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Albania’s lone participant in Sofia, Arjol Zeneli made a huge surprise on Day3

Fifty preliminary contests were held in the third competition day of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria and the winners advanced to the quarter-finals. Altogether 143 contests took place in the opening three days in the competition and 234 boxers have still the chance to win medals in Sofia.

North Macedonia’s 17-year-old Petar Arsovski won one of the tightest contests of the third day of boxing in Sofia. Another young future hope from the Balkan region, Albania’s Arjol Zeneli delivered the main sensation of the recent twelve sessions and eliminated Spain’s 2021 gold medallist, Rafael Lozano Serrano.

Altogether 402 boxers registered from 40 nations to the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and among them 377 arrived to Sofia, which made the event busy and high quality. The Bulgarian Boxing Federation hosted the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in 2019 last time and after three years, the event returned to Sofia.

Boxers who were born in 2004 and in 2005 are eligible to attend in the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Sofia. The 2021 edition introduced the new youth weight categories, the girls attended in 12 while the boys in 13 different weight classes in Montenegro and the schedule is the same in Sofia too.

The safety of all participants, the continuous medical checks, the social distancing, the hygienic preparations, wearing masks, the vaccines check and all of the health controls were the responsibility of the local organizers in Bulgaria avoid any new Covid-19 cases during the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships.

The bout of the day

North Macedonia’s Petar Arsovski is his nation’s best future hope who has already nearly 100 contests during his career. The North Macedonian No.1 trains in Bulgaria and opened his campaign in his first EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships against Slovakia’s Matus Janicek. Arsovski changed his rhythm in the beginning of the second round and his stamina delivered for the North Macedonian a tight success in Sofia. Arsovski will now meet for the guaranteed medal with Greece’s Antonio Remus Velis who eliminated Latvia’s Ronalds Kleins in a one-sided bout.

The surprise of the day

Albania’s Arjol Zeneli has strong family roots in boxing, his elder brothers are boxers too in the national team. He is the only Albanian participant in Sofia and despite of his bronze medal from the 2021 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships, he was not the favourite against Spain’s titleholder Rafael Lozano Serrano. The Spaniard won all of his national and international contests in the recent one year but Zeneli surprised him with his speed in the preliminary round of the flyweight (51kg). The Albanian delivered the biggest sensations of the first three competition days eliminating the Spanish No.1. 

The Round-Up

Spain’s Ganda Coulibaly Soucko is newcomer in the international events but he dominated the first round against Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Rajko Tomovic at the welterweight (67kg). He had massive advantages after three minutes of fight, he led on the scorecards by 10:8. Following his powerful shots, the referee stopped their contest in the second round and the Spaniard joined to the next stage. Bulgaria’s Lyubomir Borislav Angelov had more difficult job in the third day of boxing but he had the right tactical responses against Slovakia’s Samuel Horvath and joined to the quarter-finals.

Ukraine’s experienced Oleksiy Boklakh is one of the favourites for the gold medal at the men’s welterweight (67kg) and bowed his second opponent out of his way. The Ukrainian eliminated a Hungarian boxer in the first day and continued his winning path against Sweden’s Dragan Zinoviy winning the bout by unanimous decision. Boklakh will be meeting for the guaranteed medal with Croatia’s Fabijan Tomkic who eliminated Poland’s Wiktor Kazmierczak in the next preliminary bout.

Turkey’s Kevser Tutuncu claimed silver medal at the women’s bantamweight (54kg) in the last edition of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Budva, Montenegro half year ago. The Turkish boxer arrived to Sofia to win her first European title and opened her campaign well enough against a technician opponent, Hungary’s Izabel Devenyi. The Hungarian was EUBC European Schoolgirls Champion in 2019 and she spends her first year among the youth boxers. Tutuncu was fresher in the third round, which decided their preliminary contest in the Bulgarian capital.

France’s Cyndelle Bachelet impressed in the recent youth international competitions but she did not find the best fighting distance against England’s Emily Whitworth in the first round of their bantamweight (54kg) contest. The English girl surprised Bachelet with her effective combinations and won all of the three rounds in each of the judges’ scorecard. Italy’s EUBC European Schoolgirls Champion Maria Teresa Sannino proved her very best in the third competition day and eliminated Romania’s experienced Ana Maria Romantov.

Spain’s Laura Barcelo won gold medal at the 2021 Boxam Youth Tournament and she is a medal favourite at the women’s minimumweight (48kg) in Sofia. The Spaniard used her excellent footwork to find the best attacking angles against Romania’s Emilia Ramona Dragan. Barcelo had the full concentration until the last bell and she decided their preliminary contest with her rhythm. Ireland’s Catherine Dunn has done also excellent job in this weight class when she triumphed over Scotland’s best female talent, Neely Brooke.

France’s strong Marwan Mouflih competed at the 2020 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and returned to the international competitions at the first Brasov Open this February where he won the gold medal. The French featherweight (57kg) boxer faced with Georgia’s Saba Eremeishvili who had more bouts than Mouflih but he did not find the best fighting range. Mouflih’s technical skills and footwork were decisive in their preliminary contest therefore the French can continue his campaign against Turkey’s Berat Civelek who eliminated Bulgaria’s Dimo Toniev.   

Greece’s new sensation Michail Tsamalidis defeated the best Cuban talent in the semi-finals of the Adriatic Pearl Youth Tournament in Montenegro one month ago and won that strong international event. The new Greek talent controlled the first round against Germany’s Dion Shabani and took the lead on the scorecards after three minutes. Tsamalidis still increased his rhythm and his strong punches finished the bout, the referee stopped their preliminary contest. Further favourites of the men’s light heavyweight (80kg) as Latvia’s Ilja Jurcenoks and Armenia’s Hamlet Adamyan both won their bouts by RSC.

The live streaming in the fourth competition day

You can follow all of the Day4 actions LIVE from the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships Sofia 2022 in the YouTube channel of the European Boxing Confederation: