BOXING: Ex-USSR countries win seven of eight titles at AIBA World Championships

The only repeat champion from 2017 was Andy Cruz (CUB) at 63 kg. (Photo: AIBA)

The 2019 AIBA World Championships had an unusual feel to it, with the federation on suspension and the results having no impact on qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. But the Russians felt right at home in Yekaterinburg, as did fighters from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan who combined for seven of the eight winners in the Worlds which concluded on Saturday.

Russian fighters won at 69 kg (Andrei Zamkovoi), 75 kg (Gleb Bakshi) and 91 kg (Muslim Gadzhimegomedov), all first-time World Champions. Uzbekistan also had three winners, with Shakhobidin Zoirov taking the 52 kg title, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov winning at 57 kg and Bakhodir Jalolov winning at +91 kg, also all first-time winners, although Zoirov won the Rio Olympic tournament in 2016 in the same class.

Mirzakhailov defeated Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez in the final – 3:2 – denying Alvarez a fourth world title; he now owns five Worlds medals from 2011-19.

But it was Kazakhstan that led the medal table with six (1-1-4), but with only one gold medalist: Bakzad Nurdauletov at 81 kg. But he scored the win of the tournament with his semifinal victory over four-time World Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz of Cuba in the semifinals, winning on four of the five judges’ cards. La Cruz won a bronze medal for his fifth career Worlds podium.

The Cubans, heavily favored coming into the tournament, won only three medals, with the one victory for Andy Cruz at 63 kg. He won his second consecutive title; he won at at 64 kg in 2017, and was the only repeat winner from Hamburg.

The U.S. won one medal, from Keyshawn Davis at 63 kg, who lost to Cruz in the final. That’s down from the 2017 total of three medals, but better than 2015, when the U.S. was shut out. Just as dismal for the U.S. was that only one other fighter made it to the quarterfinal: Richard Torrez in the +91 kg division and he was knocked-out in his quarterfinal by eventual winner Jalolov.

Because AIBA is on suspension, no one qualified from these Worlds to Tokyo for 2020; qualifying will be done in a series of regional tournaments next year. Summaries:

AIBA Men’s World Championships
Yekaterinburg (RUS) ~ 7-21 September 2019
(Full results here)

52 kg: 1. Shakhobidin Zoirov (UZB); 2. Amit Panghal (IND); 3. Saken Bibossinov (KAZ) and Billal Bennama (FRA). Final: Zoirov d. Amit, 5:0.

57 kg: 1. Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (UZB); 2. Lazaro Alvarez (CUB); 3. Tsendbaatar Erdenebat (MGL) and Peter McGrail (ENG). Final: Mirzakhailov d. Alvarez, 3:2.

63 kg: 1. Andy Cruz (CUB); 2. Keyshawn Davis (USA); 3. Manish Kaushik (IND) and Hovhannes Backhov (ARM). Final: Cruz d. Davis, 5:0.

69 kg: 1. Andrei Zamkovoi (RUS); 2. Pat McCormack (ENG); 3. Ablaikhan Zhussupov (KAZ) and Bobo-Usmon Baturov (UZB). Final: Zamkovoi d. McCormack, 4:0.

75 kg: 1. Gleb Bakshi (RUS); 2. Eumir Marcial (PHI); 3. Herbert Sousa (BRA) and Tursynbay Kulakhmet (KAZ). Final: Bakshi d. Marcial, 5:0.

81 kg: 1. Bekzad Nurdauletov (KAZ); 2. Dilshodbek Ruzmetov (UZB); 3. Julio La Cruz (CUB) and Benjamin Whittaker (ENG). Final: Nurdauletov d. Ruzmetov, 5:0.

91 kg: 1. Muslim Gadzhimagomedov (RUS); 2. Julio Castillo (ECU); 3. Radoslav Pantaleev (BUL) and Vassiliy Levit (KAZ). Final: Gadzhimagomedov d. Castillo, 5:0.

+91 kg: 1. Bakhodir Jalolov (UZB); 2. Kamshybek Kunkabayev (KAZ); 3. Maksim Babanin (RUS) and Justis Huni (AUS). Final: Jalolov d. Kunkabayev, 5:0.