The 2017 ASBC Asian Continental Boxing Championships drew to a close in Tashkent on Sunday, with a weekend of thrilling finals that saw new champions crowned, titles defended and tense box-offs confirm the qualification spots for this year’s AIBA World Championships. At the end of eight days of intense action, 17 countries became the first to qualify their boxers for Hamburg, and the unity of the AIBA Family in Asia was underlined by the donation of all the Taishan equipment to the Nepal Boxing Federation, following the Uzbekistan Boxing Federation show of solidarity for fellow NFs by covering the costs of the Syria and Afghanistan teams.
The first of the finals were decided on Saturday afternoon, with Uzbekistan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist Murodjon Akhmadaliev defeating China’s Jiawei Zhang at Bantamweight (56kg) with some typically smart, aggressive boxing. A bronze medallist at the Doha World Championships two years ago, Uzbek Elnur Abduraimov then won a superb Lightweight (60kg) final against India’s Shiva Thapa.
Also on Saturday, the hosts’ Israil Madrimov defeated South Korea’s impressive Dongyun Lee to win the Middleweight (75kg) gold, while at Light Heavyweight (81kg), Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Bektemir Melikuziev defeated Kazakhstan’s Yerik Alzhanov with an assured display of stylish southpaw boxing. Another Rio 2016 silver medal winner, Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit, then produced a powerful performance against India’s Sumit Sangwan to retain his ASBC title.
Among the big winners in Saturday’s box-offs were the Bantamweights (56kg) Simon Makarawe of Indonesia and Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka, Kazakhstan’s National Lightweight (60kg) Champion Adilet Kurmetov and Tanaka’s teammate Arashi Morisaka. Turkmenistan’s Azizbek Achilov delivered an emphatic KO triumph at Middleweight (75kg) and will be joined in Hamburg by Philippines’ tough Eumir Felix Marcial.
Tajikistan’s 19-year-old Shabbos Negmatulloev dominated the Light Heavyweight (81kg) box-off against Malaysia’s Adil Hafiz Mohamed Pauzi to secure his passage to the World Championships along with Pakistan’s Awais Ali Khan, before Uzbekistan newcomer Sanjar Tursunov and China’s Rio 2016 Olympian Fengkai Yu won their Heavyweight (91kg) box-offs to realise the dream of reaching the World Championships.
On Sunday, it was the Light Flyweights (49kg) who began the action, with the ever-popular Hasanboy Dusmatov winning gold and the Boxer of the Tournament award with a comprehensive victory over Mongolia’s Gan-Erdene Gankhuyag. The pair will be joined in Hamburg by box-off winners Hussin Al Masri of Syria and Indonesia’s Cornelis Kwangu Langu.
At Flyweight (52kg), it was the Uzbek Jasurbek Latipov who dominated Korean Kim Inkyu to earn the title, with Japan’s Ryusei Baba and India’s Kavinder Bisht qualifying via box-off. Ikboljon Kholdorov became the latest local Light Welterweight (64kg) talent to emerge, defeating another tough Mongolian, Chinzorig Baatarsukh, to gold, while Sri Lankan Dushan Saparamadu and China’s Wang Gang will also be going for glory in Hamburg in four months’ time following their box-off successes.
The Welterweight (69kg) title was won by Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov, who will be joined in Hamburg by Kazakhstan’s defeated finalist Daniyar Yeleussinov and box-off winners Ahmad Ghossoun of Syria and India’s former Commonwealth Games winner Manoj Kumar. The Super Heavyweights (+91kg) closed out the tournament, with Uzbek Bakhodir Jalolov overcoming his Kazakh rival Kamshybek Kunkabayev after South Korean Dohyeon Kim and India’s Satish Kumar had won their box-offs and the right to progress to the 2017 World Championships.