ALMATY – Kazakhstan’s team came away from the 17th International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) World Boxing Championships in Almaty on Oct. 14-26 with good results overall, despite a few surprises.
The Kazakhstan team leader, Daniyar Yeleyssinov, who won a gold medal, was recognised as the best boxer in the championship, fulfilling the great expectations of his team, coach and fans.
The first gold was won by light flyweight Birzhan Zhakypov (49 kg.), who fought Mohamed Flissi from Algeria in the final. The fight was a major victory for the 29-year-old boxer, who plans to compete until the Asian Games of 2014 and then finish his career.
Kazakhstan champion light welterweight Merey Akshalov (64 kg.) also collected a gold medal. Having experience fighting for Astana Arlans in the World Series of Boxing, Akshalov was one of the most confident boxers in the arena.
Middleweight (75 kg.) Zhanibek Alimkhanuly’s victory was the most unexpected and his fight against Jason Quigley of Ireland the most significant boxing showdown of the championships. Alimkhanuly’s hard punches brought him a solid victory.
Light heavyweight Adilbek Niyazymbetov (81 kg.) and super heavyweight Ivan Dychko (91 kg. and up) finished second. Their silver medals disappointed boxing fans, but Kazakhstan team coach Myrzagaly Aitzhanov called the results fair, as both boxers were exhausted during their last rounds. Niyazymbetov has not earned a gold medal since the World Championship in Baku in 2011.
Bronze medals for Berik Abdrakhmanov and Kairat Yeraliyev were a pleasant surprise and a boost for the whole team. Both boxers are very early in their careers.
The host nation dominated the AIBA World Championships with eight medals, including four golds. Cuba came next with two golds and a total of five medals, and Azerbaijan was third with two golds and three medals overall.
The championship was attended by well-known professional boxers Vitaliy and Vladimir Klichko, Russian sportsman Alexandr Povetkin and other guests. Povetkin and the Klichkos also took part in the awards ceremony.