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Boxing: AIBA Women's Youth and Junior Championships Preview
by Michael O'Neill
September 23, 2013


(SEPT 23) Here on WBAN we have already brought you news of the United States and Irish challengers at the 2nd AIBA Women’s Youth and Junior Championships in Albena, Bulgaria but of course there are 31 countries represented in the Black Sea resort.

Remember that many of these young women will be among their countries big hopes for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio so who should we be watching out for apart from the Americans and Irish?

Here the AIBA’s own experts give their thoughts on this very important tournament:

“The second edition of the AIBA Women's Youth & Junior World Championships kicked off today in Black Sea coastal town of Albena, in Bulgaria. According to the final entry list a record number of 160 female junior boxers from 31 nations registered to take part in the Junior World Championships. Meanwhile 150 Youth boxers will be competing in their section. All of AIBA's Confederations will be taking part.

In comparison with the first edition of the tournament which was held in 2011 in Astana, Turkey this will be a much bigger affair. Several new nations make their first appearance in the women's section for the Junior age group giving a clear indication that the popularity of the sport is on the rise. Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Mongolia, Slovenia and Uzbekistan all take part for the first time.

One of the major stars of the Youth tournament is expected to be American Claressa Shields who burst onto the elite scene at Middleweight (75 kg) recently when she has claimed the gold medal at the 2011 US Women's National PAL Championships.

She has been training with Jason Crutchfield at FWC Berston Gym in Flint, Michigan. Crutchfield has stated that he feels that Shields is a better boxer than most of his men in the club. Claressa started boxing after being inspired by Laila Ali back in 2006.

She also won the US Olympic Trials and the AMBC American Women's Continental Elite Championships in Canada last year but of course her biggest highlight in 2012 was the Olympic gold in London. The US star is returning now to the world of boxing in Albena where she is one of the favourites for the gold at the middleweight (75 kg) class where she may meet Russia's unbeaten Matrena Vyachkina. Their possible fight in Albena is one of the most anticipated battles of the AIBA Women's Youth World Championships.

Elsewhere the top three nations in the Junior division are likely to include Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine who all registered maximum number of 13 athletes in the junior division. The best boxers of the Russian squads are gold medal contenders such as European Junior Champion Yekaterina Paltseva (48 kg), two-time National Champion Umeda Saidova (52 kg), multiple National Champion Anastasia Nesmiyanova (57 kg) and unbeaten star 15-year-old Maria Shishmareva (+80 kg). The Turkish junior No. 1 Esra Yildiz has got a good chance to win the Lightweight class (60 kg) in Albena while the strong US team has also got gold medal favourites in several weight classes including unbeaten Jajaira Gonzalez (57 kg) in their line-ups.

There will be LIVE STREAMING of the event worldwide via boxing.albena.bg and bgboxing.org

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