Over 300 boxers from 73 countries are in Istanbul to take part in the Women’s World Boxing Championships, with the first day of competition beginning on Monday.
Boxers born between 1981 and 2002 are eligible to participate in the biennial competition organised by the International Boxing Association (IBA). This year’s competition will feature an expanded 12 weight categories.
Turkey last hosted the event in 2002 in Antalya, and has returned after a gap of two decades. Local favourite Busenaz Surmeneli won gold in 2019 as well as Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games last year. Moving down to the new welterweight category (66kg), she is a gold medal hope for Turkey.
Two other 2019 winners have an opportunity to defend their titles: Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira (60kg) and Chinese Taipei’s Huang Hsiao-Wen (54kg).
Several countries are making their debut at the Women’s World Boxing Championships 2022, such as Cape Verde, Chile, Haiti, Kosovo, Kuwait, Paraguay, Sierra Leone and Tonga.
The competition will open Monday with 14 preliminary contests in the evening session. These will be held in the bantamweight (54kg), featherweight (57kg), light welterweight (63kg), and light middleweight (70kg).
One of the most anticipated bouts on Monday is between Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu Ting, who won the featherweight (57kg) title in New Delhi in 2018, and France’s Sthelyne Grosy, who won a silver medal at the Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce in 2021.
Another favourite of the featherweight (57kg), the Vice-Chairwoman of the IBA Athletes Committee, Italy’s Irma Testa will start her campaign on Monday against Mali’s Fatoumata Marine Camara.
Former world champion in bantamweight (54kg), Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova moved back to this category and arrived in Istanbul with a perfect record this year. She will fight USA’s Shera Mae Patricio in her first bout.
The last contest in Monday will be a re-match between Chinese Taipei’s 2018 champion Chen Nien Chin and India’s Lovlina Borgohain in the light middleweight (70kg). The Indian won their last meeting, so their fight promises a riveting contest for boxing fans.
Following the successful introduction of a Fair Chance team at the Men’s World Boxing Championships 2021, IBA has included a Fair Chance team in Istanbul. This allows boxers who have been displaced, or who are otherwise unable to compete for their national federations, to take part.