This year, several young talents will be ready to showcase their skills and test themselves on the biggest stages of all with glory the 2016 Rio Olympics the ultimate target. The forthcoming AIBA Youth World Championships, to be held in October, will be the first chance to see up close the array of exciting fighters coming through.
The new look Russian youth team has now some of the most talented boxers coming through and it could well be that their squad is the strongest one they have had yet. Lightweight National Youth Champion Kristian Stepanov, AIBA Junior World Champion and European Junior Championships gold medallist Sergey Sobylinskiy, current Welterweight European Youth Champion Igor Kharitonov, European Junior Champion and Denisov Youth Cup gold medallist Andrey Stotskiy and European Junior Champion Khodzhiakbar Mamakov make up an impressive squad that many predict will be dominant for years to come.
The Azeri elite team is the youngest in the world, while their youth squad is also coming up strong. They have great expectations for the immediate and long-term future. Two Azeri boxers claimed gold medals at the European Youth Championships in Dublin, Parviz Bagirov and Rauf Rahimov. Both boxers were born in 1994 so expect them to further demonstrate their impressive techniques in all the youth tournaments this year.
Uzbekistan's best Lightweight fighter Aliyor Noraliyev secured a gold medal at the AIBA Junior World Championships in Astana last year so he will be one to watch. We can also expect great things from his accomplished compatriots Anvar Turapov, Ahmet Comert, Junior Tournament winner Akmalbek Kosimov, AIBA Junior World Champion Oybek Sharipov and Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament bronze medallist Ulugbek Mubinov. 2012 should prove a very successful year for this squad.
Puerto Rico's Panamerican Games bronze medallist and National Elite Champion Jantony Ortiz will be celebrating his 18th birthday in July and he will be looking to qualify and compete at the London Olympic Games. His main goal this season will be to secure a gold medal at the upcoming AIBA Youth World Championships.
Current AIBA Junior World Champion, 16-year-old Asror Vohidov, who was awarded the best junior boxer trophy in 2011, is the biggest hope for Tajikistan in the upcoming Olympic era, but he will be concentrating on the youth level championships with Rio 2016 his main objective. We are most likely to see him moving up a division to Flyweight.
The Philippines traditionally have excellent boxers in the Light Flyweight category and with Ian Clark Bautista securing a silver medal at the President's Cup amongst the elite boxers in Jakarta last July; he will be certainly able to continue the tradition of Filipino success at the AIBA Youth World Championships.
The Dominican Republic's rising star is Panamerican Junior Champion Huascar Ramirez who, last year, suffered only one loss. Kevin Brown of Cuba will also have some good opportunities of securing some top results. El Salvador's new hope, Nathan Ridings, who competed at the 16th AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku is also expected to shine in 2012.
Other strong youth fighters to look out for in 2012 are Kazakhstan's powerful Olzhas Kalaubek, India's Agalarov Youth Cup winner Ajay Kumar, Lithuania's European Junior Championships bronze medallist Eimantas Stanionis, Hungary's AIBA Junior World Championships silver medallist and European Junior Champion Norbert Herczeg, Serbia's National Elite Champion Vanja Bacic, Georgia's former European Junior Champion Aleksandr Dokvadze, Australia's AIBA Junior World Champion Jai Opetaia and Ukraine's European Youth Championships bronze medallist Bohdan Blazhko.
It is shaping up to be another exciting year, full of exciting talent.
Copyright © 2012 AIBA http://www.aiba.org