Today saw the semi-finals of the AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. The semi finals had Asian fighters across a number of divisions and whilst some of them successfully fought their way to the final others will be happy to have taken home a very well earned bronze medal.
At the lowest weight class, the 49KG division, we knew we'd have 2 finalists from Asia after all the 4 semi finalists were all from Asia. These semi finals saw Suleyman Latipov (Uzbekistan) overcome Rufat Huseynov (Azerbaijan) 3:0 to reach the final. Latipov will be facing Shalkar Aykynbay (Kazakhstan) in the final with the Kazakh having over-come Shyam Kumar Kakara (India) 2:1.
At 51KG the final will see the very recognisable name of Muhammad Ali (England) facing off against Shakur Stevenson (USA). Ali defeated Masud Yusifzade (Azerbaijan) by a score of 3:0 whilst Stevenson beat Lu Ping (China), also 3:0, giving Asia 2 Bronze medal winners but unfortunately no finalist's.
In the 56KG division final we will have Sultan Zaurbek (Kazakhstan) going for gold after he defeated Peter McGrail (England). Zaurbek's opponent in the final will be Javier Ibanez (Cuba) who defeated Dushko Blagovestov (Bulgaria) 2:1.
We had 3 of the 4 semi finalists at 60KG, unfortunately however only 1 of them managed to progress. The man who did make his way to the final was Abylaykhan Zhusupov (Kazakhstan) who defeated fellow Asian fighter Ikboljon Kholdarov (Uzbekistan) 3:0. Zhusupov will be facing Arsen Mustafa (Romania) who sadly scored an opening round stoppage over Go Hosaka (Japan).
At 64KG we had 2 semi finalists and thankfully one of those progressed to the final. The man who moved on was Bibert Tumenov (Russia) who defeated Vincenzo Arecchia (Italy) 3:0 whilst the one who missed out was Toshihiro Suzuki (Japan) who was beaten by Vicktor Petrov (Ukraine) 2:1.
In the 69KG division we managed to have one finalist as Bektemir Melikuziyev (Uzbekistan) managed to take a 3rd round injury victory over Juan Ramon Solano (Dominican Republic). Melikuziyez will be battling against Luka Prtenjaca (Croatia) in the final after the Croatian took a 3rd round TKO over Ilyas Odinayev (Belarus).
Prtenjaca isn't the only Croat in the finals as his compatriot Luka Plantic (Croatia) defeated Ramil Gadzhiev (Ukraine) 3:0 to book his place in the 75KG final. Plantic will be fighting Dmitriy Nesterov (Russia) who beat Kozimbek Mardonov (Uzbekistan) 2:1 to book his place in the final.
Vadim Kazakov (Kazakhstan) was the only Asian in the 81KG division semi finals and thankfully he's managed to defeat Vegar Tregren (Norway) to take his place in the final. Going for gold against Kazakov will be home country favourite Blagoy Naydenov (Bulgaria) who scored his semi final victory with a 3:0 win over Narek Manasyan (Armenia).
Unfortunately in the 91KG Heavyweight division we had to wave goodbye to Kim Jin-Nyong (South Korea) who lost 3:0 to Toni Filipi (Croatia) who became the third Croat to book a place in the final. Filipi will be battling against the very talented Yordan Hernandez (Cuba) who scored a 3:0 victory over Robert Marton (Ukraine).
In the Super Heavyweight division Darmani Rock (USA) booked his place in the final with a 2nd round TKO over Laszlo Komor (Hungary). Rock will be fighting Peter Kadiru (Germany) in the final after Kadiru took a 3rd round Disqualification victory over Marat Kerimkhanov (Russia)..
In other good news from the tournament Jthe very promising 17 year old Subaru Murata (Japan) defeated Joel Finol (Venezuela) 3:0 in the box-off to get himself a place at the 2014 Juniour Olympics. Many said that the Japanese fighter stole the show in the box-off section of the tournament with a busy and exciting style that was simply too much for Finol to cope with
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