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Scotland’s Niamh Mitchell caused the sensation of the finals in Montesilvano

All of the contests took place at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Montesilvano, Italy where 26 champions secured their titles in the last competition day. Scotland’s Niamh Mitchell delivered the main sensation of the final day of boxing defeating Cyprus’ titleholder Laila Abdullatif.

Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine are the participating nations in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.

The number of the female boxers is 119 and their most crowded category is the featherweight (57kg) with the participation of 15 boxers. The 234 male boxers is near to the record in the history of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.

The girls and boys both are able to participate in 13-13 weight categories from the pinweight (46kg) up to the heavyweight (+80kg) in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The female and the male boxers who were born in 2006 and in 2007 are eligible to participate in the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships.

The bout of the day

Ireland’s Ava Rose Henry Lyndon was named as the main favourite of the women’s lightweight (60kg) in Montesilvano and she eliminated her top Czech rival already in the Round of 16. The 16-year-old Irish girl had a more difficult final than she expected following Poland’s Kinga Krowka had the strong attempt to beat Henry in the last competition day. The Polish girl followed the best tactics and she was a hard target for the Irish talent in the first round. Henry stepped into the gas, she put under pressure the Polish boxer and finally she could turn back their difficult final bout.

The surprise of the day

Laila Abdullatif was one the boxers out of the two talents who had the chance to repeat her European title in Montesilvano where she boxed at the light bantamweight (52kg). The 16-year-old Cyprian is unbeaten in the international stage and she was the top favourite against Scotland’s lone finalist, Niamh Mitchell. The Scottish southpaw tried to use her longer hands in the first round and she had a few impressive counter-attacks from the safest distance. Abdullatif switched her tempo in the second round and all of the five scorecards showed equal 19:19 scores after two rounds of fight. Mitchell renewed in the third round and her fantastic finish delivered the main sensation of the entire championships earning a historic gold medal for Scotland.

The Round-Up

Greece’s first out of their four finalists was Anna Maria Tryfilli who faced in the final of the women’s pinweight (46kg), Turkey’s Rabia Eylul Duman. The 16-year-old Greek girl had a perfect record in 2022 before their finals and she was the favourite of their contest. Tryfilli had longer reach than her Turkish rival and tried to keep the distance answering with left-handed counter shots. Duman proved that she is a real fighter but Tryfilli’s excellent technical skills decided the first final of the event. Tryfilli’s success was Greece’s first ever gold medal in the history of the EUBC European Women’s Junior Boxing Championships.

England’s Ruby White turned to 15 in July but before that she won all of her national and international contests. The Golden Girl Box Cup winner English girl dominated the first round and she not only impressed but she surprised Azerbaijan’s Narmin Alizada in the opening exchanges at the light flyweight (48kg). The referee counted the Azeri talent in the first round but Alizada still survived the dangerous moments in Montesilvano. All of the judges favoured 10:8 the younger English girl after two minutes and she finished the final in the second with her heavy shots. The referee confirmed White’s RSC triumph in the second round and the young English girl remained unbeaten in 2022.

England’s Ella-Mae Lonsdale was only bronze medallist at the 2021 Schoolgirls National Championships but she proved impressive developments in all aspects of boxing this year. She not only won the English Junior National Championships and the Three Nations British Championships but Lonsdale advanced to the final of the bantamweight (54kg) at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The 15-year-old English talent found the best rhythm in the beginning of the second round against Ireland’s Niamh Keogh and took the lead on the scorecards after four minutes. The taller English used the best tactics against her Irish opponent and earned her nation’s third-in-a-row gold medal.

Czech Republic’s Viktorie Jilkova was gold medallist at the 2021 EUBC European Schoolgirls Boxing Championships and the 15-year-old talent advanced to her next continental final in Montesilvano. Jilkova not only adopted the level of the junior contests this year but she opened the final against Greece’s Panagiota Kouzilou with nice jabs. All of the judges favoured the Czech girl after the first round and the same image continued in the second. Jilkova was technically better than her older Greek rival in this featherweight (57kg) final and earned her second European title.

Croatia’s Mariela Steko is a new addition to their junior national squad and the 16-year-old boxer exceeded all of the previous expectations with her effectiveness in Montesilvano. The Croatian and the German Junior National Champion had a few difficulties in the first round of the light welterweight (63kg) final against Turkey’s Esmaul Husna Babat but she received the right instructions in the ringside. Steko, who lived and trains in Munich, made a better second round and a remarkable third therefore she earned a fantastic gold medal for Croatia.

Romania’s Amalia Maria Nita won the gold medal at the 2021 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships in Tbilisi and she was the second possible boxer to defend her throne in this age group. The 16-year-old Romanian welterweight (66kg) boxer dominated all of her contests in the recent months and she opened the first round much better than Italy’s Amina Golinelli. Nita is not only a stronger female boxer than her opponents, but she had the speed to and her shots with perfect timing. Nita won the easiest female final in the Montesilvano and she became the lone boxer who defended the throne.

Ukraine’s Anastasia Taran won two national titles among the schoolgirls in the previous two years and moved up several weight categories in 2022. The 15-year-old Ukrainian competes at the middleweight (75kg) but she had the strong performance in the entire EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships to take the title. Taran controlled the exchanges in the first and in the second rounds against Ireland’s Mary McDonagh and she had the massive advantage on the scorecards after four minutes. The Irish girl gave in everything in the final round but her time was not enough to turn back the title contest.

Poland had four female finalists at the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and among them the two heaviest boxers earned the titles in Montesilvano. Poland’s Amelia Kostrzewa won their first title in the event, she was too fast for Turkey’s Zeliha Ozdemir at the light heavyweight (80kg). Sandra Van der Zanden lost to Germany’s Victoria Gatt in the semi-finals of the Silesian Women’s Open Tournament one month ago but this time she made a revenge and defeated her rival in Montesilvano. The Polish girl was motivated and she knew her German opponent well enough to win this final bout.

Three Armenians advanced to the male finals of the EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships and among them Vagharshak Keyan was the first in action. The Armenian pinweight (46kg) talent had a quick final opponent, England’s John Varey whose elder brothers are also boxers. Keyan tried to keep the distance against the attacking English boxer and his tactics paid off well enough in the first and second rounds. The English boy was busy in the ring but Keyan’s longer reach decided their final bout and Armenia celebrated its first gold medal.

Italy’s Antonio Marsala Fortunato won the last preparation competition, the Junior Nations Cup in Serbia two months ago despite his low number of international contests. The 16-year-old Italian began to fight just before the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and she spent his time mostly to develop his boxing knowledge. The 16-year-old Italian controlled two out of the three rounds against Ireland’s Jamie Collins and earned the title at the light flyweight (48kg).

Following Mahammadali Ashiraliyev’s silver medal at the men’s bantamweight (54kg), the second Azeri male finalist was Mahammadali Gasimzade in Montesilvano. The 16-year-old Azeri talent had a strong opponent in the final of the featherweight (57kg), Bulgaria’s Viktorio Iliev. The Bulgarian boxer is only 16 but he had the physical condition as a senior athlete Gasimzade had the excellent third round to earn the next title.

Hungary’s Krisztian Nileborg won all of his contests since the Tbilisi 2021 EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships. The 16-year-old Hungarian dominated all of his international bouts in Romania, in Serbia, in his homeland and other countries therefore he was names as the main favourite for the light middleweight (70kg) in Montesilvano. Nileborg was too strong for his previous Irish and Polish opponents and walked over to the European title after his Armenian rival, Yeranos Ohanyan was unable to box against him.