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Mikaela Mayer Meets Mira Potkonen In Tammer Turnhaus Final in Finland
by Michael O'Neill
October 18, 2014
Photos: Facebook


(OCT 18) Defending champion, Mira Potkonen from host nation Finland is through to Sunday's final at the 35th Tammer Turnhaus Tournament in the Finnish capital. On Sunday she meets Mikaela Mayer, the former AIBA no.1 ranked boxer (at 64kg) but
currently no.4 in the AIBA World rankings issued July 4th.

First let us take a look at the history of this most famous boxing tournament in Finland. The AIBA Olympic Style Boxing Tammer Tournament is held annually at the legendary Pyynikki Sports Hall in Tampere. The legacy of Tammer Tournament started in the fall 1977 in Tampere and the tournament has been held every year since that except on the years 1981, 1993 and 2000 when Tampere has hosted menís European or World Championships.

Tammer Tournament is internationally well known as a high standard boxing tournament. During the over 30 years of Tammer history the tournament has built a reputation as one of the most respected Olympic style boxing tournaments in the world.

The founder of the Tammer Tournament is Tampere Boxing Associationís honorary president Mr. Tauno Salminen.

In the 'Round Robin' part of this tournament, Mikaela Mayer decisioned Sweden's no 1 senior and former AIBA World Youth Champion Ina Lundblad 2:1 Friday whilst Potkonen gained a similar 2:1 verdict over the relatively unknown Belgian, Anna Beusalinckin.

In Saturday's reverse bouts Mayer easily saw off the challenge of Beusalinckin 3:0 whilst the fighting Finn also gained a 3:0 verdict against Sweden's 'up and coming' Lundblad.

And so to Sunday's final when Potkonen says she wants to win again in Tammer, this being her last bout before the AIBA World Women's Elite Championships in Jeju Island, South Korea Nov 12th/25th. Her eventual aim,of course is a medal in Rio 2016 but that is a long way off and for now she hopes to strike Gold again in Tampere before setting out on her Korean adventure.

'My objective has to be high, so the challenge is certainly enough' Potkonen tells local media source 'Fighting Fi'

As far as the Tammer tournament is concerned? "I'm always looking forward to it. The atmosphere in the ring is special, the audience can absorb a good feel to it.It's great that such a high quality tournament takes place in Tampere'

For the 24 years old American, Mikaela Mayer it is her first visit to Finland ; she is here she tells the local media, to win and then to enjoy her first visit to Finland.

"The only contacts with Finland is that I study in Northern Michigan University, with a lot of Finnish. I'm excited because this is for me a new country and a new experience .I enjoy winning and I want the Gold ! . On her arrival in Scandinavia she admitted she did not know who her main rivals would be but knew that her coach had done all necessary homework..

It should be a great final on Sunday - can Mikaela Mayer move her career forward again and end the Finn's dreams of another Tammer title? Or will Mira Potkonen take another 'Golden' step on the long and winding road to Rio (via Jeju Island)?

One should explain that current no.1 Natasha Jonas of England is the new AIBA no 1 (at 64kg) by virtue of the fact that she won Silver at the 64kg European Championships in Bucharest Romania earlier this Summer and when added to the points she had previously gained in

the 60kg in London 2012 and other qualifying events in the 'two years rolling' system utilised by the AIBA for its rankings this now raises her to no 1. status in the 64kg classification.

Jonas is one of three English boxers now holding World no.1 rankings, together with Nicola Adams (51kg) and Savannah Marshall (75kg). We know that Adams will miss the 2014 World's in Jeju Island whilst Savannah Marshall will be keen to repeat her Gold medal from She did look something like 'her old self' though in Glasgow and victory there should help her prepare for the much tougher task ahead.

For 30 yrs-old Jonas though this is an important Worlds for she did not achieve her ambition of an Olympic medal in London where Ireland's Katie Taylor halted her progress in the quarter final and in Glasgow she again lost her opener when hot favourite, against Australia's Shelley Watts. So for Liverpool's Natasha Jonas, the world's will be a huge test, if she is selected to represent England. She did rise to the challenge though in the European Championships in Bucharest,Romania in June when she took the 64kg Silver medal, losing 0:3 to Russia's Anastasia Beliakova in the final.

One thing though is sure for Jeju Island and that is the Katie Taylor will again be the top seeded boxer at 60kg with a massive 3,300 ranking points , some 1,150 points more than her closest rival, Sofia Ochigava of Russia. Entering the 2014 World's,the Irish woman heads the rankings for the 8th year in a row - some record.

On Sunday though in Tampere, Mira Potkonen and Mikaela Mayer will be more concerned with ending the day as 'Queen of the Ring' in Finland. A great bout in store for Finnish boxing patrons.

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