There were some very strong fighters competing for medals at the traditional Korotkov Memorial Tournament in Khabarovsk which ended earlier this month, with Russian boxers out in force looking to use home advantage against a vast array of visiting nations such as Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Hungary and Ukraine from Europe, while Asian representatives from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, DPR Korea and Tajikistan were also in the hunt for glory.
The Light Flyweight gold medal was classily achieved by Russia's European Students Championships bronze medallist Aleksandr Samoylov who triumphed over his teammate Vasiliy Yegorov 12:7 after a measured display. The polished Samoylov has competed in various international tournaments in recent years and his experience told as he reached the top of the podium in Khabarovsk.
Russia's Yaroslav Nalivayko caused a huge surprise in the tournament when he eliminated Mongolia's AIBA World Champion and Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist Purevdorj Serdamba 10:9 in the semi-final. This victory paving the way for the Russian to take the Flyweight title after dispatching of Azerbaijan's 18-year-old Tural Ahmadov in style in the gold medal contest.
Rising star Vyacheslav Mirzayev continued the host nation's excellent winning streak by first overcoming the challenge of Mongolia's AIBA World Championships silver medallist Tugstsogt Nyambayar in the semi-finals before being too strong for DPR Korea's National Champion Kwon Chol Guk in the final to take home the Bantamweight title.
Ukraine's first gold medal went to Tigran Simonyan, who is of Armenian-descent, after he defeated Russia's Roman Davydov 14:11 in the Lightweight final. Simonyan's compatriot, 23-year-old Vitaliy Konstantinov the claimed the country's second gold in Khabarovsk with his victory over France's newly crowned National Champion David Papot 10:7. The 21-year-old French fighter will be one to watch in the next Olympic era.
President's Cup silver medallist 19-year-old Aleksandr Malinin from Russia, who competed at the 2009 AIBA Junior World Championships as well, walked over to the gold following Azerbaijan's 18-year-old European Youth Champion Parviz Bagirov withdrawal through injury. The young and talented Azeri boxer will be a gold medal contender at the upcoming AIBA Youth World Championships.
National Russian Championships silver medallist Aleksandr Klinkov moved up a weight class and triumphed over Ukraine's Ivan Golub 16:14 in the Middleweight final. His teammate Vadim Likhman also came out on top in a big battle against Moldova's 19-year-old AIBA Junior World Championships silver medallist Victor Ialimov, with their Heavyweight contest ending 7:6 with Likhman celebrating the sixth Russian gold medal in Khabarovsk.
Germany's Sergej Michel was too strong for his rivals in the tournament, defeating Russia's Vladimir Fedotkin in the Light Heavyweight final, while Azerbaijan's 18-year-old European Youth Champion Rauf Rahimov claimed a valuable bronze. At the Super Heavyweight class Azerbaijan's relatively unknown Farid Shabanov secured the gold medal following his victory over China's Wang Jibao.
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