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Hofstad, Sorensen, Cirkovic, Abduraimov, Yarovyi and Kuliyev were the heroes of the finals in Subotica

The twenty-five youth finals took place at the the 40th edition of the Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament in Subotica, Serbia on Day5. Norway’s strong female duo such as Sofie Stigen Sorensen and Sunniva Hofstad, Serbia’s Sara Cirkovic and the Ukrainian male boxers were the sensations of the finals.

Altogether 48 women and 141 men boxers took part for the medals in the new 40th Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament. The event was a preparation tournament for the upcoming IBA Youth World Boxing Championships which will be held in La Nucia, Alicante region, Spain on November 13-27.

Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Thailand, Ukraine and United States of America were the participating 21 nations at the 40th Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament.  

Boxers who were born in 2004 and in 2005 were eligible to attend in the 40th Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament where all of the 25 youth weight categories are in the official program. The Technical Delegate of the Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament was Mr. Viorel Sima of Romania.

The bout of the day

The second top Norwegian female boxer is Sofie Stigen Sorensen who bagged a bronze medal at the 2022 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and won several international tournaments in the previous one year. Sorensen follows her star teammate, Hofstad’s pathway and she is one of the most promising youth boxers at the women’s light heavyweight (81kg). The 18-year-old Norwegian had also an Indian final opponent as Hofstad but she performed amazingly against Pranjal Yadav. Her Indian rival moved up two weight categories since her last international event but she looked highly competitive and well-prepared after the national selections. Sorensen made an excellent final round, shared her power successfully and defeated the Indian in the title bout. 

The surprise of the day

Ukraine’s 2020 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships silver medallist Dzhamal Kuliyev moved up to the cruiserweight (86kg) in the recent one year and he demonstrated his progress in the Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament. He stopped Serbia’s Lazar Lazarevic in the semi-finals and exceeded all of his previous level in the final against Kazakhstan’s powerful and two-time ASBC Asian Youth Champion Temirlan Mukatayev. Kuliyev won their final by split decision which was Mukatayev’s first loss since he turned to youth on January 2021.

The Round-Up

Serbia produced a few strong female boxers in the recent years and the country qualified a woman athlete for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Serbians have a fantastic talent in the youth age group, Sara Cirkovic, the defending EUBC European Youth Champion at the women’s light flyweight (50kg). The 18-year-old Serbian won 90% of her international contests and performed strongly in the entire tournament on home soil. Cirkovic used her patient style of boxing and outstanding technical skills to take the control in the first round against Kazakhstan’s Anita Adisheva. Her game plan worked well enough and Cirkovic claimed her next international tournament title winning the final unanimously.

Norway’s Sunniva Hofstad robbed into the world of boxing still in 2018 as a schoolgirl with tournament titles. She developed herself with excellent professionalism in the recent years and after her hard work, she is now a star in youth boxing. She returned to the business after the Covid-19 issues with gold medals at the 2021 and 2022 editions of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships. The Norwegian middleweight (75kg) boxer had a tough final opponent, India’s Muskan who earned gold medal at the 2022 ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships. Hofstad is one of the most powerful boxers in her age group and landed stronger shots than her Indian rival. The Norwegian had a brilliant performance once again and remained unbeaten this year taking the title in Subotica.

Ukraine’s Aider Abduraimov could be their next top sensation who bagged several top junior and youth results during his career. He achieved a gold medal at the Sofia 2022 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and marched to the final of the men’s featherweight (57kg) after beating India’s Nikhil in the semi-finals. Abduraimov had a fantastic final opponent, France’s Marwan Mouflih who proved rapid developments in terms of speed, technique and tactical skills in 2022. The French had a brave attempt to beat the Ukrainian in their final but Abduraimov had the experience to respond all of the tactical jobs.

Another Ukrainian finalist in Subotica, the 2020 EUBC European Junior Champion Oleksandr Yarovyi expected more than a hard battle against India’s Vanshaj which was one of the most difficult contests during her entire boxing career. Their meeting was the next dream final in the Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament and the crowd saw impressive exchanges between the two stars. Vanshaj, who is the defending ASBC Asian Youth Champion, moved a lot on feet to catch the Ukrainian with his heavy bombs but Yarovyi had the similar technical skills to follow his own strategy. Yarovyi was slightly better in the decisive third round and defeated his Indian rival by split decision but a re-match is possible in the upcoming IBA Youth World Boxing Championships.

The quote of the day

“The Indian was a tough girl and throwed a lot of punches during the final so she is definitely a good opponent for me. I think that if I am able to use my footwork and keep the distance a little bit better next time, I will be able to control her more. I will do my peak performance in the Youth World Boxing Championships when I will have better stamina. I hope I will have the opportunity to fight against the Indian once again”, added Norway’s Sunniva Hofstad after her final success.