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Austria’s lone boxer Saifullah Saidoulaev dominated the middleweight at the Gheorgheni Open where 23 junior champions celebrated the titles

Ten female and thirteen male junior finals took place in the last sixth competition day at the first edition of the Gheorgheni Open Tournament in Transylvania, Romania. Austria sent only one boxer to the event but Saifullah Saidoulaev dominated the middleweight (75kg) in the event. Romania’s Stefan Stavri caused the main sensation on Day6 when seven nations shared the gold medals.

Greece, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Israel and Ukraine won the schoolgirls and schoolboys titles at the Gheorgheni Open on Day5. Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Romania earned the junior gold medals in the new event.

The first edition of the Gheorgheni Open took place for the junior girls and boys, furthermore the schoolgirls and schoolboys. Altogether 212 boxers participated in the Gheorgheni Open Tournament in the two age groups. 81 junior male, 32 junior female, 82 schoolboys and 17 schoolgirls competed for the medals and titles in the Open. The Technical Delegate of the Gheorgheni Open Tournament was Mr. Henrik Tavio of Finland.

This was the Romanian Boxing Federation’s third international event in 2022 after the Brasov Open and the Golden Belt. The new international tournament was a preparation event for the upcoming EUBC Schoolboys & Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships and the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.

The bout of the day

Cyprus earned historic medals and titles in the recent EUBC Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships and EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. Their star, Layla Abdullatif was not there at the Gheorgheni Open but another promising girl, Christina Ntzaragian competed for the title at the light welterweight (63kg) in the new international event. She won tournaments already and the Cyprian opened the final better than Hungary’s Livia Kozma who moved up to this category just for the start of the event. Kozma was highly competitive in this final, landed good shots but Ntzaragian worked hard enough to win the most difficult bout of the sixth competition day. 

The surprise of the day

Romania’s Stefan Stavri competed at the Brasov Open this February and several national events but he was not the favourite against Bulgaria’s Konstantin Kostov who achieved a bronze at the 2021 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The 16-year-old Bulgarian marched to the final of the lightweight (60kg) with impressive performance but his Romanian opponent surprised him in the title contest. Stavri controlled most of the exchanges and his attacks delivered for him a surprise gold medal in Gheorgheni.

The Round-Up

Romania’s Silvia Mihaela Meltzer won the first female final in Gheorgheni, she defeated Azerbaijan’s Aysu Ismailova at the pinweight (46kg). Greece’s duo such as Maria Georgopoulou and Ioanna Kantzari both impressed in their respective finals in Gheorgheni. The main star of the female competition, Romania’s EUBC European Junior Champion Amalia Maria Nita walked over to the title. Azerbaijan had four female finalists and among them, the most experienced boxer, Emili Rzayeva succeeded.

The Bulgarians sent their best junior boxers to the Gheorgheni Open and their team impressed in the entire competition. Angel Dimitrov was not only smarter than his final opponent at the light flyweight (48kg), David Varga of Romania but his shots were stronger and decisive in the first round. Following the standing counts, the Bulgarian boxer secured the gold medal winning the bout by RSC. His teammate, Ivaylo Petrov increased the number of the Bulgarian gold medals, he knocked out his final rival, Romania’s Gheorghe Cosmin Buleu in the first round at the light heavyweight (80kg).

Daniel Irofte earned the first Romanian male junior title in Gheorgheni following his success over Azerbaijan’s Taghi Nasibov at the flyweight (50kg). Irofte participated at the 2021 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and he is planning to return to the event this September with medals on the focus. Ciprian Iofciu became their next gold medallist in Gheorgheni following he defeated Hungary’s Bornemissza Memorial Tournament winner Kevin Kozak at the light bantamweight (52kg).

Azerbaijan decided to send their best junior talents to Romania after their National Championships to get international experience to these youngsters. Mohammadali Ashiraliyev is their new sensation at the bantamweight (54kg) who defeated his final opponent, Romania’s Florin Caldararu unanimously. Muhammadali Gazimzade who defeated a dangerous Bulgarian opponent, Viktorio Iliev at the featherweight (57kg), achieved Azerbaijan’s second gold medal in the men’s part of the Gheorgheni Open. Gazimzade and Iliev could have a possible repeat match in the upcoming EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.

Hungary’s 15-year-old Peter Benedek walked over to the title of the junior pinweight (46kg) winning his next tournament this year. Following his success, the best Hungarian junior boxer, Krisztian Nileborg continued his winning path at the light middleweight (70kg). The 16-year-old Hungarian won all of his contests in the recent nearly one year and remained unbeaten in Gheorgheni. After his impressive semi-final against a local boy, he defeated Eduard Muset of Romania in the title contest.

Austria send only one junior boxer to the Gheorgheni Open but Saifullah Saidoulaev is a top quality youngster who won the title of the middleweight (75kg). He has strong Chechnyan roots but represent Austria in the international stage and bagged his next tournament title after beating Eduard Marian Musat of Romania. Israel won the first schoolboy final in Gheorgheni and one of their future hopes earned the title in the heaviest junior weight category. Ariel Prilutsky made Israel proud after he outpointed Romania’s Robert Ionut Dulici in the final of the heavyweight (+80kg).