The 35th edition of the Boxam Tournament will be the highlight of the international boxing events this week. The official draw was held in Castellon de la Plana, Spain, where it was confirmed that 127 boxers from four Confederations and 17 countries were taking part in the event. The first day of preliminaries will be held on Tuesday from 4 p.m. local time, and the winners will proceed to the quarter-finals.
History of the Boxam Tournament
The first edition of the Boxam Tournament was held in Almeria in 1976, when Spain, France, Italy and Denmark earned their gold medals. Morocco was the first African nation to take part in the event in 1976, whereas Venezuela became the first American nation in 1977. South Korea and the Philippines were the first countries from the Asian continent in 2003. Australia and New Zealand joined the Boxam Tournament later to represent Oceania.
The Spanish Boxing Federation hosted the Boxam Tournament in many cities during the recent 45 years including Zaragoza, La Coruna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santander, Melilla, Malaga, Huelva, Almeria, Badalona, Oviedo, Alicante, Algeciras, Lanzarote, Ciudad Real, Sevilla, Vigo, Valladolid, La Linea de la Concepcion, Cartagena and Castellon de la Plana.
The 1992 edition of the Boxam Tournament was used as Pre-Olympic Test Event before Barcelona Games. Cuba’s World Champions Roberto Balado, Juan Hernandez and Juan Carlos Lemus won the titles in 1992. The current head coach of the Spanish national team, Rafael Lozano Munoz, won the silver medal at the Test Event.
Women boxers joined the Boxam Tournament in 2008 when Russia’s two-time AIBA World Champion Sofya Ochigava won in her weight category. The 2015 edition of the Boxam Tournament was a preparation event for the first European Games and reached a record number of participants. Such stars as Mira Potkonen of Finland, Gabriel Escobar of Spain, Naomi Graham of the USA, Sammy Lee of Wales and Mourad Aliev of France won titles in the recent two editions of the Boxam Tournament.
Number of boxers: 127 (including 47 women and 80 men)
The men’s lightweight (63kg) is the largest weight category in the Boxam Tournament with 15 boxers participating.
The following nations are competing in the 35th Boxam Tournament: Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Monaco, Morocco, Panama, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Spain, and the United States of America.
The most anticipated fight of the first day
Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin claimed two silver medals in the history of the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships and has already been qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Kazakh lightweight boxer (63kg) is already 35, but he is in his best shape and could be a favorite in the 35th Boxam Tournament. In the first preliminary round, the Kazakh veteran will fight the winner of Morocco’s All Africa Games Abdelhaq Nadir, who is also a Tokyo Olympian since his bronze medal at the African Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event.
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