India’s Naveen Boora made strong developments and reached the last four at the Strandja Memorial Tournament

The third competition day was held at the 72nd edition of the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria where several Asian stars are competing for the titles. India’s 21-year-old Naveen Boora won his next contest at the welterweight (69kg) on Day3 when the Uzbek stars including Bakhodir Jalolov also demonstrated his power.

Two sessions were in the schedule of the third competition day and half of the weight categories were in action. The new Strandja Memorial Tournament is the 72nd edition which made the event one of the most traditional competitions in the whole world. Following the general weigh-in, it is confirmed that 220 female and male boxers from 30 nations are attending in the Strandja Memorial Tournament.

Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, host Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Morocco, Moldova, Mali, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America and Uzbekistan are the participating nations in Sofia. Among the Asian countries, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan decided to send strong teams to the Strandja Memorial Tournament.

Uzbekistan’s experienced female boxer Raykhona Kodirova was quarter-finalist at the Asian & Oceanian Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event but she lost her Box-off in Amman. The 27-year-old boxer had a local rival, Aslahan Mehmedova who had good youth and U22 results in the recent three and half years. Kodirova had the stronger punches and knew more about boxing therefore she advanced to the quarter-finals of the women’s lightweight (60kg).

Kazakhstan’s 24-year-old Karina Ibragimova has done a remarkable year in 2018 when she won bronze medal at the New Delhi AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Since then she lost her place in the top national team at the lightweight (60kg) but she has the full focus to regain it in the next Olympic cycle. Ibragimova used her longer reach successfully against Tunisia’s experienced Meriem Homrani and the judges picked her as the clear winner of the preliminary contest.

India’s Naveen Boora claimed bronze medal at the Bangkok 2017 ASBC Asian Youth Boxing Championships and he impressed at the Big Bout Boxing League 14 months ago. The 21-year-old talent has been selected by the head coach Mr. Santiago Nieva to compete in the strongest level as the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Boora met with Brazil’s Edson Eravio in the quarter-finals of the welterweight (69kg) and he won two out of three rounds against his South American rival.

Uzbekistan’s Asian Games winner and ASBC Asian Champion Bobo-Usmon Baturov is the main favourite of the men’s welterweight (69kg) in Sofia and following his impressive performance during the preliminaries, he was fresh enough in the quarter-finals to dominate his next contest. The 26-year-old Uzbek, who qualified already for the Tokyo Olympic Games, eliminated Armenia’s Gurgen Madoyan in the third competition day. Uzbekistan’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medalist Dilshodbek Ruzmetov missed the quota place at the Asian & Oceanian Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event but he arrived to the Strandja Memorial Tournament in top shape. The 21-year-old Uzbek boxer, who trains with coach Farrukh Kilichev, was too strong for Bulgaria’s Kristian Nikolov and advanced to the semi-finals. His teammate, AIBA World Champion Bakhodir Jalolov used his longer reach to beat France’s European Games silver medallist Mourad Aliev at the super heavyweight (+91kg).

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