The Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifying event, which will see 318 athletes from 43 countries competing for 77 Olympic quota places in 13 weight categories (eight men’s and five women’s events), kicked-off at the Copper Box Arena in East London.
Today, the outstanding 7,500-capacity venue located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, bequeathed by the Olympic Games London 2012, hosted the first 35 bouts of the boxing qualifier.
Women’s Light (57 – 60kg)
Great Britain’s talented teenager, Caroline DUBOIS – the current Youth Olympic Games champion – was first in the ring for her fight against Belarusian Ala STARADUB. All five judges awarded Dubois the victory, even though the 19-year-old admitted afterwards she was “okay, not [her] best” and “can be much better”.
Right after Dubois’ victory, Greek boxer Nikoleta PITA caused a surprise upset by claiming a 4:1 win over the experienced and successful Delfine PERSOON of Belgium. After the fight, Pita said: “I knew my opponent was a professional world champion, so I used the best workable tactic against her, which was based on my footwork. Amateur boxing is different from professional boxing, and I used speed to beat her. I prepared well for this Qualifier and trained hard to accomplish my dreams.”
Men’s Feather (52 – 57kg)
The 24-year-old Italian Francesco MAIETTA suffered a 3:2 split decision defeat against the Czech Republic’s Kevin GODLA, while the Hungarian Roland GALOS won his fight by the same margin against Bosnia’s Alen RAHIMIC.
There was a rapid victory today for Ukraine’s three-time European Championships silver medallist, Mykola BUTSENKO, who won his bout in just 2 minutes and 46 seconds, after a cut against his Danish opponent Frederik JENSEN, caused a stoppage in the first round and the win was given via RSC (Referee Stops the Contest).
Five more bouts were won by unanimous 5:0 decisions today: Arslan KHATAEV (FIN), Samuel KISTOHURRY (FRA), Edgaras SKURDELIS (LTU), Tayfur ALIYEV (AZE) and Artur BAZEYAN (ARM) all advanced to the next round.
Men’s Middle (69 – 75kg)
Azerbaijan’s Kamran SHAKHSUVARLY won plaudits with his 4:1 win over Austrian Edin AVDIC; and a 3:2 split decision handed victory to Moldovan Andrei VREME against Kosovo’s Besart PIREVA.
Women’s Fly (48 – 51kg)
In the evening session, the two-time World Championships silver medallist Stoyka Petrova KRASTEVA (BUL) returned to the ring after a one-year break to beat Aikaterini KOUTSOGEORGOPOULOU (GRE) – it was a familar feeling for the Greek athlete, who lost her quarter-final at last year’s European Games in Minsk to another Bulgarian, Gabriela Dimitrova.
It was comfortable 5:0 victory for the 19-year-old Italian, Giodrana SORRENTINO, who beat her German rival, Ursula GOTTLOB, to advance to the next stage.
Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg)
The last bout of the afternoon session and the 16th of the day, saw Danish boxer Morten GIVSKOV claim a 5:0 win against Romania’s Daniel BURCIU. The most eagerly-anticipated fight of the day was scheduled in the evening between the current Commonwealth Champion, Frazer CLARKE (GBR), and two-time Olympic silver medallist Clemente RUSSO (ITA). But the fans were left disappointed and concerned after the Italian withdrew with an abdominal problem, giving Clarke a walkover victory.
The European qualifying event on the Boxing Road to Tokyo will run until 24 March in London – the action will continue today (Sunday 15 March) with 50 more exciting preliminary bouts.
Tickets now available
Tickets for the Boxing Road to Tokyo in London are on sale online here (click to open link). Prices starts at GBP 5 (adults) and GBP 2.50 (concessions) for weekday sessions.
Follow the action live
Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Russian. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide for free at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.
News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated London qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner platform. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.