Semi-finalists revealed in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
The sixth competition day of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju, Korea saw the winners of the quarter-finals achieve at least a guaranteed bronze medal, with two London 2012 Olympic Champions advancing to the last four in the event, as Katie Taylor walked over to the semi-finals, while US teenager Claressa Shields defeated a tough Russian boxer on Day 6.
Bout of the day
China’s Yin Junhuao only began her boxing career in 2009, and she needed only three years to join the national squad shortly after the London 2012 Olympic Games.
She won the gold medal at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games, and the 24-year-old Lightweight class (60 kg) boxer has returned to Korea to win another medal in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Her third opponent in the event was Bulgaria’s EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships bronze medallist veteran Denitsa Eliseeva, who is one of the few boxers to have defeated Ireland’s Katie Taylor during her storied career.
The Chinese boxer displayed tremendous footwork in the contest, which gave her an amazing elusive ability, and Eliseeva’s punches reached mostly air in their contest.
Yin Junhua showcased a wide range of attributes throughout the four rounds, and she is a definite gold medal contender based on her performance here.
Team of the day
Two of Thailand’s great prospects Sopida Satumrum and AIBA Women’s World Championships bronze medallist Tassamalee Thongjan were eliminated in the preliminaries in Jeju, but two of their younger teammates have advanced to the semi-finals and achieved guaranteed medals in the event.
Their Light Flyweight class (48 kg) number one and Taipei City Cup winner Chuthamat Raksat won Thailand’s first bout on the sixth competition day in Jeju, and she had to be at her very best to beat Chinese Taipei’s new sensation Ping Meng Chieh, who eliminated the current AIBA Women’s World Champion Josie Gabuco of Philippines in the previous stage of the event.
Thailand’s second medal was delivered by Southeast Asian Games winner Sudaporn Seesondee, with the Light Welterweight class (64 kg) boxer reaching her career highlight following a narrow triumph over Czech Republic’s Martina Schmoranzova.
Surprises of the day
Bulgaria’s London 2012 Olympian Stoyka Petrova won the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships earlier this year where she defeated London 2012 Olympic Champion Nicola Adams of England, which gave the 29-year-old Flyweight class (51 kg) boxer a lot of confidence coming into Jeju.
Petrova had to face Italy’s AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Terry Gordini in the quarter-finals, and though the Bulgaria tried to control the bout, a spirited effort from the veteran Italian, and a warning given to Petrova saw a surprise win for Gordini in Korea.
South American Games silver medallist and Independence Cup winner Atheyna Bylon secured Panama’s first ever triumph in the history of the AIBA Women’s World Championships on Day 2, and after making it two wins, she had to meet with Turkey’s EUBC European Women’s Youth Continental Championships silver medallist Guluzar Kara for a guaranteed bronze medal.
Panama’s pride used her reach very well, and the confidence she had gained during the Championships was evident in her fluid fighting style, and stiff jabs.
A star has been born in Korea, with Bylon becoming a national hero in her native Panama, winning the first medal for her country in an AIBA competition.
India’s Saweety Boora won their National Women’s Championships one month ago, and the young Indian Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) boxer faced Croatia’s EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships Anamarija Marsic in the quarter-finals, who had previously eliminated one of the gold medal contenders Kazakhstan’s Yulduz Mamatkulova.
The Croatian boxer started the bout better, but Saweety Boora improved as the rounds went on, and her lethal punches delivered an unexpected medal for her in Jeju.
Ones to watch
Ireland’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Katie Taylor is looking for her fifth AIBA Women’s World Championship in a row, but was matched in Jeju with Russia’s former two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Sofya Ochigava whom she had previously faced in the final of many tournaments.
Taylor went into the quarter-finals with a 3-1 record over the Russian, but never got the chance to make it 4-1, as Ochigava was forced to pull out before the bout due to an injury.
Ireland’s hero will no doubt be frustrated by the situation, and will want to display her superior skills in her semi-final contest.
Azerbaijan’s Elena Vystropova claimed a silver medal at the last edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao at the Middleweight class (75 kg), and the 26-year-old boxer has since moved down to the Welterweight class (69 kg) where she won the gold medal at the EUBC European Women’s Continental Championships in Bucharest.
Following two triumphs in Jeju, she boxed for a guaranteed medal against AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Danyelle Wolf.
The US boxer tried to control their tactical bout, while Vystropova used counter-attacks to negate her tough opponent.
A cagey and technical affair saw defensive masterclasses from both fighters, and the narrow fight was eventually awarded to Vystropova by split decision.
Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn won this year’s continental championships in Bucharest, and arrived to Jeju as a secret favourite of the Middleweight class (75 kg).
The last remaining Dutch hope met with Morocco’s African Women’s Cup winner Khadija Mardi, who was herself the lone African boxer in the quarter-finals.
Fontijn dominated all of the rounds against her opponent and secured her well-deserved place in the semi-finals.
Stat/Fact of the day
All of the ten competing Russian athletes reached the quarter-finals in Jeju, and five of them managed to reach the semi-final stages.
Only Asian athletes advanced to the semi-finals of the Light Flyweight class (48 kg), which proved their dominance at the lowest category.
The following 21 nations have got at least one boxer left in the semi-finals:
Russia: 5 remaining boxers
China: 4 boxers
Italy, Turkey, United States of America: 3 boxers
Azerbaijan, England, France, India, Kazakhstan, Thailand: 2 boxers
Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Panama, Philippines, Ukraine: 1 boxer
Quotes of the day
“I am super satisfied with my performance on my third contest here in Jeju. My tactic was to keep the distance and I tried to follow the instruction of my coach. I am feeling great joy to get a medal for my proud country, Panama in a World Championships,” commented Atheyna Bylon who has written history in Jeju.
“I am fine in this prestigious competition, well-relaxed and I concentrate only on the next step in the Championships. I am satisfied with my result in advancing to the semi-finals. My opponent, the Chinese boxer was a very good in technique but I was able to beat her with my lot of movements and perfect timing in the attacks,” said Italy’s defending EUBC European Women’s Continental Champion Marzia Davide who eliminated China’s Gao Jinyan in the quarter-final of the Bantamweight class (54 kg).
“The Japanese team supported me well prior to my semi-final contest, therefore I was able to step into the ring in perfect shape. I am very happy, beating a Russian boxer is always a hard job for everybody in the world. That was only one step, and I want to win my next semi-final bout as well,” explained Japan’s 19-year-old Madoka Wada who defeated Russia’s Zoia Isaeva in the Light Flyweight class (48 kg) in Jeju which was her third triumph in the championships.
“To win a battle, first of all, you have to believe in yourself and secondly you do not have to undervalue your opponent. My today’s tactic was to control the fight from the first seconds,” said Bulgaria’s new hope Stanimira Petrova who advanced to the semi-final following her triumph over France’s Marina Rostan.