The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has named Hungary’s Mark Kontrecz as its Boxer of the Month for July. Kontrecz won the gold medal at the Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament, and the 17-year-old boxer was awarded the Best Technician Trophy after his excellent performances.
“I am extremely happy to become the first Hungarian boxer to win this award. It is good to know that many people are following my career, and I think this is the result of my hard work in training and in the ring”, said Kontrecz.
After an AIBA panel created a shortlist of three boxers who had shined in July, a vote was put to AIBA’s social media followers to pick the Boxer of the Month. Despite wonderful performances from Marlen Esparza (USA) in the Pan American Games and Birzhan Zhakypov (KAZ) in AIBA Pro Boxing, Kontrecz was the overwhelming fans favourite in the vote.
“I would like to congratulate Mark Kontrecz for being named the AIBA Boxer of the Month. It is great news that such young talent receives recognition among boxing fans. Mark is a future boxing star and I am looking forward to seeing him in the ring in the future”, said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
Kontrecz’s early career
Mark Kontrecz began boxing in Kiskunfelegyhaza at the age of 11 in 2009, and first joined Hungary’s national squad four years later.
He then competed at the 2013 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in Kiev, Ukraine where he defeated Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Junior Continental Champion Vladislav Stolbovskiy, before losing to Brazil’s Cassio Santos Oliveira.
Two months later, Kontrecz achieved an excellent bronze medallist at the EUBC European Confederation Junior Continental Championships in Anapa, Russia.
In 2014, he took part in the Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, and advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2014 EUBC European Confederation Junior Continental Championships.
As a junior athlete, Kontrecz twice won the Hungarian Junior National Championships and the Hungarian Junior National Olympiad.
Kontrecz joined the Hungarian youth national team this January, and claimed the gold medal at the Istvan Enekes Youth Memorial Tournament a month later after stopping all of his opponents in devastating fashion.
The Light Welterweight (64 kg) prospect then entered his first ever international youth competition in March, and advanced to the final of the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament where he narrowly lost to Uzbek southpaw Ikboljon Kholdarov.
An excellent July reaps rewards
Kontrecz impressed in the quarter-final stages of Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament in Subotica, Serbia with a striking victory over Konstantin Mishechkin, and eventually advanced to the final against Russia’s youth number one Light Welterweight Aital Diakonov.
The 17-year-old Hungarian attempted to dominate the opening round, and set a fast pace which Diakonov was unable to adapt to.
Speed and skill enabled Kontrecz to produce accurate and damaging punches, which led to a deserved unanimous decision victory.
Kontrecz not only won the gold medal in Subotica, but he also received the Best Technician Boxer Trophy of the strong tournament where more than 20 nations took part.
Mark Kontrecz stats and facts
Date Of Birth : 21/01/1998
Place Of Birth : Kiskunfelegyhaza, Hungary
Club : Madarfeszek Boxing Academy
Residence : Budapest, Hungary
Stance : Southpaw
2015 – Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament, Gold medal
2015 – Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament, Silver medal
2014 – EUBC European Junior Continental Championships, 5th Place
2013 – EUBC European Junior Continental Championships, Bronze medal
Interview with Mark Kontrecz
Congratulations, you have been named as the AIBA Boxer of the Month for July. How does it feel?
Thank you very much. I am extremely happy to become the first Hungarian boxer to win this award. It is good to know that many people are following my career, and I think this is the result of my hard work in training and in the ring.
When did you began boxing and what was the reason you first started?
I began boxing in a small town in Kiskunfelegyhaza in 2009 after my uncle introduced me to the sport. My uncle is Gyorgy Mizsei, who was the bronze medallist at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games in the Light Middleweight class.
What was your initial opinion about boxing after your early training?
I thought boxing was not my sport as I was too inflexible in the ring and awkward at first. One of the club coaches also told me that I did not have enough talent, so therefore I decided to work harder more than my teammates and prove my stamina.
What is your biggest attribute, and what kind of tactics do you use in competitions?
I think my stamina and motivation are my main virtues. Firstly, I try to find the weak points of my opponent, and following that I think through a tactic which could be an effective one. I like to fight from the closer distance, and to also use counter-attacks if I need to.
What does boxing mean to you?
Boxing means happiness, and a lot of adrenalin in bouts.
Who has been your most difficult opponent during your career?
I have had two top quality rivals in my career. Ireland’s John Joyce was the strongest one I ever met, while the best technician was Uzbekistan’s Ikboljon Kholdarov who defeated me at the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament.
What was your opinion about your performances in July? How did you feel in the Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament?
I won the tournament in Serbia after I beat the two top Russians, a US boxer and a strong athlete from the host nation’s team. I think my skills have improved this year, and I am much stronger mentally.
What is an average day like for you?
I get up at 6am in the morning as my first training starts at 8am in the Madarfeszek Boxing Academy. Following that, I spend 4-5 hours at high school before my second training which takes two hours in the afternoon. I read and learn after that, and go to bed at 10pm.
How much time do you spend in joint training camps per year?
We were in the training camps with my teammates for four months last year, and I think it will be a bit more in 2015.
Who is your best friend in the national team?
My best friend is Laszlo Kozak who won bronze medal in Serbia three weeks ago.
Who is your boxing idol?
Hungary’s Zsolt Erdei who was the AIBA World Champion in 1997, European Champion in 1998 and achieved a bronze medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
What is your main goal in boxing?
Firstly I would like to win the EUBC European Youth Continental Championships in Poland in November. I would be satisfied only with the gold medal in that event. I know the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships will be held next year, but my long term ambition is to reach the same level as my idol, Zsolt Erdei. Hungary has not won a boxing gold medal in an Olympic Games since 1996, and I would like to be the next champion. I am also interested in competing in AIBA Pro Boxing in the future.