Five more gold medalists were crowned today in the boxing tournament of the Baku 2015 European Games in the Crystal Hall 2 venue.
Bout of the day
Russia’s Elena Saveleva defeated Italy’s Marzia Davide six weeks ago in the final of the Boxam Tournament in Cartagena, Spain, and repeated her success in their entertaining and dramatic Baku 2015 European Games gold medal rematch.
Davide actually began the bout more impressively as she used her pinpoint accuracy to make life difficult for her Russian opponent in the Women’s Bantamweight class (54 kg) final.
31-year-old Saveleva is an experienced boxer however, and a change of tactics from the beginning of the second round saw her increase her speed and punch output which caused problems for Davide.
The Russian continued her excellent attacks in the round, and it was her hand which was raised in victory after the final bell rang.
Gold medallists on Day 11
- Women’s 54 kg: Elena Saveleva, Russia
- Women’s 64 kg: Anastasia Beliakova, Russia
- Men’s 52 kg: Elvin Mamishzada, Azerbaijan
- Men’s 64 kg: Lorenzo Sotomayor Collazo, Azerbaijan
- Men’s +91 kg: Joseph Joyce, Great Britain
Team of the day
France had two boxers competing in the afternoon session, and both of them advanced through to the gold medal stages following their world class performances in Baku.
23-year-old Lightweight (60 kg) Estelle Mossely is one of France’s best women’s boxers, and the AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist demonstrated her fearsome power against Germany’s experienced Tasheena Bugar in their semi-final contest.
Mossely will now meet Ireland’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Katie Taylor in the final.
AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Sofiane Oumiha is a highly rated talent with many skills which were all on show in his semi-final against Polish National Champion Mateusz Polski.
Both are famous for their fighting spirit, so therefore their semi-final delivered a spectacular battle in Baku.
Despite the efforts of each competitor, Oumiha beat his opponent to the punch time and time again, and he will now fight Azerbaijan’s former AIBA World Champion Albert Selimov, who defeated Ireland’s Sean McComb in the second semi-final of the category.
Surprises of the day
Azerbaijan’s Xaybula Musalov recently claimed the gold medal at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament, but he was not the favourite in his semi-final with Hungary’s London 2012 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Zoltan Harcsa, who is number three in the AIBA Middleweight (75 kg) rankings.
Musalov’s low center of gravity proved effective against the taller Harcsa, and the 25-year-old enjoyed the best of the opening two rounds which was enough for a well deserved surprise victory.
He will now meet Ireland’s European Union Championships silver medallist Michael O’Reilly in the Middleweight gold medal bout.
30-year-old Azeri Lorenzo Sotomayor Collazo sealed the gold medal at Light Welterweight (64 kg) when he defeated Italy’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Vincenzo Mangiacapre.
Sotomayor had never boxed the Italian before, but he analysed Mangiacapre’s style well, and began patiently in the first round as he looked for openings.
The counter-attacks of Sotomayor began to make their mark in round two, and despite a late rally from Mangiacapre, it was Sotomayor who secured Azerbaijan’s second gold medal on Day 11 following Elvin Mamishzada’s top performance at the men’s Flyweight class (52 kg).
Ones to watch
Ireland’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Katie Taylor has been undefeated for many years, but only narrowly beat Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna in the women’s Lightweight (60 kg) semi-final.
The host nation’s boxer took the lead in the opening round, before Taylor began to assert her typical control in the second and third rounds.
Alekseevna was a tough opponent who attacked more than Taylor’s previous opponents, and though she did not claim the overall victory, she came closer to beating Taylor than anybody else has in recent memory.
Russia’s Anastasia Beliakova arrived to Baku as the defending AIBA Women’s World Champion and EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion of the Women’s Light Welterweight class (64 kg), and she finished the event by becoming European Games Champion as well.
The 22-year-old Russian boxer defeated Italy’s new sensation Valentina Alberti in the gold medal bout, and has reaffirmed her reputation as one of the best women’s boxers in the world.
Britain’s lone men’s finalist in the Baku 2015 European Games was Commonwealth Games winner Joseph Joyce, who recently impressed in the World Series of Boxing.
Joyce’s strength and power was too much for Russia’s two-time National Champion Gasan Gimbatov, and he secured the Super heavyweight (91+ kg) gold medal after a dynamic performance.
Fact of the day
Azerbaijan and Russia both claimed two gold medals on the eleventh competition day of the Baku 2015 European Games.
Quotes of the day
“In the first round I was waiting and tried to take over, but my speed was not enough to do that. We successfully changed our tactics in time as my coach gave me some good tips after the first round which I lost. What happened in the second round continued in the third and in the final round. I am now going to change my weight category from 54 kg to 51 kg in preparing for the Olympic Games qualifications. This victory is very important for me in the rankings and for being confident in front of opponents,” said Russia’s Elena Saveleva after her gold medal bout.
“It was a close fight. It was always going to be as she is a top boxer. It was close but I do not care, I am through to the finals. I know I was down, so I had to go out and put the pressure on and try to win the bout clearly. I am in the best shape possible. I am going to keep boxing as long as I am enjoying it and improving. I have boxed my final French opponent a few times and I know it is going to be a tough fight,” commented Katie Taylor of Ireland.
“The fight appeared to be difficult as my Hungarian opponent was strong. I have never met him in the ring but we have participated in a couple of tournaments. He is very experienced, so therefore I am happy I gained victory in a hard fight. I was emotional in this fight. I do not like to get emotional in the ring but sometimes in happens while I made many mistakes in the bout. All the boxers here are top athletes of their countries. Weak athletes did not come here,” said Azerbaijan’s Xaybula Musalov following his tight victory over Hungary’s Zoltan Harcsa.
The last competition day of the Baku 2015 European Games will be held on Saturday where the gold medals will find their owners at the Women’s Lightweight (60 kg), Men’s Lightweight (60 kg), Men’s Welterweight (69 kg), Men’s Middleweight (75 kg) and Men’s Heavyweight (91 kg) weight classes.