The European Boxing Confederation will make history in December this year when it will launch the first official continental event for men boxers under the age of 22. This much anticipated new format will seen the dawn of the 1st EUBC European Olympic Hopes 19-22 Boxing Championships which will be held in Kaliningrad, in western Russia.
Boxers born between 1990 and 1993 will be eligible to compete in this brand new event whose long term aim is to keep young athletes in the sport and to nurture the future stars of Europe. Most of the participants in this age group will already be world renowned stars which guarantees a high quality and ultra-competitive tournament. The European continent already has a huge number of talented fighters coming through the ranks and most of them are expected to be involved with their national elite teams in this new Rio 2016 Olympic era.
The event will be held in the city of Kaliningrad at the Younost Sport Palace from December 9. The organisers have got a massive amount of experience in hosting high profile boxing events with one of their mainstays being the highly regarded Amber Gloves Tournament.
The Russian Boxing Federation is proud of its national championships in this age group which was launched in 2010 and it has been huge success in the traditional boxing nation. AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Vasiliy Vetkin, Bocskai Memorial Tournament silver medallist Vitaliy Dunaytsev, European Youth Champion Yevgeniy Tishchenko and Feliks Stamm Memorial Tournament winner Gasan Gimbatov are their current top fighters and champions in this age group.
The German Boxing Association has got national events at under-21 level ever since the Beijing Olympic era. Their current top athletes in the age group are London Olympian Enrico Kölling and Youth Olympic Games winner Artur Bril, who joined to the national elite squad this year and has got great expectations for the future.
The Polish Boxing Association also has got a similar national event under 20-year-old boxers while half of the national team is under that age threshold and hopes to recapture the glory days with this current crop of talent. Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Dawid Michelus will be their flagbearer in Kaliningrad with big medal expectations.
Ireland's AIBA Youth World Champion and current European Champion Joseph Ward missed the London 2012 Olympics but he is one of the big favourites at Light Heavyweight (81kg) and many already expect him to challenge for medals in Rio in four years time. The 19-year-old super talent boyhood dream is Olympic glory and he will be taking his first steps towards achieving that when he takes to the ring in Kaliningrad.
Ireland's Michael Conlon was a bronze medallist at the London 2012 Olympics while Azerbaijan's AIBA World Championships silver medallist 19-year-old Teymur Mammadov and Lithuania's Youth Olympic Games winner Evaldas Petrauskas also achieved the same feat in the British capital. There will be great expectations placed upon their shoulders when they don the gloves in Russia this December. Hungary's 19-year-old Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Zoltan Harcsa was a quarter-finalist at the London 2012 Olympics and since then he has been focused on making a big impact in this brand new event.
The European Continent is rich with fledgling young talent and these Championships will really showcase the best around and give a teaser of what lies ahead in 2013.
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