Mon, Jul 14, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Russia knocks out world in amateur boxing competition


Russia's squad garnered the most gold and silver in the finals of the weeklong World Amateur Boxing Championships Saturday at Bangkok's Nimibutr Gymnasium.

Also shining were Cuba's boxers, with three of the four who made it through to the finals grabbing top honors.

Two golds went to Kazakhstan's finalists.

Russia's Serguei Kazakov defeated China's Zou Shiming, 23-19, in the light flyweight category, but Zou made history by becoming his country's first boxer to advance so far in the world championships. He had upset defending champion Yan Barthelmy Varela of Cuba on Wednesday.

"The fight was difficult," said Zou after the bout.

"The boxer was young and a Westerner and his skill was like a professional's. But I was confident I would win because I trained very hard."

Two Thai boxers pushed through to the finals, but only flyweight Somjitr Jongjohor attained the gold, beating Jerome Thomas of France, 24-17.

"Everything I wanted from this event was fulfilled," Somjitr told reporters. "I was very confident I would win this time although I once lost to him in an match in Ireland."

In addition to besting China's Zou, the Russian juggernaut also saw light heavyweight Evgueni Makarenko defeat Magomed Azipgadzhiev of Belarus, 29-11, and super heavyweight Aleksandr Povetkin beat Cuba's Pedro Carrion Sago, 29-27.

Settling for silver among the Russians were bantamweight Gennadi Kovalev, who was defeated 17-8 by Aghasi Mamedov of Azerbaijan; light welterweight Alexandre Maletin, who lost to Willy Blain of France, 32-13; and heavyweight Alexandre Alexseev, who went down to Cuba's Odlanier Solis Fonte, 18-15.

Cuba's squad took several unexpected losses during the tournament, but in addition to Solis' victory, salvaged its pride with gold medal performances by lightweight Mario Kindelan Mesa, who beat Thailand's Pichai Sayotha, 45-27, and welterweight Lorenzo Aragon Armenteros, who defeated Sherzod Husanov of Uzbekistan, 17-9.

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