The traditional Belgrade Winner Tournament celebrated its 50th edition as 69 boxers from 13 nations competed for medals in the Serbian capital. Along with the hosts, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, and Slovenia all brought strong representatives.
Russian Flyweight Magomed Abdurakhmanov claimed the first gold medal in the tournament after he triumphed over Serbia's 19-year-old Milos Baltic, who competed at the recent AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event in Trabzon, Turkey. Abdurakhmanov found the punches that made the difference as he recorded a 11:9 victory.
Former AIBA World Champion Detelin Dalakliev was pushed all the way in the Bantamweight final against Australia's AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event winner Ibrahim Balla. The Bulgarian star won their bout after the judges declared him the winner with the scores tied after the three rounds. Many will now relish the possibility of seeing these two locking horns once again at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
French veteran Rachid Azzedine, who secured his place at the Olympic Games following his performances in the World Series of Boxing first season, claimed the tournament title after beating Australia's experienced 2012 AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event winner Luke Jackson 10:4.
19-year-old European Youth Championships silver medallist Radzhab Butayev from Russia moved up two weight classes just this year as he made his career debut at elite level. The young Butayev eliminated Georgian Nyeki from Hungary in the semi-finals before following that up with a quality 12:8 victory against Australia's London Olympian Jeff Horne.
Beijing Olympic Games bronze medallist and European Championships silver medallist Alexis Vastine's preparations for London 2012 are shaping up nicely as the Frenchman disposed of Bulgaria's Simeon Chamov in the semi-finals then outmanoeuvred Russia's Said Musalipov 9:6 in the final to claim the Welterweight gold.
Relatively unknown Russian Yevgeniy Shvedenko really made a name for himself in Belgrade after a string of quality performances, one of which saw him eliminate Germany's London Olympian Stefan Haertel in the quarter-finals. In the Middleweight final, the Russian athlete's speed and footwork saw him dominate Cyprus' 18-year-old Kyriakos Spanos to win 13:10. Shvedenko not only claimed the gold medal but was also awarded the best boxer trophy, topping a fantastic week for him.
Australia's AIBA World Championships quarter-finalist and Youth Olympic Games winner Damien Hooper stopped Serbia's top fighter Marko Nikolic in the last eight before going on to secure the gold medal after beating Germany's AIBA Youth World Championships silver medallist and London Olympian Enrico Kölling 8:6.
Abdoulaye Diane, a rising star from France, acquired his first ever gold medal in an international tournament after the Heavyweight triumphed over Russia's 19-year-old Shigabuddin Aliyev 10:8 in the final.
New Zealand's Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Joseph Parker was the big Kiwi hope at the AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event Canberra 2012 however but he was defeated in his first contest. Parker put his disappointment behind him after first triumphing over Germany's AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Erik Pfeiffer in the semi-final, then by overpowering another London Olympian, Australia's Johan Linde in the gold medal contest in Belgrade.
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