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Irma Testa won her third difficult contest in Istanbul

Twenty-four Round of 16 contests were held in the evening session at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. The sixth competition day delivered several tight contests in the event where Italy’s Irma Testa won her third-in-a-row contest. Among the further winners, Bulgaria’s veteran Sevda Asenova, Ukraine’s Karolina Makhno and Ireland’s Michaela Walsh were fantastic today.

Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, England, Fair Chance Team, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales are representing the European Boxing Confederation in the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The number of European boxers is 118 in Istanbul representing 27 different nations from all of the regions of the continent.

Boxers at the minimumweight (48kg), featherweight (57kg) and middleweight (75kg) fought for the last eight in the sixth competition day after the IBA Extraordinary Elective Congress.

The bout of the day

Irma Testa won the last edition of the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships and claimed bronze at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Italian No.1 won more than 90% of her international contests in the previous years and she is one of the gold medal contenders at the featherweight (57kg) in Istanbul. She bowed two opponents out of her way but her third was a real crucial battle in the championship. Poland’s Sandra Kruk not only achieved a silver medal in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships but she has an uncomfortable and aggressive style. None of the stars like to box against her and Testa also needed to do her best to beat the attacking Polish boxer. Kruk had the rhythm and the energy to attack through all of the three rounds while Testa’s counter-punches were decisive.

The Round-Up

Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota achieved silver medal at the 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and the southpaw returned to the event in shape. She eliminated her first Kenyan opponent easily and met another African boxer, Morocco’s Yasmine Moutaki in the Round of 16. Okhota moved forward from the first seconds but her Moroccan rival was fast and stopped many of the attacks. The Ukrainian minimumweight (48kg) boxer put the North African under pressure and she won this tough contest by split decision.

Turkey’s Ayse Cagirir was a member of their team in several championships but she could not represent her country since 2019. The Turkish boxer returned to the squad and replaced their EUBC European U22 Champion Erivan Barut at the minimumweight (48kg). Cagirir was excited to compete on home soil and after her first success in Istanbul, she eliminated her next rival too on Day6. The Turkish boxer caught the tall French talent, Rim Bennama with tough shots and her strength decided their preliminary bout today. Her teammate, Busra Isildar had a crucial battle against Brazil’s Viviane Pereira but she advanced to the quarter-final of the middleweight (75kg).

Bulgaria’s Sevda Asenova is a former EUBC European Champion, a veteran boxer with plenty of experiences and she decided to continue her career this year. The minimumweight (48kg) boxer was successful in the preparation tournaments and she started strongly against Poland’s Natalia Rok on her second contest in Istanbul. The 37-year-old Bulgarian used her speed in the first round to land counter-punches with perfect timing in the first round and she landed more shots in this period. Rok turned up the heat in the second round but Asenova’s speed was decisive today and the Bulgarian won their tight bout.

Michaela Walsh is aiming for her first gold medal after two silvers at the upcoming Commonwealth Games but she has the full focus on the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships before that. She had a technician rival, Ukraine’s Valeria Yeroshenko in the last 16 and after the first round Walsh had to increase her tempo. The Irish girl boxed more on the international stage than her Ukrainian rival and that was the difference between them today. Walsh was powerful in the second and third rounds to win this preliminary bout joining the quarter-finals at the tough featherweight (57kg).

Ukraine’s EUBC European U22 Champion Karolina Makhno made a great comeback to the international stage this year after three years of break. The 22-year-old Ukrainian opened her campaign successfully in the first preliminary round and she used her distance well in her second bout against an inexperienced Mongolian. Makhno overcame Namjim Anu in the attacks and after six minutes of fighting, she had a strong advantage due to her multiple shots. Makhno found the best tempo against the Mongolian very quickly and her confident style of boxing was enough to win this contest.  

The quote of the day

“Today’s bout was not so easy at all and my opponent is a wonderful boxer. I am very pleased with this victory today against my Polish rival. I showed that I am better and I am glad that I moved forward to the next round. I need only one more step to get a medal and I hope I can do it better in the quarter-finals,” said Sevda Asenova, Bulgaria’s veteran who had a hectic contest against Poland’s Natalia Rok.