By Alexey Sukachev
The 17th world amateur boxing championship kicks-off in one of its hotbeds Alma-Aty, a former capital of Kazakhstan, one of the dominant nations at unpaid ranks nowadays. The end of the tournament is pre-planned for Oct. 26.
Up to the date, Cuba leads the amateur scene with 116 medals total, including 65 gold, 28 silver and 23 bronze medals. Russia is being placed second with 20+17+18 = 55 medals, while the United States is the third, racking up 16+9+16 = 41 medals. The defunct state of the USSR is still being ranked fourth (15+12+17 = 44 medals), following by Bulgaria (8+8+18 = 34) and Romania (7+5+17 = 29), and then by the new states of Kazakhstan (6+6+12 = 24) and Ukraine (5+12+8 = 25). Interestingly, by summing up the former Soviet Republics ledgers with that of the original empire, one will get 55+55+90 = 200 medals, by far more than Cuba in total but less by ten in terms of gold.
Team Ukraine was a dominant force over the last couple of years, getting 5 gold medals during 2011 WC championship in Baku and 2 more in London in 2012. However, this time Ukrainian national team is an enigma, following a recent departure of almost all of its previous stars, including Olympic gold medalists Vasyl Lomachenko and Olexander Usyk, as well as other notables such as Taras Shelestyuk, Denis Berinchyk, Olexander Gvozdyk and Evgueny Khytrov. The current roster consists of little-known fighters, except for its capitan Dmytro Mitrofanov. The full roster is as follows:
108 lbs Vadim Kudriakov;
114 lbs Olexander Shepelyuk;
123 lbs Mykola Butsenko;
132 lbs Dmytro Chernyak;
141 lbs Vyacheslav Kislitsyn;
152 lbs Denis Lazarev;
165 lbs Dmytro Mitrofanov (c);
181 lbs Olexander Ganzulya;
201 lbs Arsen Azizov;
201+ lbs Yegor Plevako.
Team Russia will also present some new names alongside proven stars. Several notables were left off the board, including 2007 world champion Sergey Vodopianov, young light heavyweight talent Dmitry Bivol and ex-European super heavyweight champion Sergey Kuzmin. Making the team are:
108 lbs Balik Galanov (24 years);
114 lbs Misha Aloyan (25);
123 lbs Vladimir Nikitin (23);
132 lbs Dmitry Polyanskiy (24);
141 lbs Armen Zakarian (24);
152 lbs Alexander Besputin (22);
165 lbs Artiom Chebotarev (24);
181 lbs Nikita Ivanov (27);
201 lbs Evgueny Tischenko (22);
201+ lbs Magomed Omarov (24).
Team USA will also put forward ten representatives, led by super heavyweight Cam F. Awesome:
108 lbs Leroy Davila (25, 2012 NGG champion);
114 lbs Malik Johnson (19, 2013 US champion);
123 lbs Eduardo Martinez (21, 2013 US champion);
132 lbs Kenneth Sims Jr. (19);
141 lbs Jose Alday (18);
152 lbs Jamontay Clark (18, 2013 US champion);
165 lbs LeShawn Rodriguez (20, 2013 US champion);
181 lbs Geremias Torres (24, 2013 US champion);
201 lbs Michael Hilton (27, 2013 US champion);
201+ lbs Cam F. Awesome (25, 3-time NGG and 3-time US champion).
Guided by Birzhan Zhakypov and Ivan Dychko Team Kazakhstan will be a force to be reckoned with at their backyard:
108 lbs Birzhan Zhakypov;
114 lbs Ilyas Suleymenov;
123 lbs Kayrat Yeraliev;
132 lbs Berik Abrahmanov;
141 lbs Merey Akshalov;
152 lbs Daniyar Yeleusinov;
165 lbs Zhanibek Alimkhanuly;
181 lbs Adilbek Niyazymbetov;
201 lbs Anton Pinchuk;
201+ lbs Ivan Dychko.
Team Cuba as always will be among favorites. Another team, who has a stealer roster, is Italy, led by grizzled veterans Vincenzo Piccardi (flyweight), Domenico Valentino (lightweight), Clementer Russo (heavyweight) and 2008 super heavyweight gold medalist Roberto Cammarelle.Tags: Amateur Boxing