On the 13th March, the doors to the 39th edition of the Chemistry Cup will open. This is the next significant event before the Olympic qualifiers and will be held in Halle, Germany. The world's top boxing nations will be taking part in this exciting gathering.
The organisers are expecting 111 athletes from 19 nations to compete at the tournament and these nations make up four of the AIBA Confederations. The participating nations will be the host nation Germany, Algeria, Austria, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Romania, Russia and Uzbekistan.
There are no less than seven AIBA World Champions on the entry list of the Chemistry Cup, giving the local fans a unique opportunity to see world class fights in Halle.
One of these great athletes is Mongolia's Olympic Games silver medallist, Purevdorj Serdamba, who secured the gold medal at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan. However, following that success, his form was not sufficient to win any further contests until he competed in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku. Here, Serdamba achieved the bronze medal as well as a quota place for the London Olympic Games 2012.
Another formidable star, China's Beijing Olympic Games winner and three-time AIBA World Champion, Zou Shiming will compete in the flyweight division in Halle. His main opponent will be Russia's current AIBA World Champion, Misha Aloyan. Uzbekistan's Jasurbek Latipov, Germany's Ronny Beblik and Mongolia's Tugstsogt Nyambayar are also some of the incredible medal bearers from the AIBA World Championships.
Everton Lopes claimed the gold medal in the light welterweight class in Baku and made boxing history for Brazil. The 24-year-old South American boxer will have another chance to prove his skills and talent in Halle, but can expect to come up against some tough opponents, such as Mongolia's AIBA World Championship bronze medallist, veteran Uranchimeg Munkherdene as well as Lithuania's Youth Olympic Games winner, 20-year-old Evaldas Petrauskas.
Kazakhstan's Serik Sapiyev attained an impressive four medals in the recent history of AIBA World Championships, among them two glorious golds. The potential clash between the Kazakh team captain and Russia's top welterweight boxer, AIBA World Championships silver medallist, Andrey Zamkovoy is one of the most anticipated fights of the tournament.
Russia's particularly hard-hitting duo, Egor Mekhontsev and Artur Beterbiyev, both had excellent performances at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan, where both boxers were adorned with medals. Following this accomplishment, both changed weight divisions and the upcoming tournament in Halle will certainly showcase the pair as strong gold medal contenders. It will also be an excellent opportunity to check out where they stand in their run-up to the Olympics.
Mongolia's reigning Olympic Champion and former AIBA World Championship silver medallist, Enkhbat Badar-Uugan will return to the Chemistry Cup after a long recovery from injuries. Nonetheless, there is an undoubted likelihood that he will be able to reach the gold medal in the bantamweight class, where Germany's European Champion, Denis Makarov, will be his major adversary.
Fighting for survival and for a chance at defending their thrones in Halle will be five titleholders, of which four represent Germany. We will witness Youth Olympic Games winner, 19-year-old Artur Bril, Patrick Wojcicki, Stefan Haertel as well as Kevin Kuenzel strutting their stuff on the canvas this March. Other top contenders to look out for at this year's Chemistry Cup are Russia's European Championship silver medallist, Dmitriy Polyanskiy and Ireland's super talented light heavyweight boxer, current European Champion and AIBA Youth World Champion, Joseph Ward. It will be an exciting yet thorny contest, an event where we will be witness to some phenomenal boxing treats in the lead up to the London Games.
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