The boxing tournament at the III European Games in Krakow and Malopolska moves ahead at full speed. Today, June 26, is an action-packed day-4 with 48 bouts to be contested on two rings between the afternoon and evening sessions.
It’s the Round of 16 for the Women’s 54kg, 60kg, and 66kg, and the Men’s 51kg, 80kg, and 92kg categories. Today’s matches will determine who’s moving on to the quarterfinals, and thus getting closer to the 44 Olympic Quota Places to be awarded here. This tournament serves as a Boxing Road to Paris qualification event, with direct, nominal qualification slots for Paris 2024 at stake.
In the afternoon session, 24 bouts took place, with some of the best amateur boxers stepping into the ring.
Two Olympic champions made their way to the quarterfinals in the Women’s 60kg event. On Ring A, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion Kellie Harrington (IRL) outscored Armenia’s Elida Kocharyan by 5-0. At the same time, on Ring B, Estelle Mossely from France met Chelsey Laurent Heijnen (NED). After a tight round 1, Rio 2016 champion Mossely gained an edge in round 2 to eventually dominate round 3 and secure a unanimous decision victory. On June 28, Harrington will face Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson who overcame Sandra Kruk of Poland with a sharp 5-0 unanimous decision after leading all three rounds. Mossely, on her side, will meet Kosovo’s Donjeta Sadiku who clinched a split-decision win over Anna Julia Jenni (SUI).
In the Women’s 54kg category, Charley-Sian Ta Davison (GBR), boxing in red, won her very first bout in the tournament as she defeated Maria Del Carme Romero Molina from Spain with a unanimous decision. In the quarterfinal to be held on June 28, she will meet Sweden’s Zehra Milli who won her match against Mayssen Lambot (BEL) by unanimous decision today.
In the same weight category, Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova and Ukraine’s Anastasiia Kovalchuk stepped into the ring at Nowy Targ Arena for the first time today, as they had both passed through the Round of 32 without boxing. Petrova advanced via a “bye,” while Kovalchuk took advantage of a walkover. Full of fresh energy, the two boxers staged an intense and powerful bout, which saw Kovalchuk coming out on top with a split decision score of 4-1. In a couple of days, she will meet Jennifer Lehane (IRL) in the quarterfinal. The Irish boxer gained a hard-fought win by unanimous decision today as she beat Greece’s Antonia Filippa Giannakopoulou.
In the Women’s 66kg category, France’s Emilie Sonvico won the bout against Sona Harutyunyan (ARM) as the referee stopped the contest amid round 2. On June 28, she will face Belgium’s Oshin Derieuw who outscored Shahla Allahverdiyeva (AZE) 5-1 points today. In the same weight class, Hungary’s Luca Hamori secured a 5-0 win against Madeleine Elisa Angelsen (NOR), collecting her second victory by unanimous decision in this tournament, which propels her into the quarterfinal phase. Up next, she will go against Luna Amaro Beeloo (NED) who won a hard-fought match against Ukraine’s Mariia Bova (UKR) with a split decision (4-1) today.
In the Men’s 51kg category, the home crowd at the Nowy Targ Arena burst with excitement as Poland’s Jakub Slominski stepped into the ring to face Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov. The Polish athlete boxed consistently across the three rounds, gaining a razor-thin edge over his competitor blow after blow, to eventually secure a split decision with a 3-2 score. He will meet one of the strongest competitors in the category in the quarterfinals in two days. Indeed, the 2022 European Champion Billal Bennama (FRA) who moved on in the brackets as he won his Round of 16 match against Bashkim Bajoku (KOS) by unanimous decision. In the meantime, on Ring A, Kiaran Bradley Macdonald (GBR) claimed a unanimous decision win over Salah Ibrahim Omar (GER), advancing to the Men’s 51kg quarterfinal where he will face Serbia’s Omer Ametovic who today beat Leon Vranjes (BIH) as the referee stopped the bout at the beginning of the second round.
Today is the third consecutive day that a Salvatore Cavallaro goes into the ring here in Nowy Targ. Two Italian cousins who share both their name and surname are competing in the tournament in the 71kg and 80kg Men’s event. Today, it was the 80kg Cavallaro’s turn to get through the ropes as he competed against Spain’s Gazimagomed Sch Jalidov Gafurova. The Italian boxer initially suffered the longer reach of his opponent, just to eventually clinch a split decision victory (4-1) through a powerful last round. Cavallaro will be up against Kraus Gradus (NED) in the quarterfinals on June 28. No worries, though: every day is a Cavallaro day here in Nowy Targ, and tomorrow it will be his cousin’s turn in the spotlight at the 71kg event.
In the same Men’s 80kg division, but boxing on Ring B, it was Ireland’s Kelyn Cassidy who secured a unanimous decision victory against Great Britain’s Taylor Jay Bevan after a high-energy bout that kept the spectators breathless from the first to the last second. The Irish boxer won the first round, while the British turned the second in his favor, leaving the decision to the third. There, Cassidy gave his best, putting up a show of dominance that convinced the judges to award him the victory. In two days’ time, the skilled up-and-coming boxer will have to face Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist and reigning European Games champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak from Ukraine, who beat Michail Tsamalidis (GRE) to advance in the tournament.
Moving on to the Men’s 92kg category, the 2022 European Championship silver medalist Enmanuel Reyes Pla (ESP) outscored Armenia’s Narek Manasyan, securing a unanimous decision win to move on to the quarterfinals where he will meet Germany’s Alexander Chris Okafor (who defeated Slovakia’s David Michalek in the Round of 16). In the same class, Marko Calic (CRO) won with a unanimous decision against Simonas Urbonavicius (LTU) and is set to face Jack Marley (IRL) in the quarterfinals as the Irish boxer claimed a narrow victory (4-1) on points against Greece’s Vagkan Nanitzanian today.
The Boxing Tournament at the European Games continues this evening when 24 more bouts will take place, starting at 18:00.
You can check the official results and the drawsheets on the European Games official website at: https://results.european-games.org/EG2023/ENG/reports/BOX/all-event/
You can also check our photo galleries at https://boxing.athlete365.org/boxing-road-to-paris-2024/europ-photo-galleries/ and catch the rewind of all matches on the European Games TV at https://europeangames.tv/sports/boxing.