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Boxing: England's Sandy Ryan Stars on Day One of the AIBA Women's World Elites in Jeju
by Michael O'Neill
November 16,  2014


(NOV 16)   “The 21-year-old amazon used her longer hands to keep the distance against Hungary's European Union Women's Champion Bianka Nagy. The English boxer knocked down her Hungarian opponent in the third round and dominated all of the rounds in Jeju which means she will now meet with Turkey's two-time AIBA Women's World Champion Gulsum Tatar Kaptan”.

In your correspondent’s view, Ryan is certainly one to watch for the future albeit there is no 64kg division yet in the Olympics but don’t rule out her being in contention with Natasha Jonas and Chantelle Cameron for the GB 60kg spot in Rio.

Sandy Ryan (One Nation Pegasus BC) : photo:courtesy ABAE/Boxing England (in blue)

The draw took place earlier in the morning and most interest centres around the 60kg Lightweight division where some 39 other boxers will be seeking to dethrone the 4 times World and current Olympic title holder Katie Taylor.

Several of the top challengers ended up in the Irish woman’s half of the draw most notably her ‘friend and foe’ Russia’s Sofya Ochigava, Adriana dos Santos Araujo from Brazil, Quanitta Underwood of the U.S, new Chinese champion Junhua Yi, Finland’s Mira Potkonen and England’s Chantelle Cameron to name but six.

Taylor opens her account Tuesday against Valerian Spice, the Islington BC, London boxer representing Dominica. For Spice it was a dream fulfilled as in an interview a day before the draw, with ‘Boxing News’ journalist John Dennen , long time Taylor admirer, Spicer said : “She asked for a bout a month ago so I was actually going to box her then. It fell through for some reason”.

“She’s brilliant, when I first started boxing I looked up to her and now I feel like I can compete with her”. Well now that opportunity comes Valerian’s way on Tuesday morning and she is sure to greatly benefit from the experience of taking on the Bray woman in a major International competition.

The AIBA’s on the spot team reported on several other major highlights of the opening day and here are those reports, with our grateful thanks:

“Sixteen bouts have been held in the opening day of the competition in the picturesque island of Jeju where Kazakhstan's Dina Zholaman caused a huge surprise following her triumph over Argentina's gold medal contender Leonela Sanchez.

AIBA’s ‘Bout of the day’:

Philippines' Nesthy Petecio was quarter-finalist at the 2010 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados four years ago when she was only 18. She is member of the national squad since 2009 and won the China Open Tournament last year. The 22-year-old boxer competed in the Asian Games in Incheon in September where she advanced to the quarter-finals.

The Filipino boxer returned to the Featherweight class (57 kg) after the Asian Games which is her original category.

Petecio arrived to the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships to Jeju as medal contender but she had to open her competition against an experienced European opponent, Sweden's Linnea Strandell who had 101 bouts prior the competition.

The Filipino boxer tried to reduce the fighting distance from the first minute of the contest and her attacks were successful in the opening two rounds. Strandell also did not give up the battle but her efforts were not enough to turn back the bout until the final gong. Petecio's next opponent will be Algeria's most experienced female boxer, Manel Meharzi in the next preliminary round.

Team of the day:

China's Gao Jinyan claimed a bronze medal at their National Women's Championships in 2011 which was her first excellent result during her career. The 22-year-old Bantamweight class (54 kg) boxer trains in the Liaoning Province and she is competing in her first international event in Jeju.

The Chinese boxer is relatively unknown in the world but she had enough experience to open her championships with a triumph. Gao Jinyan was too strong for Hungary's newly crowned National Champion Szabina Szucs who was born also in 1992 as was the Chinese boxer.

China's second triumph was delivered by Xie Lili who was silver medallist in the 2012 ASBC Asian Women's Continental Championships in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia. The 25-year-old Light Welterweight class (64 kg) boxer came from Beijing to get her first title in Jeju.

She opened with effective punches against Algeria's Rania M'Allaloui who moved up a weight class since her appearance in the AFBC African Women's Continental Championships. In spite of the final round when Xie Lili had some warm moments she was able to beat her North African rival, winning the bout by unanimous decision.

Surprise of the day?

Argentina's AMBC American Women's Continental Champion Leonela Sanchez travelled to the island of Jeju as one of the gold medal contender of the Bantamweight class (54 kg) for her opening bout against Kazakhstan's two-time National Champion Dina Zholaman. Sanchez was not able to find the best fighting distance against her Central Asian rival and proved her real skills only in the final frame therefore Zholaman's hand was raised after the final bell in Jeju which bout was the biggest surprise of the opening competition day.

Quote of the day:

"One of our medal hopes Nesthy Petecio connected with well-placed uppercuts and hooks to take an early lead in the first part of her bout against Sweden's Linnea Strandell. She relaxed a bit in the third round and her aggressive opponent was better in that frame. Petecio picked it up again in the last round to score a unanimous decision," commented Mr. Edgar Picson the Executive Director of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.

Tomorrow's program:

The local organizers separated the program of the second competition day into an afternoon and an evening session due the high number of bouts. Boxers of the Flyweight class (51 kg), Featherweight class (57 kg), Lightweight class (60 kg) and Welterweight class (69 kg) will be in action on Day2 in the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Jeju, Korea.

Among the top athletes Bulgaria's EUBC European Continental Champion Stoyka Petrova and Russia's two-time AIBA Women's World Champion Sofya Ochigava will be fighting for the next round on the second competition day. One of the most anticipated battle will be held between Azerbaijan's Elena Vystropova and England's Stacey Copeland which will be the return match of the final of the EUBC European Women's Continental Championships.

Some statistics from the first day of competition in Jeju, from the AIBA:

On the first day of the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Jeju, Korea. China, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Russia and United States of America are there in the event with maximum number of ten female boxers.

The number of participants per confederations are the following:

Africa: 27 boxers from 11 nations

America: 41 boxers from 13 nations

Asia: 78 boxers from 15 nations

Europe: 126 boxers from 26 nations

Oceania: 8 boxers from 2 nations “

IF indeed that is the accurate total (and we at WBAN have no reason to doubt it) then it falls far short of the much higher earlier predictions inc 337 from 74 nations just a few days earlier.

POSSIBLE reasons include:

Ever increasing cost of sending teams and coaches to Korea with all the expense that that entails – perhaps AIBA needs to pay a vastly higher share of costs from their new found APB/WSB kitty?

Doubts re safety eg: confusion over headguards or no headguards and insufficient medical data supplied to National Federations in a timely manner?

2014 world’s NOT being an Olympic qualifier several boxers may have opted to give it a miss

The events in Incheon? Is enough being done to ensure that Referees and especially Judges are ALL trained to the highest standards?

An AIBA overemphasis on AIBA Control of boxers especially on disciplinary matters. The women are NOT paid professionals and thus putting their bodies online whilst being away from their family and friends – often children – for weeks on end when one considers training plus actual competition.

Several absentees of course such as Mary Kom, Pooja Rani and the suspended Sarita Devi from India, Mavzuna Chorieva from Tajikistan and Poland’s long time servants,2 times world and European champion Karolina Anna Michalczuk and her compatriot Karolina Graczyk.

Nonetheless Poland is fielding a strong side with a nice blend of youth and experience and is clearly beginning to plan for the future.

The Polish team includes:

1. Ewelina Wicherska –51 kg (silver medallist from China 2012, silver medallist from European Champs Sophia 2014

2. Sandra Drabik- 54 kg;several times champion of Poland and European Union medallist

3. Aneta Rygielska - 57 kg (debut);

4. Kinga Siwa – 60 kg (debut, bronze from European Champs Sophia 2014- pretty experienced

5. Lidia Fidura – 75 kg- Multi champion in major International events in recent years.

What do you think are the reasons? Email us on wban100@aol.com or visit our Facebook pages or Twitter feed @wbanbuzz

(Link to The Day’s Opening Ceremony and Preliminary bouts.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joltbt6vA-g  (Be aware though that this includes the Opening Ceremony and highlights of the day’s bouts in Jeju so not something to be viewed on a mobile. No index has been provided by AIBA  and WBAN warns that the full programme is almost 3 hours long! WBAN cannot be held responsible if you end up with very high charges from your ISP/service provider.)

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