Bulgaria's former European Junior Champion, 20-year-old Stefan Ivanov, who eliminated Cuba's Youth Olympic Games winner Robeisy Ramirez in the semi-finals, shocked another world class fighter to win the Flyweight final at the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, on home soil.
Ivanov wowed the crowds by defying the odds to stop Wales' No.1, AIBA World Championships silver medallist and current European Champion, Andrew Selby and claim the gold in the front of the 2,000 local fans that had come out in force to support the boxers.
Cuba's Panamerican Games silver medallist, 20-year-old Yosvany Veitia was too strong for Bulgaria's multiple Strandja Memorial Tournament winner Aleksandar Aleksandrov, who had moved down to fight in the Light Flyweight class. The score in the opening final of the day was a comprehensive 12:6 win for Veitia.
Lazaro Alvarez, Cuba's current AIBA World Champion and Panamerican Games winner, defeated his main rival, England's former European Champion Luke Campbell in the semi-finals so was the overwhelming favourite to take the Bantamweight crown. Following another excellent performance, the Caribbean star outclassed Turkey's 21-year-old Mehmet Topcakan 15:8 to claim a second gold medal for Cuba in Sofia.
Bulgaria's new sensation, Luben Todorov, to many the best local hope in the Lightweight division in the absence of AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Denislav Suslekov due to injury, was another to send the home supporters intro raptures. The young Bulgarian boxer unexpectedly defeated England's European Championships silver medallist and Commonwealth Champion, 22-year-old Iain Weaver, after a desperately close contest. A topsy-turvy final in the end went to Todorov who triumphed 11:10.
Russia's former European Junior Champion, 19-year-old Avak Uzliyan shocked both his Cuban rivals in the first two days of competition in Sofia as he defeated AIBA World Champion Roniel Iglesias as well as AIBA World Championships silver medallist Yasnier Toledo. Of Armenian-descent, Uzliyan claimed a career highlight at the Strandja Memorial Tournament as he defeated Kazakhstan's National Championships silver medallist Almazbek Alibekov 13:7.
Another Welshmen, 21-year-old current European Champion Fred Evans defended his Welterweight title by outpointing Turkish veteran Abdulkadir Koroglu. The bronze medal secured by Korea's new welterweight No.1 Kim Jung Won bodes well for his preparations for the upcoming AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Former AIBA World Championships bronze medal winner and European Championships silver medallist Adem Kilicci then secured the only Turkish gold medal in the men's draw Sofia after overcoming the challenge of Russia's European Champion Artem Chebotarev in the Middleweight final. These two finalists will be favourites to secure the quota places for the London 2012 Olympic Games available in Trabzon this April.
Cuban team captain and current AIBA World Champion, 23-year-old Julio Cesar de la Cruz continued his winning streak at the Strandja Memorial Tournament by securing another title at the expense of Russian newcomer Aleksandr Khotyantsev. De la Cruz's speed and agility were too much for his opponent as he won the Light Heavyweight contest 15:10.
The Cuban gold medal haul continued as former AIBA Youth World Champion Jose Angel Larduet defeated Bulgaria's two-time European Championships silver medallist Tervel Pulev 23:15 in the Heavyweight final. His teammate, another former AIBA Youth World Champion Erislandy Savon, already sure of his participation at the Olympic Games, was awarded the Super Heavyweight title following the withdrawal of Georgia's European Championships bronze medallist Mikhail Bakhtidze.
In the women's draw, England's two-time AIBA Women's World Championships silver medallist and reigning European Champion Nicola Adams dispatched Italy's EU Champion Valeria Calabrese in ruthless style to claim gold.
Turkey's two-time AIBA World Champion and current European Champion Gulsum Tatar, who had moved down to Lightweight due the London Olympic Games, defeated China's newly crowned National Champion Liu Chang 14:8.
The final gold medal went to the Netherlands as 25-year-old Nouchka Fontijn with China's former AIBA World Champion and Asian Games winner Li Jinzi unable to take to teh ring for the Middleweight final.
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