Lausanne, Switzerland – Top athletes from across Morocco, Africa and the globe will step into the ring at the International Boxing Association World Boxing Tour Golden Belt Series tournament in Marrakesh from 2-10 February 2023.
The event will shine a global spotlight on boxing in Morocco like never before, with a strong contingent of the nation’s athletes going toe-to-toe with the likes of Cuba’s five-time world champion Julio La Cruz and Chinese Taipei’s two-time world champion Lin Yu-Ting.
In the men’s competition, Mohamed Hamout, a gold medal-winner at the 2015 African Championships and 2022 Mediterranean Games, will represent the host nation in the lightweight division. In the women’s competition, Moroccan heavyweight Khadija Mardi will seek to build on her inspirational journey, which led last year to a silver at the IBA World Championships and a gold at the AFBC African Championships.
Amongst an international field of hundreds of athletes from dozens of countries, African boxing will be well represented, with top male competitors such as Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi, DR Congo’s Kabeji Peter Pita, Zambia’s Patrick Chinyemba and Egypt’s Uosry Rezk Mostafa. Algeria’s Imane Khelif and Mozambique duo Alcinda Helena Panguana and Rady Adosinda Gramane are among the big names going for gold in the women’s competition.
The first-ever Golden Belt Series event in Africa will take place at the 2,500-seat M’Hamid venue on Avenue Annakhil in Marrakesh, with bouts taking place across a total of 25 weight categories – 13 in the men’s competition, and 12 in the women’s competition.
“In recent weeks, excitement has been building for this event in Marrakesh, where new stars will emerge alongside the big-name competitors who will be battling for a place on top of the podium,” IBA’s Secretary General and CEO, George Yerolimpos, says.
“The time has now come for the action to begin. With passionate local support set to boost the atmosphere, boxing fans and participants will be in for a real treat as some of the sport’s very best athletes demonstrate their skills at the heart of Morocco.”
Marrakesh is hosting the third event on the World Boxing Tour, the IBA’s groundbreaking new competition series, after successful Silver and Golden Belt Series tournaments in Slovenia and Mexico, respectively, last year.
The World Boxing Tour comprises a series of events that are classified into three categories: Golden Belt, Silver Belt and Bronze Belt tournaments, which contribute to a new IBA ranking system that will help to define the most successful boxers at the end of the year. The top four athletes in each weight category will fight to be named the best of the best at the annual Diamond Belt Series event.
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