Host nation Kyrgyzstan claimed four gold medals at the Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament which took place in the capital Bishkek, as the first boxing tournament on the Asian continent in 2012 kick-started a huge year.
The tournament named after Duisenkul Shopokov, one of the biggest Kyrgyz heroes of the Soviet Union era. The young soldier died on November 16, 1941 defending the city of Moscow during the Great Patriotic War.
During the competition, 208 boxers from six nations competed for medals: China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Chairman of the Jury was former AIBA World Champion Orzubek Nazarov while special guest at the tournament was another AIBA World Champion, Vice-President of the Moscow Boxing Federation Mr. Andrey Kurnyavka.
At Light Flyweight, Kyrgyzstan's Asian Championships bronze medallist Assylbek Nazaraliyev defended his throne after beating Uzbekistan's 19-year-old Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament silver medallist Shakhobiddin Zoirov in a very entertaining encounter.
Kyrgyzstan's best Flyweight, 20-year-old Azat Usenaliyev, has great expectations at the upcoming AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event in Astana after his victory here in Bishkek. Usenaliyev triumphed over Kazakhstan's former Asian Junior Champion Anuarbek Bayzhanov.
It was a repeat of last edition's Bantamweight final once again this year as home favourite 20-year-old Omurbek Malabekov defeated his compatriot and main rival Meder Mamakeyev to take gold. Uzbekistan's two-time National Champion Shokhrukh Khudjabekov will have been disappointed after he claimed only a bronze medal in Bishkek.
In the Lightweight category, Kyrgyzstan's AIBA World Championships competitor Abdylai Anarbay Ulu had the opportunity of continuing the host nation's excellent winning sequence but was ultimately defeated by Kazakhstan's Zakir Safiullin.
Kyrgyzstan's World Combat Games winner and Asian Games quarter-finalist Ermek Sakenov also defended his title in Bishkek. The 24-year-old Light Welterweight powered past China's Xinjiang-based Serik Tuleutay in the gold medal contest to secure his place in the AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event.
One of the big future hopes for Kazakhstan is 18-year-old Asian Youth Champion and Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament winner Meirim Nursultanov. He claimed the Welterweight gold medal in style, and this in just his second career participation in an elite competition.
Kazakhstan's 22-year-old Semen Trestin Tournament winner Abuyazit Ugurchiyev moved up a weight class and celebrated his first gold medal at the Middleweight. He was too strong for Tajikistan's Sobirjon Nazarov.
Uzbekistan's National Champion Oybek Mamazulunov also moved up a weight class, to compete with the Light Heavyweights. There he defeated Kyrgyzstan's No.1 Sergey Sklyarov in the semi-finals before taking down Russia's Chelyabinsk-based Sergey Pikul for the gold. Mamazulunov defended his title and ensured Uzbekistan had one man oat the top of teh podium in Bishkek.
Kyrgyzstan's Kulibayev Tournament winner Chyngyz Borbashev lost his Heavyweight final against Kazakhstan's 19-year-old Arbek Abduganiyev. Borbashev will be focused on Olympic Game squalification in Astana in April.
The only Chinese gold medal was achieved by Urumchi-based Yusup Akpar who triumphed over the Tajik 'Valuyev', 218cm tall Asian Youth Championships bronze medallist Mekhrodjiddin Karimov. These two put on a real show in the Super Heavyweight final.
In the women's Olympic Flyweight class, Kyrgyzstan's young Albina Mambetova defeated her compatriot, Zhanat Talantbek Kyzy on points in their final contest.
It was a great tournament for the hosts but equally as impressive was the performances of the Kazak boxers who also claimed four gold medals.
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