With one of the strongest line-ups in European competition, the Chemistry Cup was one of the best preparatory tournaments before the various AIBA Regional Olympic Qualifying Events that take place worldwide over the next three months. Held in Halle, Germany, 118 boxers came together for three days of high-octane action.
23-year-old former National Champion and European Championships bronze medallist Belik Galanov secured the first gold medal at the event with the Russian Light Flyweight boxer overcoming the challenge of Germany's Hamza Touba to win by a one point margin 12:11.
Uzbekistan's AIBA World Championships bronze medallist, 20-year-old Jasurbek Latipov, claimed the gold medal in the Flyweight class after beating Mongolia's former AIBA World Champion Purevdorj Serdamba by 13:8. Both boxers had already secured the quota places for the London 2012 Olympic Games where the Mongolian star will be fighting in the Light Flyweight division.
Germany's former European Champion Denis Makarov, born in Kazakhstan from Russian parents achieved, took the first gold medal for the host nation in Halle. The Bantamweight boxer defeated Uzbekistan's AIBA President's Cup winner and London Olympian Orzubek Shayimov after an incredible fight which somehow ended 0:0, with Makarov awarded the win by the judges.
Brazil's Robson Conceicao, who hit the headlines at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku when he almost eliminated Ukraine's superstar Vasyl Lomachenko, powered past Kazakhstan's Gani Zhaylauov to take the Lightweight title. The Panamerican Games silver medallist triumphed over London Olympian Zhaylauov 16:8 in impressive style.
Russia's 24-year-old former AIBA Junior World Championships silver medallist Artem Zaytsev put in some magnificent performances in Halle as the Light Welterweight defeated Lithuania's Youth Olympic Games winner Evaldas Petrauskas in the semis before outboxing Brazilian AIBA World Champion Everton Lopes 16:11.
Kazakhstan's team captain, two-time AIBA World Champion and Asian Games winner, Serik Sapiyev's form has been tremendous this year and he was really on top of his game in Halle. He controlled his Welterweight final against Germany's Araik Marutjan to win 19:15 and many predict that he is now one of the front runners to take gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Germany's multiple National Champion and World Series of Boxing Leipzig Leopards ace Stefan Haertel, already qualified for this summer's Olympic Games, achieved a second gold medal for the host nation. The Middleweight boxer was too strong for Brazil's AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Esquiva Florentino Falcao as he took the final contest 15:9. Following his performances on route to the gold, Haertel was awarded the tournament's best boxer trophy.
Ireland 18-year-old super talent, European Champion and AIBA Youth World Champion Joseph Ward, had a three points' advantage coming into the last round of the Light Heavyweight final against AIBA World Champion Yegor Mekhontsev of Russia. The Irish youngster's wowed the crowds with some quality hooks to win a truly world class contest 20:14. Ward claimed Ireland's only gold in Halle but following some sensational outings during the three days, the Irishman received the best Technical Boxer award. He will be now viewed as a serious contender for gold in London.
Russia's former AIBA World Champion and European Champion Artur Beterbiyev demonstrated his extreme power at the Chemistry Cup. The Heavyweight star shocked China's AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Wang Xuanxuan with his relentless assaults as the Chinese ringside quickly threw in the towel.
The fourth Russian gold medal was awarded to former European Champion Sergey Kuzmin, who had eliminated Kazakhstan's AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Ivan Dychko in the semi-finals. Kuzmin followed that up with a polished display against China's Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist Zhang Zhilei to take a 11:7 victory.
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