The IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships opened with 14 preliminary contests in Istanbul, Turkey where 310 boxers from 73 nations will compete for the medals. Among the European boxers, Italy’s Irma Testa and Romania’s Claudia Nechita won difficult contests while Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova walked over to the next stage.
The Official Draw confirmed that 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 will be representing the European Boxing Confederation in the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The number of the European boxers is 118 in Istanbul representing 27 different nations.
Boxers at the women’s bantamweight (54kg), featherweight (57kg), light welterweight (63kg) and light middleweight (70kg) were in action in the first competition day. The second competition day contains one session and sixteen further preliminary contests in Istanbul.
The bout of the day
Italy’s Irma Testa is the defending EUBC European Women’s Champion at the featherweight (57kg) and she is one of the favourites in this category but she had such a hard job against Mali’s Marine Fatoumata Camara today. The Italian returned to the international stage in the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament last month with a fantastic success and she arrived to Istanbul in top shape. Testa had to box already for the last 32 in the opening session and she had to do her very best already in this preliminary stage. Camara lives and trains in France and she was not an ideal first opponent, surprised Testa with some excellent actions. The Italian used her distance better in the second and third rounds and she had decisive punches in that period.
Romania’s Claudia Nechita was quarter-finalist in the Tokyo Olympic Games and she has done strong performance in the recent international competitions. The Romanian featherweight (57kg) boxer defeated Hungary’s Szabina Szucs two-times in last 26 months and she was expected an easy opening today. The Hungarian, who attends in her fourth Women’s World Boxing Championships, was more competitive and she proved her developments in this contest. Szucs fought until the last seconds to turn back their tight contest but Nechita was enough punctual to win his difficult re-match.
Turkey’s first boxer in action was Esra Ozyol who received the right at the very first time to compete in a major championship. The young Turkish met with Morocco’s Widad Bertal in this contest for the last 32 and she had energetic attacks already in the first round. Ozyol, who switched from other martial arts to boxing a few years ago, worked hard and felt that thus event is a big chance in her career. The 21-year-old Turkish was better in all aspects of boxing and eliminated her North African opponent in Istanbul.
Lisa O’Rourke is Ireland’s new young hope who won the title at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships in Porec less than two months ago. The 20-year-old Irish is one of the secret favourites at the light middleweight (70kg) and she has done good job against DR Congo’s Brigitte Mbabi who attended in zonal championships in Africa during her career. O’Rourke looked experienced and too strong for her African rival and she was confidence to win their contest in Istanbul.
Ukraine’s Mariia Siedaia competed in the junior, youth and U22 level in the recent years but this IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships is her first major elite competition. The Ukrainian light middleweight (70kg) boxer does not have any easy job in the first round against Armenia’s Ani Hovsepyan who is one of the strongest punchers of this weight class. The Armenian moved forward without any stoppage and she pressurized the younger Ukrainian in the last bout of the session. The 24-year-old Hovsepyan proved her best performance in the Strandja Memorial Tournament this February and repeated that in Istanbul. The referee counted Siedaia three-times in the final round and confirmed Hovsepyan’s RSC triumph before the last gong.