Montenegro may be a relatively small European country in size, but their athletes are always competitive in the main boxing competitions.
Since the country became independent in 2006, they have sent athletes to two Olympic Games, and their own international boxing competition is the Winner of Podgorica Tournament, held in the capital city Podgorica.
Athlete of the tournament
Montenegro’s Belgrade Winner Tournament gold medallist Marko Radonjic has competed in the last three editions of the AIBA World Boxing Championships, and his experience saw him dominate his opponents in the tournament.
The 24-year-old Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer had a tough final opponent in Croatia’s Mediterranean Games silver medallist Josip Bepo Filipi.
The host nation’s athlete won the contest however, by unanimous decision. Radonjic was a member of the AIBA Road to Baku Program, and has got a good chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Team of the tournament
The host nation had a record number of five finalists in the Winner of Podgorica Tournament, and three of them were able to triumph in front of the home crowd.
Besides the athlete of the tournament Marko Radonjic, Marko Bozovic and Alen Beganovic both won gold medals in Montenegro.
The 21-year-old Middleweight class (75 kg) hope Marko Bozovic triumphed over a young star Armenia’s Gor Jevelikyan, who was a bronze medallist in the last edition of the EUBC European Youth Continental Championships in Rotterdam.
Veteran Alen Beganovic defeated another Armenian boxer in the final of the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg), Narek Melkonyan.
Montenegro’s Momcilo Zlaticanin competed in the international level as a youth boxer in 2006, but following that he took part only in national level events, and therefore his silver medal in the tournament was a great success for him.
Newcomer Nikola Stanisic secured another silver for Montenegro in the Welterweight class (69 kg), as he was defeated in the final by Armenia’s Armen Darchinyan..
Surprise of the tournament
Hungary’s Youth National Champion Viktor Galos received the right to fight in an international elite competition for the very first time.
His twin brother Roland is a fellow Hungarian future hope, and claimed the gold medal at the EUBC European Youth Continental Championships in Rotterdam last August.
The 18-year-old Bantamweight class (56 kg) boxer joined the elite level only in January but his technique was too good for his more experienced opponent, Bulgaria’s Strandja Memorial Tournament winner Stefan Ivanov in their gold medal bout.
The final verdict of their bout was a unanimous decision victory for Viktor Galos.
Ones to watch in the future
Hungary’s Adam Hamori was a silver medallist at the EUBC European Youth Continental Championships in Rotterdam last August, and joined the elite boxers in January.
The 19-year-old Hungarian Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) boxer started the year in a long Cuban training camp in Havana, and showcased his developed skills in Podgorica.
Hamori dominated his final contest against Croatia’s Marko Jeknic, and reached the top of the podium in the tournament.
Fact/stat of the tournament
This was the eleventh edition of Winner of Podgorica Tournament, and the highest level of boxing was delivered by the young athletes.
All of the participating countries selected some new faces in their line-ups to try and find the best options before the qualification tournament for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Quote of the tournament
“I enjoyed the tournament in Podgorica very much after the long and tiring trip from Budapest. I did not find the best fighting distance against my Croatian opponent in the first round of the final but from the second frame I could dominate the bout. The referee counted to him therefore I think my gold medal is a deserved result,” said Hungary’s teenager Adam Hamori after the final of the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg).