One of the most popular international tournaments on the calendar will begin its 33rd edition tomorrow in the Finnish city of Tampere, in the south of the country, with 107 boxers from 19 nations set to compete in this highly rated annual event. Since its inception in 1977, the Tammer Tournament has welcomed boxers from over seventy countries.
England are sending a strong eight-member team with their current National Elite Champion, 18-year-old Jack Bateson, one of the big medal hopefuls at Light Flyweight class (46-49kg). 19-year-old European Championships bronze medallist Charlie Edwards moved up to Flyweight (52kg) and will also look to impact on the medals in Finland. Tough man Qais Ashfaq and Welterweight (69kg) star Anthony Fowler both have titles to defend.
A whole new talented generation is breaking through in France with National Champion Georges Ory, European Championships quarter-finalist Elie Konki, Anthony Bret and Heavyweight (91kg) prospect and Belgrade Tournament winner Abdoulaye Diane, all looking to make their mark on the international stage.
Italy's 19-year-old AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist Fabio Turchi is one of the bright new breed coming out of the country with high hopes of world domination in the new Olympic era. Be sure to also keep an eye on Gianluca Rosciglione and Luca Podda who have been involved with their national squad since 2009 and are now ready to break out and make names for themselves.
Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist Kenneth Egan has not missed an edition of the Tammer Tournament since making his debut there in 2000 and he will be heading up a fascinating Irish team. Olympic Test Event silver medallist Conrad Cummings, veteran David Oliver Joyce and Cornelius Sheehan are all travelling to Tampere.
21-year-old Welsh titleholder Joseph Cordina was in top form last year and will be looking for a repeat of those performances that saw him claim gold. Compatriots, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Sean McGoldrick and Youth Olympian Zack Davies have got the pedigree to emulate Cordina this week.
Two-time European Championships bronze medallist Jozsef Darmos unfortunately failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games but has not given up and has knuckled down since that set-back and has upped his training regime. The Hungarian will be looking for results here. He is joined by teammate, 23-year-old European Championships bronze medallist Istvan Ungvari, who won the last edition at Light Flyweight but has since moved up a weight class.
India and Algeria are sending their youth squads to Tampere to use the tournament as active preparation for the upcoming AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships which will be held in Yerevan next month. Algeria's Hicham Kelaouar claimed gold at the African Cup of Nations in June so there is great medal expectations placed upon his shoulders.
From the Asian region, Kazakhstan has been one of the mainstays of the Tammer Tournament and even with the event clashing with their national team championships, they are sending some highly rated boxers to the tournament, including Batyrkhan Dzhukenbayev, who is gold medal contender at Light Welterweight (64kg).
The Tammer Tournament also has a women's draw with Finland's best boxer Mira Potkonen in with a good chance of winning the Olympic Lightweight (60kg) class but she will have to be weary of the threats posed by England's 21-year-old EU Championships silver medallist Chantelle Cameron and the experienced Italian Romina Marenda.
You can follow all the action on the tournament website or on their facebook page HERE
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