold on his first major elite tournament after beating Serbia’s 27-year-old Aleksandar Drenovak, while Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Zoltan Harcsa of Hungary achieved the bronze in Belgrade.
Surprisingly Kazakhstan’s 24-year-old Azamat Belgibayev, who competed at the 2009 AIBA World Championships, stopped Uzbekistan’s two-times Asian Games winner Elshod Rasulov in the light heavyweight semifinal, while EU Champion Imre Szello of Hungary shocked his rivals in Belgrade. Both boxers performed at world-class level in Belgrade but only one could take home the medal. After a great start Belgibayev saved his advantage until the final gong and defeated his strong Hungarian rival by a close 16:12.
Bulgaria’s top boxer, European Championships silver medalist Tervel Pulev, won three fights in Belgrade and claimed the heavyweight gold. Firstly he was too strong for Jozsef Darmos of Hungary on their re-match, defeated Asian Games silver medalist Manpreet Singh of India in the semifinal and stopped Germany’s Sergej Hodic in the final.
In the super heavyweight division’s final India’s Commonwealth Games winner Paramjeet Samota triumphed over Bosnia & Herzegovina’s 25-year-old Mane Marceta only by accepted scores, while Serbia’s Golden Gloves Tournament winner Goran Despotovic was knocked out by veteran Rustam Rygebayev of Kazakhstan at the quarterfinal stage.