The Strandja International Boxing Tournament is considered the most famous and most popular international boxing tournament in the world. From 18th – 27th February 2023, the 74th edition will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian Boxing Federation is expecting more than 400 boxers, which will be the highest participation up to now.
This prestigious tournament is traditionally organised at the beginning of the year. For decades, the best boxers worldwide among elite men and women converges in the Bulgarian capital city for this extraordinary event.
The first edition of the Strandja International Boxing Tournament was held in Sofia in 1950. All the winners at that time were from Bulgaria. In 2011 elite women were included, boxing in three weight categories: 51 kg, 60 kg and 75 kg. The first women’s champions were Stoyka Petrova, Denitsa Eliseyeva and Desislava Lazarova.
There are many famous champions that once fought at Strandja, such as three-time Olympic champions Teofilo Stivenson and Felix Savon from Cuba, two-time Olympic champions Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux and Russian Alexey Tishchenko, three-time world champion Romanian Francisc Vastag, Olympic champions Ukrainians Wladimir Klitchko and Oleksandr Usyk, Russain Alexander Povetkin and Kazakhstan’s Serik Sapiyev, World champions from Hungary Zsolt Erdei and from Russia Artur Beterbiev, Olympic champions from Bulgaria Ivailo Marinov and Petar Lesov, and many others.
Quite appropriately, the current President of the Bulgarian Boxing Federation, Mr. Krasimir Ininski is also one of Strandja’s champions. He fought in the middleweight category and won the gold medal back in 1998.