Georgia won 3 gold medals at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships that concluded Monday in Yerevan, Armenia. Serbia won gold for the first time ever, picking up 2 gold medals, while Armenia, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Spain won one title each.
Georgia’s first finalist was Sakhil Alakhverdovi, the bronze medallist from the AIBA World Boxing Championships 2021. He faced Bulgarian Ergyunal Sebahtin Sabri who had a quick attacking style. The Georgian landed better shots overall and found his rhythm in time to win their contest and take his first European elite title.
“I am so happy to take this gold medal which is the hard work of my team, coaches and thanks for the support of my family,” said Alakhverdovi after winning the first final of the championships.
The Spanish boxing team had four finalists. Their flyweight (51kg) hope, Martin Molina has been a member of their national team since 2014. He faced English finalist Kiaran MacDonald, and used right-handed hooks to pin down his opponent and win.
“I cannot believe that I am a European Champion after so many years of hard work. I was dreaming about a final in my whole life and I won my first. My coaches told me after the second round that I can make it,” said Molinal.
Following Georgian Armenian-descent Artyush Gomtsyan’s tight success in the lightweight (60kg), the next local hero was Armenian two-time champion Hovhannes Bachkov, who has won three bronze medals at the 2017, 2019 and 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The 30-year-old athlete has won three professional contests too, but returned to the national team to win his third European title. Bachkov was highly confident in the final, dominating against Lounes Hamraoui of France to win his third European gold medal.
Serbian Vakhid Abbasov won a gold medal at the 2019 EUBC European U22 Boxing Championships representing Russia. Following his loss to World Champion Andrey Zamkovoy in their National Championships, he switched to Serbia in 2020. Abbasov controlled his final against Georgia’s Lasha Guruli from the start, winning Serbia’s first-ever gold medal in the event.
“This is history for Serbia and I would like to take this opportunity to thank for my team and coaches who worked hard on this gold medal. It was a good fight but I felt from the first seconds that I am stronger today,” said Abbasov.
His teammate, another ex-Russian veteran boxer, Artjom Agejev, defeated Italy’s EUBC European U22 Champion Alfred Commey in the light heavyweight (80kg) final, winning Serbia’s second gold.
In the light middleweight (71kg), Mohammed Harris Akbar from England defeated Garan Croft of Wales in the final to win the gold medal.
Irish Gabriel Dossen was better than Lewis Richardson from England in their final bout and picked up a gold medal for Ireland.
“If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t be able to win any big championships. I not only dreamed about the gold medal but worked hard for it all the previous years. My opponent was strong, a top one. But I did my best today,” said Dossen.
European Games bronze medallist Nelvie Tiafack from Germany has 6 years of international experience in the super heavyweight (+92kg), and he started the final bout against Spanish Ayoub Ghadfa Drissi El-Aissaoui with strong hooks. The Spanish boxer moved more and responded with quick counter-attacks in the second part of the first round. Tiafack increased the tempo in the second round and as a result the Swedish referee had to count twice in this round. The Spanish ringside abandoned the bout after two rounds, leaving the German the winner.
Gold medallists at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships 2022:
- 48 kg: Sakhil Alakhverdovi, Georgia
- 51 kg: Martin Molina, Spain
- 54 kg: Billal Bennama, France
- 57 kg: Vasile Usturoi, Belgium
- 60 kg: Artyush Gomtsyan, Georgia
- 63.5 kg: Hovhannes Bachkov, Armenia
- 67 kg: Vakhid Abbasov, Serbia
- 71 kg: Mohammed Harris Akbar, England
- 75 kg: Gabriel Dossen, Ireland
- 80 kg: Artjom Agejev, Serbia
- 86 kg: Georgiy Kushitashvili, Georgia
- 92 kg: Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine, Italy
- +92 kg: Nelvie Tiafack, Germany