One of the previous prestigious European competitions, the Acropolis Cup is back on track to international agenda. The new 26th edition opened with 10 male contests in the Greek capital in Athens where Armenia’s Narek Hovhannisyan, Greece’s Konstantinos Kalogeridis and Trinidad & Tobago’s Nigel Paul were among the first winners.
The Acropolis Cup returned to the boxing program after 18 years of break as the last edition took place as Olympic Test Event in May 2004. The Technical Delegate of the Acropolis Cup is Mr. Maxim Cherticovtsev of Moldova but EUBC President Mr. Ioannis Filippatos also followed the bouts in Athens together with the President of the Hellenic Boxing Federation Mr. Charis Mariolis.
The 14 participating nations at the Acropolis Cup are the following: Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Poland, Seychelles, Slovenia, Trinidad & Tobago, and Ukraine. The number of the participating female and male boxers is 68 in Athens who are aiming for the 13 gold medals. The venue of the Acropolis Cup is the Panathenaic Stadium in the centre of Athens which is a historic stadium built in 330/329 BC.
The 26th Acropolis Cup continues with one female and fifteen male contests on the second competition day in Athens, Greece.
The bout of the day
Armenia’s Narek Hovhannisyan won contests at the 2016 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in that year. The Armenian used the recent period of time to increase his tactical and technical skills which he demonstrated at the Acropolis Cup. Hovhannisyan faced Slovenia’s two-years-younger Nik Nikolov Veber who competed at the recent EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan. The Armenian took the lead on the judges’ scorecards after three minutes of fight and he could share his power to win this contest in Athens.
The surprise of the day
Ukraine’s Ruslan Tsykalo achieved a bronze medal at the Kielce 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and he was quickly invited to their U22 national team following that success. Tsykalo moved up to the lightweight (60kg) but he has the speed to land shots from various angles against his rivals. Greece’s Konstantinos Kalogeridis and his coaches knew the strengths of the Ukrainian boxer and they built up an aggressive strategy. The Greek, who participated at the previous EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan, followed the tactics and eliminated Tsykalo, marching to the last four in Athens.
Armenia sent a strong team to the Acropolis Cup and their Artur Ghazaryan opened the entire competition in Athens. The international event returned with a lightweight (60kg) bout between Ghazaryan and a Greek boxer, Konstantinos Sarkiris. The Armenian participated at the 2019 EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships and he moved ahead in their elite national ranking steps by steps. Ghazaryan was too smart for Sarkiris on Day1 and the Armenian managed to advance to the semi-finals in Athens.
The boxers from Seychelles use the Acropolis Cup to prepare actively for the next edition of the Commonwealth Games which will be starting on the 29th of July. Their lightweight (60kg) boxer Fabio Roselie has experience from several European tournaments throughout Serbia to Turkey and he returned to the national team in good shape. Roselie landed the stronger punches and eliminated Greece’s Minas Savvopoulos in the second contest of the 26th Acropolis Cup.
Ukraine’s Danylo Lozan is a promising boxer and he received the right to increase his international experiences at the Acropolis Cup. The Ukrainian light welterweight (63.5kg) boxer controlled all of the three rounds against Greece’s Esteban Stiven Pena and marched to the last eight in Athens. His teammate, Oleksandr Hrytsiv competed already at the 2013 EUBC European Schoolboys Boxing Championships therefore he was too experienced to Slovenia’s Jure Simunovic at the super heavyweight (+92kg).
One of the most anticipated contests in the first session at the Acropolis Cup was held at the super heavyweight (+92kg). Trinidad & Tobago’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Nigel Paul and North Macedonia’s 19-year-old super talented Ardijan Azemi both are well-known boxers in the international events. The North Macedonian teenager had some nice attacks in the first round but he was competitive only in the first three minutes. Paul stepped into the gas and following his clear shots the North Macedonian ringside abandoned their quarter-final bout.