Bulgaria’s new sensation, a former Cuban boxer, Javier Ibanez has been appointed as Ambassador of the upcoming AIBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships, which will take place in Kielce, Poland on April 10-24. The AIBA Youth World Champion himself, Ibanez is one of the best of the men’s featherweight (57kg) among the elite boxers now and his successful career will be a wonderful example for the young athletes in Poland.
‘I am honored to be chosen as an Ambassador for those World Championships. The emotion is great. I believe that after I won the title for youth, I will be able to win a world title for men’s elite as well, but this time it will be for Bulgaria. I am proud to be part of the Bulgarian national team – recently I defeated the world champion from Uzbekistan at Strandja 2021 Tournament and I hope that I will get a chance to participate in the Olympic Games to represent Bulgaria’, Ibanez said.
Ibanez claimed his first international title in 2011 at the age of 15, when he won the light flyweight (49kg) at the Roberto Balado Cup in Havana. He won the Russian international event, the Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament, twice in 2013 and in 2014, moreover, the Khayrutdinov Youth Tournament in Kazakhstan.
The boxer was the main favorite at the bantamweight (56kg) in the busy youth year of 2014 when he accomplished all of his goals. Seven years ago he won the titles at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The Cuban boxer defeated a Bulgarian, Dushko Blagovestov, during the finals of these top youth events both in Sofia and Nanjing.
Ibanez was involved in elite events in 2015 and won the Teofilo Stevenson Cup in Cuba and bagged silver at the Thailand International Invitational Tournament. The athlete achieved his first elite Cuban national title in 2016 and joined the Cuba Domadores WSB team, where he won three contests. He earned a silver medal at the 2017 AMBC American Confederation Boxing Championships in Tegucigalpa and competed at the Hamburg AIBA World Boxing Championships four years ago.
Ibanez switched to Bulgaria and prepared well for the new edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament to show his impressive technical skills one month ago. The host nation’s new pride had a seriously hard opponent, Uzbekistan’s AIBA World Champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov in the quarterfinals of the featherweight (57kg). The ex-Cuban used his virtuoso footwork, defeated one of the biggest stars in the boxing world and continued his winning path against Brazil’s Luiz Gabriel Oliveira and Moldova’s Dorin Bucsa. His gold medal at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament was a strong comeback to the international events.
Javier Ibanez, a Bulgarian citizen, went back a few years ago to tell how he felt about winning the world youth title in 2014.
‘I was extremely happy with the gold medal that I won, as the tournament was very strong, with a lot of tough matches. And in addition to winning the gold medal, AIBA gave me the honor of being the best boxer of the Championships. It was a very difficult event also because there were nearly 60 boxers in my category. But in the end, to step on the highest podium in the honor of my success was a great feeling. I had to beat five opponents to win the gold medal,’ Ibanez claimed.
He called on young boxers to do their best, not only during the upcoming Championships but also during their preparation process.
‘They should know that they need to be constantly on top. To give all in every training day and listen to the coaches during the matches,’ he added.