The third boxing competition day of the Baku 2015 European Games produced seventeen dynamic and entertaining bouts across two sessions at the Crystal Hall 2 venue.
Bout of the day
2013 Irish National Elite Champion Gavin McComb and Ukraine’s Tymur Beliak both competed in a scintillating Lightweight (60 kg) match which delighted the watching audience.
McComb is a technically sound boxer, and he used his counter-attacking abilities to negate the attacking instincts of Beliak.
The action flowed throughout all three rounds with each enjoying their own successes, but it was McComb’s hand that was raised in victory by the referee after the match had finished, and he will next face Italy’s Donato Cosenza in the Round of 16.
Team of the day
Azerbaijan’s home boxers finally began their ascent to potential gold medal glory on Day 3, and their first two representatives both won their matches.
AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Teymur Mammadov has recently moved down to Light Heavyweight (81 kg), and the decision looks like being a successful one as he defeated Britain’s Joshua Buatsi.
Mammadov began well with excellent jabs, while Buatsi rallied in the second frame as his constant attacks finally began to make their mark.
The experience of the Azeri fighter came to fruition however, as he weathered the storm to claim an important unanimous decision verdict, and a place in the next round against Poland’s Jordan Kulinski.
Lorenzo Sotomayor Collazo was a gold medallist in the 2010 Cuban National Championships, but changed his nationality to Azerbaijan shortly after the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The veteran boxer won the test event of the Baku 2015 European Games, and opened the main competition with success over Slovenia’s 18-year-old ‘AIBA Road to Sofia Program’ member Edin Sejdinovic.
Collazo used his height advantage to considerable effect, and he will now meet Moldova’s EUBC European Continental Championships silver medallist Dmitri Galagot.
Surprise of the day
Polish Light Heavyweight (81 kg) Jordan Kulinski has not been in top form recently, but found his best work against Armenia’s AIBA Youth World Champion Nikol Arutyunov in Baku.
Arutyunov was the favourite to win before the bout, but Kulinski reduced the fighting distance against his opponent, and took the lead after the first round.
The Polish boxer continued his dominance, and delivered the main surprise of the third competition day in Baku.
Ones to watch
21-year-old Croatian Lightweight (60 kg) Matteo Komadina is an exciting talent, and started his Baku journey with a solid win over Israel’s Igor Lazarev.
France’s Christian M’Billi Assomo is undefeated at the elite level of boxing, and kept his streak going with a confident victory against Moldova’s Victor Carapcevschii.
The Middleweight (75 kg) gold medal favourite knocked down Carapcevschii in their opening round, and continued to excel with hard, accurate punches and dynamic movement.
He will next face a more difficult opponent in Azerbaijan’s WSB boxer Xaybula Musalov.
Fact of the day
Azerbaijan opened the Baku 2015 European Games with two successes, while Croatia, Lithuania and Poland also won their first bouts in the capital city of Azerbaijan.
The most successful teams after the Round of 32 are the following:
- Russia with team record of 5-0
- Turkey 4-0
- France 3-0
- Ireland 5-1
- Hungary 4-1
Quotes of the day
“After my opening triumph I want to win the gold medal here in the Baku 2015 European Games. I will be disappointed with anything else, as that is all I am focused on. It is a very tough competition, as all the best boxers in Europe are here, including myself,” said Ireland’s Gavin McComb after his victory over Ukraine’s Tymur Beliak in the Lightweight class (60 kg).
“I only had to lose 2 kg before the start of the Games, so therefore the Light Heavyweight (81 kg) class is comfortable for me. If I win the gold medal, I will stay in this weight division. My eye injury is not too serious, so I can continue fighting in this competition. What was hard for me today was that this was my first bout in the Games, and the opening match is often difficult,” commented Azerbaijan’s Teymur Mammadov.
The women’s boxers will be joining the competition on Day 4, as their Flyweight (51 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg) athletes debut in Baku.
In addition, the Men’s Light Flyweight (49 kg), Bantamweight (56 kg), Light Heavyweight (81 kg) and Super-Heavyweight (+91 kg) classes will all be on the program of Day 4.
Altogether, twelve women’s bouts and twenty-four men’s contests will be held on the marathon fourth competition day, where the winners of each bout can get closer to the medals.