The Uzbekistan Boxing Federation scheduled the Zolotarev Memorial Tournament for shortly after the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, with a number of their talented younger athletes taking part in the international event which was held in Andizhan.
Valentin Zolotarev was an honoured coach of Uzbekistan, and the local federation decided to launch the event to pay tribute to him.
Bout of the finals
Uzbekistan’s top athlete Jasurbek Latipov was a bronze medallist at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku, and he claimed a valuable silver at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty.
In spite of his excellent previous results, and his experience in the World Series of Boxing, his teammate, the Sportaccord World Combat Games winner Shakhobiddin Zoirov was selected to represent Uzbekistan in the Asian Games in Incheon where he claimed a silver medal.
The Andizhan-based Latipov advanced to the final of the Zolotarev Memorial Tournament where he had to meet with Russia’s strong Georgiy Popov, who claimed a bronze in the Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament in Tashkent in May, and the 23-year-old Flyweight class (52 kg) boxer won the gold medal courtesy of a split decision victory.
Team of the finals
Uzbekistan bagged eight gold medals in the Zolotarev Memorial Tournament on home soil, and among the winners three athletes train in the city of Andizhan.
Sobirjon Turgunov (64 kg), Azamat Abdukhakimov (81 kg) and Rustamzhon Ismoilov (91 kg) reached their career highlights with their golds in the event.
Two talented Uzbek teenagers fought for the gold medal of the Bantamweight class (56 kg) with both of the competing athletes having claimed silver medals in the ASBC Asian Youth Continental Championships.
Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov did it at Subic Bay 2013, while 18-year-old Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov repeated that performance in Bangkok in 2014.
In Uzbekistan, Mirzakhalilov controlled the rounds against his younger opponent and won the weight class, proving his best class in Andizhan.
Uzbekistan’s current National Champion strong Bakhodir Jalolov stopped Agalarov Youth Cup Gaybatulla Kuchkarov in the final of the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg), which was the last bout of the entire competition.
Surprise of the finals
19-year-old Abdulla Kuchkarov reached his career highlight in Andizhan where he was able to defeat Kazakhstan’s National Championships silver medallist and Feliks Stamm Memorial Tournament winner Erzhan Zhomart, who was the top favourite of the Light Flyweight class (49 kg) in the event.
Ones to watch
Uzbekistan’s youngest winner was Makhmud Gaipov, who is only 18 and has competed well enough in the youth tournaments this year.
He claimed gold at the Abbas Agalarov Youth Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan and silver in the ASBC Asian Youth Continental Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
Boxers who were born in 1996 could join the elite level following the new AIBA rules, and Makhmud Gaipov was able to beat Russia’s Yagub Nuriyev in the final.
Kazakhstan’s Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament winner Abzal Kuttybekov defeated three strong Uzbek rivals in the Middleweight class (75 kg) in Andizhan, and the 22-year-old boxer eliminated AIBA Youth World Champion Akmalbek Kosimov in the quarter-finals, Farkhod Bakhodirov in the semi-finals, and finally he was too strong for Jaloleddin Uktamov as well.
Facts/Stat of the Zolotarev Memorial Tournament
Altogether, 110 elite men’s boxers took part in the event, with four of the winners under 20.
List of the winners in Andizhan
49 kg: Abdulla Kuchkarov, Uzbekistan
52 kg: Jasurbek Latipov, Uzbekistan
56 kg: Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, Uzbekistan
60 kg: Abdukhasil Baltiyev, Kazakhstan
64 kg: Sobirjon Turgunov, Uzbekistan
69 kg: Makhmud Gaipov, Uzbekistan
75 kg: Abzal Kuttybekov, Kazakhstan
81 kg: Azamat Abdukhakimov, Uzbekistan
91 kg: Rustamzhon Ismoilov, Uzbekistan
+91 kg: Bakhodir Jalolov, Uzbekistan