Tuesday saw 40 bouts of pure boxing across all ten weight categories in Hamburg’s Sporthalle, each one epitomising the true spirit and level of the sport that has been on show over the past five days in Hamburg. All of the athletes knew that a World Championship medal was on the line, and none of them left anything in the ring.
THREE ROUNDS FROM DAY FIVE
ROUND ONE: Korea edge nearer
The South Korean team is able to celebrate its first World Championship medal since Light Flyweight Shin-Jong Hun won silver in 2009. In Hamburg, it has been Flyweight Inkyu Kim’s time to shine, and having made his way through tough challenges from Kazakh and Irish opponents, on Tuesday it was the turn of India’s Kavinder Bisht to witness the technically gifted boxer up close, with Kim’s victory setting up a Semi-Final with Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov.
ROUND TWO: Arsene for Africa
The Cameroonian Super Heavyweight (+91kg) Fokou Arsene came out firing from the first bell against Colombia’s Cristian Salcedo, and the tactic paid off. Two minutes into the opening round the Referee had to call a halt to the contest after two quick standing counts for the Colombian, and Arsene will now proudly represent his Confederation in the Semi-Finals.
ROUND THREE: First timers
Arsene’s win also ensured he becomes Cameroon’s first ever AIBA World Championship medallist. Two other nations will also have athletes on boxing’s most prestigious podium for the first time in their history: Colombia and Ecuador. Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez has continued the sparkling form that saw him reach the Rio 2016 Olympic Light Flyweight Final and helped Colombia Heroicos to a superb debut WSB season, while Ecuador’s Light Heavyweight (81kg) fourth-seed Carlos Mina will also be delighted to secure bronze, and eager to turn it to a gold.
DAY FIVE RECAP
Colombian Martinez again looked like he could be the man to beat at Light Flyweight (49kg) as he piled on the pressure to overcome Mongolia’s Gan-Erene Gankhuyag in the first bout of the day. The win set up a last-four contest against the man who beat him to Olympic gold in Rio, Hasanboy Dusmatov, with the Uzbek looking to cap a remarkable two years with a first World title.
Cuba’s Johanys Argilagos also marched on having turned up the heat in round two against Germany’s Salah Omar after a cagey first three minutes, while Kazakhstan’s rising talent Zhomart Yerzhan pulled out a brilliant performance to overcome the runner-up in Doha two years ago, Russia’s Vasilii Egorov.
England’s EUBC Champion in Kharkiv, Peter McGrail came through an incredibly tight Bantamweight (56kg) bout with Dominican Leonel de Los Santos to book his place in the last four, where he will meet Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliev, winner over Germany’s Omar El-Hag.
US Light Welterweight (64kg) revelation Freudis Rojas booked himself a spot in the semis with a dynamic display against Egypt’s Eslam Mohamed before Armenia’s EUBC Champion Hovhannes Bachkov was able to pressurise Mongolian Chinzorig Baatarsukh for the duration of their bout, avoiding enough of his opponent’s urgent counter-attacks to progress.
The Uzbek Ikboljon Kholdarov was able to hold off a spirited challenge from local hero Artem Harutyunyan, and Ukrainian EUBC Champion Oleksandr Khyzniak displayed his title credentials, unloading some big right hands against England’s Ben Whittaker.
Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul ended Cuban Arlen Lopez’s pursuit of a fourth consecutive World title, winning the second and third rounds to earn the split decision before a thriller unravelled between Colombia’s Jorge Vivas and Kamran Shakhsuvarly of Azerbaijan, the Azeri holding on in a frantic final three minutes. Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko, Cuba’s Erislandy Savon, Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan and Uzbek Sanjar Tursunov all reached the last four after a hugely competitive round of Heavyweight Quarter-Finals completed the session.
The evening’s boxers began displaying the same quality with which the afternoon had ended, Spain’s Gabriel Escobar taking Yosbany Veitia all the way to the final bell, only for the Cuban Flyweight’s (52kg) spirited defences to stand firm long enough to see him through. French Lightweight (60kg) Sofiane Oumiha has maintained his momentum from Rio 2016 and reached the last four after controlling his encounter with Ukraine’s Iurii Shestak.
In one of the results of the day, Georgia’s short-range specialist Otar Eranosyan out-gunned Uzbekistan’s Elnur Abduraimov, before a gripping Welterweight (69kg) tie between Shakhram Giyasov and England’s Pat McCormack saw the flamboyant Uzbek edge three entertaining rounds. Ireland’s EUBC Champion Joe Ward and Cuba’s Julio La Cruz are now one win away from setting up a repeat of the 2015 Light Heavyweight (81kg) final, and a huge win for Australia’s Joe Goodall means he will meet Azerbaijan’s Mahammadrasul Majidov in the last four of the Super Heavyweight (+91kg) competition.