Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament
The annual Ahmet Comert Tournament was held for the youth boxers in Turkey's capital, Istanbul where the host nation secured five out of the ten possible gold medals in the front of a home crowd.
In the Light Flyweight (46-49kg) class Uzbekistan's Pavlyukov Youth Tournament winner Muradzhon Akhmadaliyev eliminated Bulgaria's tough National U21 Champion Tinko Banabakov in the semi-final but was later defeated by Turkey's AIBA Junior World Championships competitor 17-year-old Muhammed Unlu by a narrow 13:10 margin.
Turkey's European Junior Championships quarter-finalist, 17-year-old Cengiz Onat, was a reserve athlete at the AIBA European Olympic Qualifiers in Trabzon and he is close to breaking into the host nation's elite squad. His final opponent in the Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament was Azerbaijan's experienced Tural Ahmadov but he was able to win their spectacular bout by 13:11 while Golden Gloves of Vojvodina Youth Tournament winner 17-year-old Ilian Iliev of Bulgaria failed to win a medal in Istanbul.
Turkey's Hakan Dogan pulled off an upset against Uzbekistan's Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament winner Jahongir Davydov in the semi-final but he faced another strong opponent in the gold medal contest, Russia's European Youth Championships silver medallist Gabil Mamedov who went up two weight classes this year. Mamedov dominated their Bantamweight (56kg) final and won the bout by 19:15 giving Russian its only gold medal of the Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament while Slovakia's brightest youth prospect, Bocskai Memorial Tournament silver medallist Michal Zatorsky could not secure any medal in Istanbul.
Turkey's Yasin Yilmaz eliminated Uzbekistan's current AIBA Junior World Champion Aliyor Noraliyev, Azerbaijan's Elvin Ahmadli and unexpectedly triumphed over Greece's top boxer Alexandros Tsanikidis who was bronze medallist at the Strandja Memorial Tournament among the elite boxers.
Azerbaijan's current European Youth Champion Parviz Bagirov eliminated his main rival, Russia's Zaur Abdullayev in the first preliminary round and went on to defeat all his other rivals. In the final of the light welterweight class the 18-year-old Azeri boxer beat Uzbekistan's Anvar Turapov by 15:8. Bagirov had great victories in the elite level as well and will be travelling to the upcoming AIBA Youth World Championships as a favourite for the gold medal.
An all-Turkish final was held in the Welterweight (69kg) class where Osman Aydin triumphed over his main local rival, European Youth Championships bronze medallist Ihsan Erdogan who has been a member of the national squad in various age groups since 2009. Welshmen Aled Cooke secured the bronze medal and performed well in the Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament.
Azerbaijan's 17-year-old Orhan Mayilli eliminated his top rival, Uzbekistan's former Ahmet Comert Junior Champion Akmalbek Kosimov in the quarter-final but he could not win the Ahmet Comert Youth Tournament. He was beaten by Slovakia's new surprise Jozef Sirotek in the final. The strong Slovakian middleweight boxer has only had limited experience at international level but still managed to eliminate Hungary's Bence Nagy and Russia's Lendruzh Akopyan.
Azerbaijan's defending European Youth Champion 18-year-old Rauf Rahimov was too strong for Hungary's European Junior Champion Adam Hamori in the Light Heavyweight (81kg) semi-final and following that victory he defeated Turkey's Cem Kilic to take gold. Algeria's African Cup of Nations winner Hicham Kalaouar had a great victory over Russia's Vadim Parvenov and returned to North Africa with a valuable bronze medal.
Turkey's Furkan Yilmaz defeated Greece's powerful Fotis Arapoglou in the semi-final of the Heavyweight (91kg) class and after the close victory he earned the host nation its fifth gold medal beating his compatriot, Ahmet Comert Junior Tournament bronze medallist Haydar Yanardag, in the final.
Uzbekistan's Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament winner, 18-year-old Ulugbek Mubinov, eliminated Russia's Sergey Zhmura in the semi-final by a narrow 10:9 which inspired him to against another Russian boxer, former European Schoolboys Champion Khodzhiakbar Mamakov, in the final of the Super Heavyweight (91+kg) class.
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