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Spain, Kosovo, the Netherlands and Lithuania are among the medallist nations in Istanbul

The medal haunt was the main objective for all of the boxers in the busy eighth day in the championships in Turkey. The local girls amazed the fans in the Basaksehir Sport Arena including stars such as Busenaz Cakiroglu and Busenaz Surmeneli. Next to the host country’s team and the top boxing nations, the Netherlands, Spain, Kosovo and Lithuania all won medals in this championship.

Boxers in all of the twelve weight categories competed for the medals on the eighth competition day in Istanbul and only the best 48 athletes advanced in the last four. The IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships will continue with the semi-finals after the rest day.

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.

The bout of the day

Poland’s EUBC European U22 Champion Oliwia Toborek received the right to compete in her first ever Women’s World Boxing Championships but she had plenty of experience from the younger age groups. The Polish light heavyweight (81kg) talent fought for the guaranteed medal with Romania’s Alexandra Maria Petcu who claimed two silver medals in the 2021 and 2022 EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. Toborek was tough in the exchanges but Petcu used her speed to catch the younger Polish talent especially in the second round. The 20-year-old Polish mobilized her remaining power in the third round and she won this quarter-final by split decision.

The surprise of the day

Netherland’s Chelsey Heijnen achieved a gold medal at the 2017 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships but she is still in the developing stage among the elite boxers. Physically she is stronger than ever but she was not among the medal contenders at the light welterweight (63kg) yet. The Dutch girl stopped two opponents winning those contests by RSC in the first round but she could expect a hard battle against Italy’s Assunta Canfora. After two rounds, everything was open in their contest but Heijnen put the Italian boxer under pressure in the third and won an expected medal in Istanbul. 

The Round-Up

Bulgaria’s Sevda Asenova has one and half decade of ring experience but she never claimed any medals in the history of the Women’s World Boxing Championships. The former EUBC European Women’s Champion was smarter than all of her opponents in the preliminary rounds and she used the same style of technician boxing against Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota. Her opponent was silver medallist in the competition four years ago but Asenova’s speed and counter-attacks decided their contest. Her coach Mr. Borislav Georgiev underlined after the bout that Asenova is the “Bulgarian Roy Jones Jr.”

Italy’s Irma Testa achieved a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games and she is the defending EUBC European Women’s Champion at the featherweight (57kg) but she never claimed any medals in the history of the Women’s World Boxing Championships yet. The 25-year-old Italian had more than 150 contests already and she won three bouts in Istanbul before the quarter-finals. The busy Testa delivered her best performance in time in the last eight against Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Champion Sitora Turdibekova. The younger Uzbek was stronger than one year ago when she earned her career highlight but Testa worked hard from longer distances to win her first World medal.

Ireland’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion Amy Broadhurst competes as the light welterweight (63kg) due to Kellie Harrington’s dominance at the lightweight (60kg). The powerful Irish boxer defeated her previous two rivals with impressive performance and she was smart in the quarter-final against Serbia’s new sensation, Jelena Janicijevic. The Irish boxer worked hard from the first seconds and proved that technically and tactically she is better than the taller Serbian. Broadhurst marched to the semi-finals in Istanbul and she will now meet with India’s Parveen for the final.

Ireland’s next quarter-finalist boxer was Lisa O’Rourke, the annual EUBC European U22 Champion who developed rapidly during the Covid-19 period and amazed during her road to the quarter-finals. The 20-year-old Irish boxer just turned to 20 a few days ago and she was highly motivated in her quarter-final against Armenia’s strong puncher, Ani Hovsepyan. O’Rourke used her longer reach well enough but she was good enough from short distance too in this quarter-final. The Irish girl’s outstanding performance guaranteed her medal at the light middleweight (70kg) in Istanbul.

Spain’s Laura Fuertes was her nation’s first ever boxer who advanced to a quarter-final in a Women’s World Boxing Championships. She had only one day to rest for her important contest but she was strong in mind and delivered another outstanding performance today. The Spaniard controlled the first round against Argentina’s Milagros Tatiana Flores and took the lead on the scorecards. Fuertes was almost untouchable for the Argentinean and her speedy footwork guaranteed a place in the semi-final continuing Spain’s historical steps in this championship. Fuertes’ next opponent will be Turkey’s star Busenaz Cakiroglu who had a tactical success over Philippines’ Aira Villegas at the light flyweight (50kg).

Romania’s EUBC European Champion Lacramioara Perijoc had a seriously hard road to the quarter-finals but she defeated two stars including the reigning Women’s World Champion of the bantamweight (54kg), Huang Hsiao Wen of Chinese Taipei. Perijoc started her first rounds relatively slow in the previous contests and she had disadvantage against Dominican Republic’s Estefani Almanzar too. The Romanian boxer has strong heart and stamina and she landed several clear shots in the second and third rounds to turn back their excellent contest in Istanbul. 

Kosovo’s Donjeta Sadiku made a fantastic achievement in 2015 when earned a silver medal at the 2015 AIBA Women’s Junior World Boxing Championships. She qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games at the age of 22 and arrived in Istanbul as a secret medal contender. The Kosovan lightweight (60kg) boxer was smaller than her quarter-final opponent, Chinese Taipei’s Wu Shih Yi but she had the aggressive tactic in the first round to take the lead on the scorecards. Her Asian opponent came back in the second but Sadiku had the power and stamina in the third round to win their contest earning Kosovo’s first ever medal.

The quotes of the day

“I was able to keep my full concentration in this quarter-final bout, there was not any switch-off. My biggest strength today was the good defence and from that I landed multiple shots. I have the game plan already against my semi-final opponent,” said Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst after the success.

“I did not expect that I will win a medal in this World Championships, this is something unexpected but the feeling is amazing. I found the rhythm in the first round but the second was not the best but I returned once again in the third. I would like to just enjoy my semi-final, no pressure on me,” added Netherlands’ Chelsey Heijnen.