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The Bulgarian Boxing Federation hosted the Strandja Memorial Tournament in late February featuring boxing stars and have also recently held their next international competition, the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament. Bulgaria’s three-time European Champion talent, William Cholov dominated the middleweight (75kg) during the four days of the event and won another title.

One of the most prominent sports officials of the recent decades, the former President of the European Boxing Association and AIBA Vice-President, Mr. Academician Prof. Emil Jechev died in Sofia, Bulgaria in July 2015 at the age of 88. He enjoyed an excellent reputation in the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and every regional sport association in Europe; therefore, the Bulgarian Boxing Federation decided to launch his memorial tournament in 2016.

The 5th Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament was a chance for talents to prepare for the upcoming AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships to be held in Kielce, Poland, April 10-24. Boxers born in 2002 and in 2003 were eligible for the youth competition in Bulgaria.

Italy’s strong trio won their weight categories in Bulgaria

The Italian youth boxers were not able to take part in previous international tournaments and championships due to the Covid-19 situation in their country. The Italian Boxing Federation decided to send their best prospects to the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament and they claimed three gold medals in Bulgaria. Italy’s 2018 EUBC European Junior Champion Michele Baldassi was too strong for Kosovo’s Luar Aliu at the bantamweight (56kg). The future EUBC European Junior Champion ex-Cuban Yoel Carlo Angeloni defeated Bulgaria’s experienced Krasimir Dzhurov in the second final. The third Italian gold medal was won by Manuel Lombardi at the welterweight (69kg) by beating Switzerland’s Adam Messibah.

Bulgaria’s William Cholov remained unbeaten at the middleweight (75kg)

Bulgaria’s William Cholov competed in his first national events in 2016, and one year later he became EUBC European School Champion. The Bulgarian won the gold medals in 2018 and 2019 EUBC European Junior Boxing Championships. Our sports talent missed the recent youth competitions due to health reasons, but he bounced back in the Adriatic Pearl Youth Tournament in Montenegro with a gold medal. Cholov dominated his opposition at the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament as well, including his final bout with Italy’s Nicola Porrino. The Bulgarian middleweight (75kg) boxer was quicker than his Italian opponent and the referee waved off the bout and confirmed the boxer’s RSC triumph.

Serbia’s Almir Memic proved his fighting skills in Bulgaria

Serbia’s best youth boxers bronze medallists Omer Ametovic (49kg) and Semiz Alicic (60kg) could not win gold medals this time at EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships, but one of their teammates exceeded expectations with his performance in Bulgaria. Serbia’s youth light heavyweight (81kg) prospect, Almir Memic, is a real fighter whose style is uncomfortable for many of his opponents. He has put Kosovo’s Altin Shala and Italy’s Domenico Mattia Vinciguerra under great pressure and he succeeded at the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament, winning Serbia’s only gold medal.

The list of the winners in the Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament

52kg: Yasen Radev, Bulgaria

56kg: Michele Baldassi, Italy

60kg: Radoslav Rosenov, Bulgaria

64kg: Yoel Carlo Angeloni, Italy

69kg: Manuel Lombardi, Italy

75kg: William Cholov, Bulgaria

81kg: Almir Memic, Serbia

91kg: Georgi Stoev, Bulgaria