Kazakhstan's two-time AIBA World Champion and Asian Games winner Serik Sapiyev performed secured the gold medal at the Prizes of Nurmagambetov Tournament in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from May 9-14.
Sapiyev eliminated AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medalist 19-year-old Islamzhan Dalibayev of Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-final but had a hard battle against powerful European Championships bronze medalist Taras Shelestyuk of Ukraine in the welterweight final in Almaty. Sapiyev won the contest by a close 11:8 to claim another gold after his success at the Gagik Tsarukyan Memorial Tournament in Yerevan last month.
A total of 170 athletes, including 30 women boxers, competed at the Nurmagambetov Tournament from 13 nations: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
In the women's competition two Kazakh teenagers advanced to the flyweight final where local Almaty-based fighter Rano Parkhatova won the contest over Markhabat Rymbekova by 11:4.
Saniya Sultynkyzy from the Kazakh capital city Astana celebrated her first international gold medal at the tournament after beating the more experienced Russian-born Ayzanat Hajiyeva of Azerbaijan in the semi-final and her compatriot Shakhnoza Issakhanova in the final, after her ringside abandoned the unequal lightweight final in the first round.
Azerbaijan's women's spearhead Yelena Vystropova, who adopted Azeri nationality only this year, thrashed the inexperienced Milana Safronova of Kazakhstan in the middleweight final, while AIBA Road to Barbados graduate Gulzat Musabayeva of Kyrgyzstan claimed a bronze medal.
Kazakhstan's Birzhan Zhakipov put in an excellent performance at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou and almost defeated China's superstar Zou Shiming in the final contest. Zhakipov had an unexpected loss against Azamat Isakulov in the finals of the Kazakh National Championships in February. But the strong fighter did miss a chance to be involved in the national team and showed his true skills in Almaty to claim the gold medal in the light flyweight class after beating 19-year-old Anvar Muzaparov.
Olzhas Sattybayev represented Kazakhstan at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan but since then had several losses in the home ring. The 22-year-old Kazakh athlete stopped Indian National Games silver medalist Santosh Harijan in the semi-final and thrashed Kyrgyzstan's Azat Usenaliyev in the final.
Kazakhstan's 21-year-old Almas Zhakipov caused a huge surprise at the tournament when he eliminated Asian Games competitor Daniyar Tolegenov of Kazakhstan, Beijing Olympic Games quarterfinalist Jitender Kumar of India and finally Timur Dikhanbayev in the bantamweight gold medal contest.
Kazakhstan's World University Championships quarter-finalist 21-year-old Bekman Soilybayev triumphed over Ukraine's Volodimir Matviychuk in the lightweight final while newly crowned Turkmen National Champion 18-year-old Myrat Pazziyev claimed a valuable bronze medal in his first international elite tournament.
Kazakh National Championships bronze medalist Batyrkhan Dzhukembayev beat former Asian Junior Champion Adilet Yegizekov in the light welterweight final, while Turkmenistan's reigning Asian Champion Serdar Hudayberdiyev secured the bronze medal.
Ukraine's new pride former European Junior Champion and European Cup winner 22-year-old Yevhen Khytrov is one of the strongest middleweight boxers in the world at the moment and as expected he stopped his rivals in Almaty including Georgia's European Youth Championships bronze medalist Jaba Khotsitashvili.
Former Asian Junior Champion 22-year-old Adilbek Niyazimbetov of Kazakhstan went up a weight class from middleweight into light heavyweight, which proved to be a good decision by the local fighter. Niyazimbetov was too strong for his main local rivals such as Belgrade Winner Tournament gold medalist Azamat Belgibayev and former University World Champion Anton Pinchuk.
Ukraine's AIBA World Championships bronze medalist and European Champion Oleksandr Usyk and reigning Asian Games winner Mohamed Ghossoun of Syria had an incredible fight at the heavyweight semi-final, which finished with a close victory for Usyk. The Ukrainian won the final as well, while reigning Asian Champion Vasiliy Levit of Kazakhstan withdrew after an injury during his first contest.
The participants in the super heavyweight division in Almaty were world class. Syria's Olympic Games bronze medalist Nasser Al-Shami returned to the ring but missed out on a medal. Asian Games silver medalist 21-year-old Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan defeated AIBA World Championships silver medalist Roman Kapitanenko of Ukraine by 9:4 in the final to take the final gold.
Copyright © 2010 AIBA http://www.aiba.org