The Grand Finale of the famous 74th Strandja International Boxing tournament took place yesterday in the Sports Hall Sofia. Twenty-four women boxers and twenty-six men fought for the gold medals at this mini–World Championships, which once again proved its quality with 38 participating countries and 398 boxers. Outstanding and action-packed final bouts satisfied the fans who had the chance to watch world class boxing throughout 7 days in the Bulgarian capital city. All the women’s finals were held in the first session, while the men’s bouts started at 5 pm.
Bulgaria and Ireland dominated the women’s part of the tournament as both countries won 3 gold medals each. All six boxers lived up to expectations since they are very experienced, having made the podium in many major championships. The Bulgarian team champions are Sevda Asenova (48 kg), Stanimira Petrova (54 kg) and Svetlana Kamenova (57 kg). Gold medals for Ireland were won by Kellie Harrington (63 kg), Amy Broadhurst (66 kg) and Christina Desmond (70 kg). Current IBA world champion Tammara Thibeault from Canada (75 kg) and world championships silver medallist Brazilian Beatriz Ferreira (60 kg) also produced great performances to take the gold at Strandja.
Uzbekistan dominated the men’s part of the competition, winning an impressive 7 gold medals. The two biggest stars of Uzbekistan’s team were Olympic champions Hasanboy Dusmatov (51 kg) and Bakhodir Jalolov (+92 kg). Both achieved four victories each on the way to their gold medals. But it was two other Uzbeks who snatched the spotlight in the light welterweight category. Ruslan Abdullaev and Mujibilo Tursunov thrilled the audience with a spectacular final bout and the fans showed their appreciation with huge applause.
The Bulgarian men’s team won 4 gold medals as Yasen Radev (54 kg), Javier Diaz (57 kg), Radoslav Rosenov (60 kg) and Rami Kiwan (75 kg) made history for Bulgarian boxing, and showed a lot of promise for bright futures ahead.
The LOC awarded the best boxers and the best teams. Stanimira Petrova (Bulgaria) took the best boxer award among the women while second place went to Beatriz Ferreira (Brazil), and third to Sevda Asenova (Bulgaria). Radoslav Rosenov (Bulgaria) topped the men’s division, while the second and third place went to Robby Gonzales (USA) and Javier Diaz (Bulgaria) respectively.
Uzbekistan placed first among the teams, Bulgaria took second place and Ireland wrapped up the team standings with third place.