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Hosts Turkey Tops Medals Table at Women’s World Championships

The 2022 edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships have concluded in Istanbul with hosts Turkey winning 5 out of the 12 weight categories. Ireland won 2 golds, while Canada, China Taipei, India, Lithuania and USA won one gold medal each.

The second day of finals on Friday saw Turkey pick up 4 gold medals to add to the one gold they won on Thursday.

Its first finalist on Friday was southpaw Busenaz Cakiroglu, who faced Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia in the light flyweight (50kg). Both boxers waited for the best angles and employed counter-attacking tactics. Valencia, the AMBC American Champion, is 35 years old, but she has the same speed as Cakiroglu. The Turkish boxer had the local support and she looked more confident in the second round. Her strong technical skills and patience won Cakiroglu her first world title.

“This is my career highlight to win a gold medal at this Championships in my homeland. Fantastic atmosphere and amazing spectators,” said Cakiroglu after the final.

Romania’s Lacramioara Perijoc faced Turkey’s Hatice Akbas in the bantamweight (54kg). The EUBC European U22 Champion from Turkey had better technical skills and her counter-punches stopped Perijoc’s attacks in the first round. The 29-year-old Romanian switched to a different rhythm at the beginning of the second round and maintained the fighting distance better. Nevertheless, 21-year-old Akbas managed to keep the aggressive Romanian at a distance through the rounds to secure the title in Istanbul.

“I was looking forward to my final and it is hard to believe that I made it in Istanbul. My coaches built the best tactics, I am so grateful for their work,” said Akbas after winning her second title this year.

Brazil sent only four boxers to the Women’s World Championships, but two of them advanced to the semi-finals. Beatriz Ferreira, the defending world champion in the lightweight (60kg), faced United States’ Rashida Ellis in a unique re-match, their fifth meeting since 2019. The Brazilian and the US boxers both have similar heights and fighting styles, but Ferreira looked more active in the first round, launching several hooks and body shots. The American boxer tried to keep Ferreira on long, using a counter-attacking style from the second round which paid off. Ellis was able to keep the same rhythm in the third round to win the title.

“I learnt a lot from the previous contests against Ferreira and we prepared something different this time. My coach still changed some elements in our tactics in the beginning of the second round. I have been involved in boxing for fifteen years and I was working hard for this moment my whole life. I am planning a celebration upon arrival back to my family,” said Ellis.

Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli had a clear mission at the Women’s World Championships, to win her second title in the welterweight (66kg) after the 2019 Ulan-Ude edition. She faced a younger opponent in the final, Canada’s Charlie Cavanagh, who had won gold at the 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. The Canadian has strong technical skills, but Surmeneli landed some punches before the end of the first round and proved stronger in all three rounds. That difference was decisive in the final, with the Turkish boxer earning her second world title.

Canada made up for the loss in this weight category by winning gold in the middleweight (75kg). Canada’s Tammara Thibeault and Panama’s Atheyna Bylon had a fantastic final at the AMBC American Elite Boxing Championships in Guayaquil less than two months ago, and the two tall boxers met in a re-match for the title in Istanbul. 26-year-old Thibeault had a small injury a few months ago, but she was fit to fight. She was patient and landed her jabs with perfect timing to win against the Panamanian.

“I have a fantastic team, my coach, the whole staff worked hard to achieve this title after my bronze in 2019. I had five months of direct preparation for these Championships but this gold medal is a result of the work of the last 15 years. Canada did not have a World Champion since 2010, so this is something very exciting. I will have ten days of rest after this busy event and we will continue our training sessions to be in strong shape at the Commonwealth Games,” said Thibeault.

In the heavyweight (+81kg) final, Morocco’s Khadija Mardi faced another veteran boxer, Turkey’s Sennur Demir, who had won silver and bronze medals in earlier editions of the Women’s World Championships. The experienced Moroccan was slightly better in the first round, when both boxers tried to maintain the best range. Demir had a knee injury, but she started the second round with multiple punches and knocked down her Moroccan rival, a turning point in the final. Mardi came back strong in the last round and Demir looked tired, but the Turkish boxer managed to clinch their tight final in front of her cheering fans.

Gold medallists at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 2022:

48kg: Ayse Cagirir, Turkey

50kg: Busenaz Cakiroglu, Turkey

52kg: Nikhat Zareen, India

54kg: Hatice Akbas, Turkey

57kg: Lin Yu-Ting, Chinese Taipei

60kg: Rashida Ellis, U.S.A.

63kg: Amy Broadhurst, Ireland

66kg: Busenaz Surmeneli, Turkey

70kg: Lisa O’Rourke, Ireland

75kg: Tammara Thibeault, Canada

81kg: Gabriele Stonkute, Lithuania

+81kg: Sennur Demir, Turkey

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