Uzbekistan is one of the strongest boxing nations not only in Asia, but throughout the entire world.
Their boxers have claimed medals in all AIBA events over the recent years, and therefore their great performance in the Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament was an expected result in Tashkent.
Besides the six Uzbek golds in the event, Kazakhstan’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Ivan Dychko returned to the top of the podium in the Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament.
Athlete of the tournament
Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov bagged a gold medal at the 2012 Uzbek National Elite Championships overwhelming all of his rivals.
The 20-year-old Light Flyweight class (49 kg) boxer is only 156cm tall in the lowest weight category, where the average is 165cm.
Despite his short stature, Dusmatov is one of the strongest boxers in the weight class and dominated all of his fights in the Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament.
In the gold medal bout he triumphed over Kyrgyzstan’s Great Silk Way Tournament winner Turat Osmonov.
Dusmatov is one of the top favourites for the gold medal in the upcoming Incheon 2014 Asian Games, where his main rivals will include the current AIBA World Champion Birzhan Zhakipov of Kazakhstan, and AIBA World Championships silver medallist Shin Jong Hun of South Korea.
Team of the tournament
Uzbekistan’s team was expected to impress on home soil, and did so in spectacular style, claiming a half dozen gold medals in Tashkent.
Following Hasanboy Dusmatov’s success in the Light Flyweight class (49 kg), their young boxers such as 19-year-old Murodjon Akhmadaliyev (56 kg), current National Champion Elnur Abduraimov (60 kg), newcomer Ulugbek Hakberdiyev (75 kg), Otabek Ibragimov (81 kg) and Summer Universiade silver medallist Rustam Tulyaganov (91 kg) all won their weight classes in the Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament.
Surprise of the tournament
Uzbek National Championships bronze medallist Ulugbek Hakberdiyev won the Middleweight class (75 kg) in the event which was the most unexpected result of the Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament.
The Middleweight class was full of top level competition, with Summer Universiade silver medallist Khurshid Normatov, National Champion and AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Azizbek Abdugofurov and ASBC Asian Continental Champion Shukhrat Abdullayev also fighting for the gold medal.
Despite the wealth of talent on show, it was Hakberdiyev who achieved gold, in the biggest win of his career so far.
Ones to watch in the future
Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev claimed his country’s first ever gold medal in the history of the ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Amman, Jordan last July.
The most anticipated fight of the Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament was expected to take place between Usenaliev, and Uzbekistan’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Jasurbek Latipov.
Unfortunately for the watching fans in attendance, Latipov, who advanced to the final of the Flyweight class (52 kg), was unable to take part in the final due to injury.
The dream fight could take place next at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.
Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliyev claimed a silver medal in the 2012 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Yerevan, and following that success he moved up two weight categories and now fights in the Bantamweight class (56 kg).
The 19-year-old Uzbek has clearly adjusted to his new weight, as he won the gold medal in the tournament, where Kyrgyzstan’s Asian Continental Championships bronze medallist Omurbek Malabekov took the silver.
Stat/fact of the tournament
A high number of Asian countries and 123 athletes used the tournament as a preparation event for the upcoming Incheon 2014 Asian Games.
The Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament was also very important for Uzbekistan’s head coach who is trying to select their best athletes for the Games. Uzbekistan’s squad is very young, and has great expectations in the upcoming main events this year.
Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko was knocked down in the final of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, and returned with a gold medal in Tashkent where he defeated Uzbekistan’s top Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg) boxer, Mirzokhidjon Abdullayev.
Turkmenistan’s 20-year-old Yakub Meredov and Iran’s former Asian Games winner veteran Ali Mazaheri also claimed medals in the strong tournament in Tashkent.
Quote of the tournament
“After my gold medal in the ASBC Asian Continental Championships in Amman I am hunting for new impressions, victories and top results. The Sidney Jackson Memorial Tournament was a good motivation, experience and a preparation event for me prior to the Incheon 2014 Asian Games,” commented Azat Usenaliev of Kyrgyzstan after his gold medal.