Cammarelle crowns perfect day for Italy


Italy's Roberto Cammarelle celebrates after beating Roman 
Kapitonenko of Ukraine to lift the world super-heavyweight crown

World and Olympic champion Roberto Cammarelle rounded off a perfect day for the hosts Italy at the end of the XV AIBA World Championships in Milan. The super-heavyweight beat Ukraine's Roman Kapitonenko 10-5 to send the home crowd into ecstasy after they had earlier seen another Italian, Domenico Valentino, win the lightweight title.

The Mediolanum Forum was rocking when Cammarelle started his final against Kapitonenko. The super-heavyweight final was close in the first round, 3-3, but the Italian steamrollered his opponent thereafter with Kapitonenko receiving two standing eight counts. Cammarelle also picked up the award for Best Boxer of the tournament, voted by the media.

Olympic and European champion Vasyl Lomachenko completed his medal collection by winning the featherweight gold medal. By the tender age of 21 the Ukrainian has become the holder of all three major amateur titles available to him. Today's final was just as easy as his previous four bouts here in Milan, beating Sergey Vodopyanov of Russia 12-1. "I did what I had to do," said Lomachenko, whose combined score in Milan is 63-7.

After a first round tied at 3-3, home favourite Valentino switched into top gear and, with the Milan crowd's frantic support, cruised to the first World Championship gold medal of his career with a 9-4 victory over José Pedraza of Puerto Rico. The 25-year-old lightweight's progress is gradual: he was third in Mianyang (2005), second in Chicago (2007) and now first.

In the day's first final 2008 Olympic silver medallist Serdamba Purevdorj won Mongolia's first-ever World Championship gold medal after a close match against 2006 European champion David Ayrapetyan, an Armenian-born boxer competing for Russia.

After the first round the two were tied at 3-3, then the slightly taller Asian took a three-point lead in the second and went on to win the clash of the two southpaws, 10-5. "It was all in my hands until the second round," said the defeated Ayrapetyan, "but he changed his tactics in the third round and that confused me and took a while for me to concentrate. So you saw the result."

At flyweight (51kg) the more accurate 23-year-old McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico dominated the first round, winning 3-1 against the surprise finalist from Mongolia, Tugstsogt Nyambayar. Arroyo, a Pan-American and Central American champion, increased his lead in the second period to 10-2, then cruised to victory 18-2 and the first gold medal for his country in amateur boxing since 1974 when the legendary Wilfredo Gómez became world champion at 54kg.

The European silver medallist at 54kg, Detelin Dalakliev of Bulgaria, a defensive specialist, kept dancing and waiting for a chink in the armour of 24-year-old Russian Eduard Abzalimov. The Russian, former junior world champion and World Cup winner, could not find the key to the Bulgarian's style and although Abzalimov came back strongly in the final round it was too little, too late and Dalakliev won thr gold medal for Bulgaria, 5-3.

Roniel Iglesias of Cuba justified the light-welterweight seedings by overcoming 17-year-old Frankie Gomez of the USA. The first seed connected with several good headshots in the second round after a tied first period. The youngest finalist of the Milan event was no match for the World Cup winner and Olympic bronze medallist, who won 8-2. 

"I felt very good about the gold medal and it has always been a goal to win a world championship," said Iglesias. "I'm very happy! I  have prepared myself very well for this competition and I felt great during the final."
Jack Culcay-Keth of Germany upset Andrey Zamkovoy of Russia, the runaway favourite for the welterweight (69kg) title. The shorter German was tactically superior to Zamkovoy, who had beaten Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan in the semi-final. Culcay-Keth was a surprise silver medallist at last year's European Championship in Liverpool and now, with a 7-4 victory, he is a world champion.

"He was a very strong opponent," said Culcay-Keith. "I've studied him a few times but what can I say? I did it! I'm extremely happy about winning the world title. I can't describe it now and it will probably take some time to sink in and I still won't believe it tomorrow. I had some very strong opponents but came through in the end. Now it's time to look ahead to the 2012 Olympics. I'm in the German army and will stay there because it will help me to prepare for the road to London."

Abbos Atoev, the highly favoured Uzbekistani world champion from two years ago in Chicago at light-heavyweight, gave no chance to his Armenian opponent Andranik Hakobyan in the middleweight final. Hakobyan was not an outsider by any means, having won the World Cup last December in Moscow but by the end of the second round the shorter, more powerfully built Atoev was ahead 8-0, eventually running out a 9-0 winner. 

In a thrilling light-heavyweight final Artur Beterbiev, the 2006 European champion, outlasted Asian champion Elshod Rasulov of Uzbekistan. Rasulov was ahead most of the time, avoiding head to head exchanges, but connecting on quick jabs and hooks. However, the physically stronger Russian caught him twice, once in the second and once in the third round with devastating blows to the head. Rasulov was saved by the mandatory eight count but Beterbiev finally won 13-10, to the huge delight of the crowd.

After four lost finals Beterbiev's success was a welcome one for the Russians, and heavyweight Egor Mekhontsev was out to repeat the feat against top seed Osmai Acosta of Cuba. Mekhontsev's pedigree - a spectacular win in the semi-finals against Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine - promised a second Russian gold medal and the big heavyweight did not disappoint, beating Acosta by a decisive margin, 12-2.