The last major competition of 2014, the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships will be starting in the island of Jeju at the weekend, where a record number of nations are expected to take part.
Two out of the three London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists will be taking part in the Championships, with Ireland’s national hero Katie Taylor and US teenager star Claressa Shields looking to assert their dominance.
What: AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
Where: Jeju, Korea
When: 16-25 November 2014
The Tension and the Drama
The majority of the best boxers in the world will be taking part in the eighth edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju, Korea, however England’s London 2012 Olympic Champion and EUBC European Continental Champion Nicola Adams, and India’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion and Asian Games winner Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte will be missing the competition due to injuries.
In their absence, Russia’s rising Sayana Sagatayeva, Bulgaria’s EUBC European Continental Champion Stoyka Petrova, and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Marlen Esparza will have the chance to win gold at the Flyweight class (51 kg).
Who will be able to get the world title on the Korean island?
The most anticipated battles in the AIBA Women’s World Championships
Ireland’s London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor will be hunting for her fifth title in Jeju, where her main rival will be Russia’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Sofya Ochigava once again.
Taylor defeated her tough Russian rival in the final of the London 2012 Olympic Games, in the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Championships in Qinhuangdao, and in the 2011 EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships as well.
The difference between them was narrow in all of the three major competitions, so therefore Taylor needs to use all of her ability to beat the 27-year-old Russian Lightweight class (60 kg) boxer.
US teenage star, and London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Claressa Shields, plus England’s defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Savannah Marshall are the main gold medal contenders of the Middleweight class (75 kg), which is the third official Olympic category.
Shields has only suffered loss during her whole career, when Marshall was able to beat her in the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Championships in Qinhuangdao.
Both athletes have developed well since their last contest in May 2012, and their possible rematch could be one of the most anticipated bouts of the Championships.
Ones to watch in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
Besides the above mentioned stars, a lot of qualified athletes will be in Jeju.
Philippines’ Josie Gabuco is the defending champion at the Light Flyweight class (48 kg) where Asian dominance is to be expected, as the favourites are Gabuco, China’s Xu Shiqi, Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaybay, Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat and India’s Shamjetsabam Sarjubala Devi.
Besides the Asian contingent, Bulgaria’s Sevda Asenova and Romania’s Steluta Duta are also more than talented enough to reach the top of the podium in Jeju.
Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova achieved her career highlight in June when she claimed the gold medal at the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest following her surprise success over England’s Nicola Adams in the quarter-finals.
Argentina’s Leonela Sanchez won the gold medal at the AMBC American Women’s Continental Championships in Guadalajara, and has defeated some of the top boxers of the Bantamweight class (54 kg) over the past year.
Tajikistan’s top athlete, London 2012 bronze medallist Mavzuna Chorieva gave birth to her first son last year, but has returned to the world of boxing very quickly, and has competed in some events before the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Fact of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
Altogether, 337 boxers from 74 nations are registered to take part in the event in Jeju where the number of the participating countries will be the highest ever.
The favourite nations of the championships such as United States of America, Russia, Ukraine, China, Kazakhstan and Turkey will be competing the with maximum number of ten boxers.
Besides them, Hungary, Kenya, Nigeria and Romania will also send full squads to Jeju.
Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dominica, Ethiopia, Laos, Lesotho, Montenegro, Paraguay, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia will be debuting, and among the developing boxing nations, Algeria, Chinese Taipei, Morocco, Nigeria and Vietnam will be competing in the event with their best ever boxing squads.
History of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
The first edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships was held in the US city of Scranton in 2001, and following that six more competitions have been scheduled.
India’s Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte is the most successful boxer in the history of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, with five titles between 2002 and 2010.
1st AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2001
125 boxers from 30 nations
2nd AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2002
185 boxers from 35 nations
3rd AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2005
152 boxers from 28 nations
4th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2006
New Delhi, India
180 boxers from 32 nations
5th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2008
Ningbo City, China
237 boxers from 42 nations
6th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2010
257 boxers from 66 nations
7th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2012
305 boxers from 70 nations