After the fourth day of competition at the AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event in Trabzon, Turkey, four boxers in each of the Light Fly, Bantam and Lightweight categories ensured their quota places for the London 2012 Olympic Games. With forty sensational bouts, it was an exceptional day of high-octane drama at the Hayri Gür Spor Salon.
Germany's European Youth Championships bronze medallist Hamza Touba eliminated Azerbaijan's current European Champion Salman Alizada in the previous round but his passage to the semi-finals was thwarted by Turkey's impressive Ferhat Pehlivan. The host nation's diminutive Light Flyweight secured victory by winning his contest by 15:7. Pehlivan's next opponent will be European Champion Patrick Barnes who achieved Ireland's fourth Olympic quota place in boxing.
Session 6A - Full Results
Session 6B - Full Results
Session 7A - Full Results
Session 7B - Full Results
Italy's last representative in the competition, Chemistry Cup bronze medallist Manuel Cappai travelled to Turkey focus on obtain his nation's seventh quota and the 20-year-old youngster did just that after triumphing over Poland's Beijing Olympian Lukasz Maszczyk 19:8. Cappai can now prepare for his semi-final showdown with Bulgaria's 28-year-old Aleksandar Aleksandrov, who proved his decision to move down a weight division was more than vindicated after he achieved his nation's second quota for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Former AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Nordine Oubaali delivered another victory for France after the experienced Flyweight overcame the challenge of Bulgaria's Strandja Memorial Tournament winner Stefan Ivanov 18:9. Oubaali will now meet Sweden's European Championships silver medallist Salomo N'Tuve.
Turkey's two-time National Champion Selcuk Eker hit his opponent, Poland's Beijing Olympian Rafal Kaczor, with some precise punches to eliminate him 18:13. His next rival will now be Hungary's Beijing Olympian Norbert Kalucza who had a narrow victory over Georgia's Severiane Chiladze.
Germany's European Champion Denis Makarov, who was one of the favourites in the Bantamweight division, struggled against Azerbaijan's lively Magomed Abdulkhamidov, a Russian National Champion in 2008. The final score ended 13:4 to the Azeri boxer who will face Georgia's first London Olympian, Merab Turkadze.
Leipzig Leopard's World Series of Boxing fighter, 23-year-old Dennis Ceylan, secured the first Danish Olympic quota since the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, after defeating Lithuania's 19-year-old European Youth Championships silver medallist Edgaras Skurdelis 19:11. Ceylan's next rival will be Ukraine's former European Junior Champion Pavlo Ishchenko who eliminated Sweden's Bashir Hassan.
The first Olympic quota was achieved by Belarus' European Championships silver medallist WSB fighter Vazgen Safaryants who eliminated Georgia's AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Koba Pkhakadze in the lightweight quarter-final. His next opponent will be Commonwealth Games silver medallist Josh Taylor secured the quota to London as first Scotsman and joined to the British Olympic squad as sixth athletes. The 21-year-old Taylor made an excellent last round against Armenia's former AIBA Cadet World Champion Vladimir Sarukhanyan and became the happiest in Trabzon.
Evaldas Petrauskas was a gold medallist at the Youth Olympic Games and proved he belongs with the big boys in Trabzon after ensuring his participation at the Olympic Games amongst the elite competitors. The 20-year-old boxer will join his compatriot Egidijus Kavaliauskas in London, becoming the second Lithuanian to qualify, after beating Ireland's tough European Championships bronze medallist David Oliver Joyce.
The young Lithuanian will now meet Turkey's 22-year-old European Champion Fatih Keles with a place in the final at stake. Keles beat England's Gee Bee Tournament winner Samuel Maxwell, who had eliminated the big favourite in the Lightweight class, Russia's AIBA World Champion Albert Selimov. The Turkish victory resulted in a second quota for the host nation.
Russia's national team newcomer Artem Zaytsev proved that his head coach Nikolay Khromov's decision to involve him was a good one as the young pretender gave a boxing lesson to Armenia's Ara Puluzyan to advance to the Light Welterweight semi-final where his next opponent will be France's Chabane Fehim.
In the Welterweight draw, Romania's Athens Olympic Games bronze medallist Ionut Gheorghe kept his dreams of competing in his third Olympic Games alive. The experienced boxer defeated Albania's Asmer Bilali by an impressive 19:8 and will now be fighting Ireland's two-time National Champion Adam Nolan for a London quota.
Turkey's veteran Abdulkadir Koroglu, who lives in Trabzon, shocked Hungary's European Champion and AIBA Junior World Champion Balazs Bacskai to progress on his home turf. The Turkish boxer's sensational win set up a meeting in the next round for the Olympic quota against Germany's 21-year-old Patrick Wojcicki.
England's top Middleweight Anthony Ogogo came back from a six point's deficit against Georgia's European Championships bronze medallist Jaba Khositashvili to draw level after an incredible final round. Ogogo was given the win with the score tied at 13:13 and he will now meet Belarus' University World Champion Vitaliy Bandarenka for a place in the final and for a quota to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In the top rated Middleweight contest between Turkey's AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Adem Kilicci and Russia's current European Champion Maksim Koptyakov, the crowds were treated to another spectacular contest. In the last edition of the European Championships the Russian boxer defeated the local favourite while in this re-match in Trabzon it was Kilicci who secured victory by accepted scores and he will now meet with Switzerland's surprise package, Davide Faraci.
Turkey's Beijing Olympian Bahram Muzaffer eliminated Ireland's Joseph Ward in the last preliminary round and continued his winning ways against Latvia's Nikolajs Grisunins. Muzaffer's next opponent will now be Belarus' Mikhail Dauhaliavets while England's Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Callum Smith and Azerbaijan's Vatan Huseynli also secured their places in the semi-finals of the Light Heavyweight class.
Bulgaria's 28-year-old two-time European Championships silver medallist Tervel Pulev, who is the Heavyweight favourite in Trabzon, eliminated England's Warren Baister by large margin of points and will be fighting Croatia's National Champion Marko Calic in the semi-finals. Ireland's AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Tommy McCarthy and Moldova's Vladimir Cheles both advanced to the last four.
France's 20-year-old Youth Olympic Games winner Tony Yoka was tactically astute in dealing with Romania's hard-hitting European Championships bronze medallist Mihai Nistor to advance to the penultimate round of the Super Heavyweight division where he will meet Hungary's Istvan Bernath.
Russia's current European Champion Magomed Omarov battled hard against Croatia's AIBA Youth World Champion Filip Hrgovic in Trabzon. Their Super Heavyweight contest captivated the numerous fans in the stadium. Omarov survived a strong comeback from the Croatian star to win 15:14 to book a showdown with Turkey's Muhammet Erhan Avci for the Olympic quota.
The boxing resumes on Friday for the semi-finals, when two rings become one. Be sure to watch all the action on AIBABoxingtv.com.
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