The Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament begins tomorrow in Vilnius, Lithuania, and top boxing nations including France, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will all be competing.
The Tension and the Drama
Boxers who were born in 1998 and 1999 will be eligible to compete in the next edition of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2016, and some of the participants in Vilnius will also have ambitions to fight in the Russian competition as well.
Those competitors are beginners at the youth level as they joined this age group in January.
The question is, which of them will stand out and defeat the older and experienced youth boxers in Vilnius?
The most anticipated battle in the event
Ukraine’s Robert Marton reached his career highlight at the 2013 AIBA Junior World Championships in Kiev where he won his weight class.
The strong Ukrainian delegation’s flagbearer must now prepare against a potential top opponent in Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Youth Continental Champion and AIBA Youth World Championships quarter-finalist Obidjon Tokhirov.
If the two meet, the clash could be a tremendous stylistic affair which could be the match of the tournament.
Ones to watch in the event
Uzbekistan’s Ikboljon Kholdarov was the bronze medallist at the 2014 AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia, while since then he won the Agalarov Youth Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan and their national youth event in Bekabad.
He is the main favourite of the Light Welterweight class (64 kg) in Vilnius where his strong teammates such as AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Kozimbek Mardonov and Eldar Merzhanov will also compete.
Austria’s EUBC European Youth Continental Championships bronze medallist Aleksandar Mraovic is a natural talent, and in spite of his low number of bouts he is a gold medal contender of the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg).
Fact of the Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament
21 nations are registered to take part in the upcoming Danas Pozniakas Youth Tournament in Vilnius, where 114 boxers are expected to compete.
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are the two Asian nations in the entry list and both boast powerful line-ups.
Nine winners from Ukraine’s recent Evgen Kuzhelny Youth Tournament will be there in Vilnius, while the Hungarian selection competition was the Istvan Enekes Youth Memorial Tournament in Budapest last month.
Amongst the developing European boxing nations, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Latvia and Norway will all be sending teams to Lithuania.
Who is Danas Pozniakas?
Danas Pozniakas is Lithuania’s national boxing hero who claimed the gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games, and was also crowned three-times in European Championships.
During his career Pozniakas won an incredible 203 bouts out of his 217 total contests, and the Lithuanian Boxing Federation was decided to name their youth international event after him to inspire the starts of the future.
Titleholders of the event
49 kg: Mert Karakilic, Turkey
52 kg: Dzmitry Asanau, Belarus
56 kg: Dushko Mihaylov Blagovestov, Bulgaria
60 kg: Dorin Bucsa, Moldova
64 kg: Furkan Adem Avci, Turkey
69 kg: Oliver Flodin, Sweden
75 kg: Tadas Sakocius, Lithuania
81 kg: Blagoy Naydenov, Bulgaria
91 kg: Tomas Olberkis, Lithuania
+91 kg: Dovydas Sernas, Lithuania