The AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event started this Saturday 15 April in Trabzon, on the Black Sea in Turkey. On this opening day, 38 bouts were held on two rings, with the winners advancing to the Round of 16.
Strandja Memorial Tournament multiple winner, Bulgarian Aleksandar Aleksandrov moved down a weight category this year and competes in light flyweight in Trabzon where 17 athletes are fighting for the remaining four quota places. The 28-year-old was leading 6:2 against Israel's newcomer David Albrdian and finally won the fight 17:7. Aleksandrov will now meet European Championships bronze medallist, Englishman Charlie Edwards.
AIBA World Boxing Championships competitor, French Anthony Bret has tremendously developed his skills recently. His knowledge was enough to beat Turkey's 21-year-old Mehmet Topcakan. The French boxer was leading 9:8 after six minutes a contest that ended 14:12.
Current European Champion and Beijing Olympic Games bronze medallist, Moldovan Veaceslav Gojan failed to qualify at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011. The World Series of Boxing bantamweight triumphed over 17-year-old Serbian future hope Vanja Bacic by 14:5 and will now fight against Ukraine's former European Junior Champion Pavlo Ishchenko.
European Championships bronze medallist, Swedish veteran Bashir Hassan won each of his three rounds against Latvia's Dmitrijs Gutmans. Hassan's next opponent will be AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Matti Koota of Finland.
Gee Bee Tournament winner, English Samuel Maxwell loves Russia at the moment. Last month in Helsinki he defeated a strong Russian boxer before this newcomer in the national squad eliminated former AIBA World Champion and two-time European Champion, Russian Albert Selimov who got injured during their lightweight battle. It was probably the biggest surprise of the day. Maxwell will now meet Moldova's Piotr Apostol.
Another British lightweight boxer, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Scottish Josh Taylor also secured his place in the last 16 after beating Czech Republic's 20-year-old Miroslav Serban by an impressive 15:6. He will now be facing Latvia's top fighter, Artjoms Ramlavs.
Armenia's former AIBA Cadet World Champion Vladimir Saruhanyan and Serbia's AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Branimir Stankovic had a great battle in Trabzon. Saruhanyan took one point advantage after six minutes and managed to keep it until the final gong. In the next round he will meet Strandja Memorial Tournament bronze medallist 18-year-old Greek Alexandros Tsanikidis. Those two already met in February with a success for Tsanikidis.
European Youth Championships Irishman David Oliver Joyce and Welshman Joseph Cordina had a hectic fight at lightweight. Cordina opened with a great first round, leading 10:4 after three minutes. But the experienced Irish turned up the heat and finally obliged the Welsh ringside to abandon.
Former European Champion Belarusian veteran Magomed Nurudinov had two points deficit before the final round against another experienced fighter, Croatia's Borna Katalinic in their welterweight contest. Nurudinov made a great finish, equalised their battle and finally got the win by individual scores. Nurudinov's next opponent will be the host nation's welterweight, Abdulkadir Koroglu who replaced Onder Sipal just before the event and eliminated 22-year-old Italian Danilo Creati 12:7 in the opening day.
Cyprus' best boxer, AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist 18-year-old Kyriakos Spanos demonstrated all of his talent in Trabzon to offer his nation's first success in Trabzon against Bosnia & Herzegovina's Danijel Topalovic. The final verdict of this middleweight bout was 9:6 to Spanos whose next opponent will be defending European Champion, Russian Maksim Koptyakov.
The host nation's Beijing Olympian and Turkish Prime Ministry Tournament winner Bahram Muzaffer started with a great victory over Albania's top boxer Christian Demaj at light heavyweight. But his next opponent will be defending European Champion 18-year-old Irishman Joseph Ward who is the top favourite to win this category.
Current European Champion, Russian Magomed Omarov stopped Moldova's veteran boxer Mihail Muntean in the first round when he was already leading 7:0. Omarov's next rival will be Athens Olympic Games silver medallist Belarusian Viktor Zuyev who eliminated AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Ukrainian Roman Kapitanenko by 15:14 at super heavyweight. AIBA Youth World Champion Croatian Filip Hrgovic also advanced to the last 16 in the same division following his excellent performance against Nikita Maculevics from Latvia.
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