The Russians Are Coming... Who can
stop them in Korea?
by Michael O'Neill
November 20, 2014
(NOV 20) Not for the first time
the mighty Russians have proved to be a 'powerhouse' in women's
boxing with all of their team through to the quarter finals
following another hectic day's boxing in Jeju City. Who can halt
their progress tomorrow?
There were many stars at today's fifth day of the AIBA Women's
Elite Championships at the Halla Gymnasium, none more so than
Russian pair, Anastasia Beliakova (64) kg and Iaraslava
That said there were other outstanding performances too, among
them the continued progress of Great Britain's Sandy Ryan
(64kg), Australia's Shelley Watts (60kg) and in that crowded
weight category too those long time 'friends and foes' Sofya
Ochigava and Katie Taylor.
Let's not forget French titleholder Estelle Mossely (60kg also)
nor for that matter another superb exhibition from Russia's
Elena Savelyeva (54kg) . One could go on and on such were the
high standards achieved on this last 16 day in the Halla
Star of the day? Certainly one of three Russians but which?
Choose from Beliakova, Iakushina or Savelyeva. You will see
later what the AIBA team thought but for your correspondent
today it was the 21 years old Laroalava Lakushina who defeated
the reigning 75kg World champion, England's Savannah Marshall,
and now meets Claressa Shields tomorrow. What a bout in store
for those in Jeju or viewing via AIBA.org
The other high profile bout tomorrow is the repeat of the
Olympic final (60kg) between Katie Taylor and Sofya Ochigava.
With the emergence of Beliakova this may be a final opportunity
for Ochigava to impress the Russian management, or can Taylor do
as on previous occasions and take a fifth in a row World title?
Taylor won today against Finland's Mira Potkonen who so often
gets near winning a medal on the biggest stage of all, so near
and yet so far. Taylor summed up later:
“It was a tough four rounds. It was always going to be a hard
fought battle, I knew she was going to rush me right from the
start, said Taylor.
“The first thirty seconds of the second round was a complete
war, I should have moved more,obviously. But I love standing
toe-to-toe as well. I love boxing against the top boxers in the
world. These are the fights I train for and I’m ready for
So who will win this time? And who will emerge victorious
between Claressa Shields (United States) and Iaroslava Iakushina?
Another 'battle royal' can be expected here. Who do you think?
Shields or Iakushina? Ochigava or Taylor? Your thoughts welcome
as always via firstname.lastname@example.org or @wbanbuzz or Facebook
If you are not able to watch the bouts live or via AIBA.org,
join us here tomorrow for all the answers from Friday's program.
Now over to our AIBA friends for their thoughts on Thursday in
AIBA reports from Jeju:
"The top eighty boxers remain in the 8th edition of the AIBA
Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju, where the
preliminary stage of the competition has now finished.
On a day of high quality, world class stars including Ireland's
Katie Taylor, Russia's Sofya Ochigava and America’s Claressa
Shields won their bouts, but England's Savannah Marshall
surprisingly lost to Russia's Iaroslava Iakushina in Jeju.
The Russian delegation provided an incredible performance during
the preliminaries, as all of their athletes have advanced to the
Bout of the day
France’s Estelle Mossely became known in the world of boxing in
2010 when she claimed the gold medal at the European Union
Women’s Championships in Keszthely, Hungary at the age of 18.
The young French Lightweight class (60 kg) boxer secured a
silver medal at the EUBC European Women’s Continental
Championships in Bucharest this June, where she defeated
Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in the semi-finals.
Mossely had to meet with Vietnam’s AIBA Women’s Youth World
Championships silver medallist Luu Thi Duyen on Day 5 in Jeju,
who won a bronze medal at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games in Korea
six weeks ago.
The tall Southeast Asian boxer was victorious in her opening
bout in Jeju against New Zealand's London 2012 Olympian Alexis
Todd-Pritchard, and again impressed on the fith day of action
France’s star boxer tried to use her best tactics to take the
lead, but Luu opened the fight with solid work from long range.
As the engaging fight progressed, Mossely's physical condition
was the difference between them, with the final verdict a
unanimous decision win for to the French athlete.
Team of the day
Azerbaijan has built up a strong women’s squad over the past few
year, and two of their athletes who stepped in the ring on Day 5
were able to join their teammate Elena Vystropova in advancing
through to the quarter-finals.
Their Bantamweight class (54 kg) number one Anna Alimardanova
has been competing at the international level since 2009, and
her experience helped her defeat Ireland's Commonwealth Games
silver medallist Michaela Walsh.
Azerbaijan's Lightweight class (60 kg) athlete Yana Alekseevna
was born in Ukraine, but she has been fighting for Azerbaijan
since 2013, and has won various international tournaments over
the past 12 months.
The 27-year-old boxer had to meet with Ukraine's experienced
Iulia Tsyplakova in the second preliminary round, and controlled
the bout in the first three rounds.
Although Alekseevna tired in the last round, her excellent
beginning to the contest was enough for her to win the fight.
Surprises of the day
Indonesia's Aldriani Suguro is competing in her first ever AIBA
event, following her gold medal in the Indonesian
Vice-President's Cup, and a silver medal at the Southeast Asian
Games in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar one year ago.
She began her competition in Jeju with much success, but her
next rival was a favourite of the division, US boxer, Alexandra
The Indonesian youngster boxed cleverly against her decorated
opponent, exploiting tiny holes in Love's defense.
America’s medal hope did not give up the battle after the
opening round, and worked hard for the entire duration of the
bout, but it was Suguro who was more energetic in the final
frame, and she was able to eliminate the strong US boxer in Jeju.
England's EUBC European Women's Youth Continental Championships
silver medallist Sandy Ryan received the right to fight for her
nation for the very first time in Jeju, and the 21-year-old
Light Welterweight class (64 kg) boxer won her final preparation
event, the Queen's Cup in Stralsund, Germany last month.
Following her impressive success over Hungary's European Union
Champion Bianka Nagy, she continued to impress against her star
opponent, Turkey's two-time AIBA Women's World Champion Gulsum
Ryan consistently stopped the attacks of the Turkish southpaw,
and comfortably won the bout.
Russia's AIBA Women's Youth World Champion Iaroslava Iakushina
lost to England's defending AIBA Women's World Champion Savannah
Marshall in the semi-final of the Sportaccord World Combat Games
in St. Petersburg one year ago, but the 21-year-old Russian
Middleweight class (75 kg) boxer has clearly learnt from that,
and avenged that defeat in these Championships.
Iakushina reduced the fighting distance superbly, and put
constant pressure on Marshall who was unable to showcase her
usually excellent jab.
After four pulsating rounds, the Russian boxer was able to
eliminate the defending champion in Jeju.
Ones to watch
China’s AIBA Women’s World Championships silver medallist Xu
Shiqi had to be at her very best to beat Bulgaria's strong Sevda
Asenova in the first preliminary round, but her second opponent
was Romania’s defending EUBC European Women’s Continental
Champion Steluta Duta, an even more daunting European.
Although Xu was dynamic throughout the contest, Duta was always
better, and eliminated the former AIBA Women’s World Boxing
Russia’s AIBA Women’s World Champion and EUBC European Women’s
Continental Champion Elena Savelyeva is one of the most
experienced boxers of the Bantamweight class (54 kg), and after
her amazing performance against Chinese Taipei's Gao Yu Min, she
was confident against Zambia’s ‘AIBA Road to Jeju Program’
member Sally Mumba as well.
Savelyeva knocked down her inexperienced rival in the opening
round, and after she did the same twice in the second frame, the
referee stopped their unequal contest after three and a half
minutes of combat.
Ireland’s London 2012 Olympic Champion and four-time AIBA
Women’s World Champion Katie Taylor met with Finland’s best
woman boxer Mira Potkonen, and dominated her opponent with
majestic footwork and excellent timing, and the Lightweight
class (60 kg) legend is looking better than ever.
Stat/Fact of the day
After five days of preliminaries, the following nations have
athletes left in the last eight, and the chance to possibly
medal in Jeju.
- Russia: 10 boxers
- China: 7 boxers
- United States of America: 6 boxers
- Turkey: 5 boxers
- India, Italy: 4 boxers
- Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, France, Kazakhstan, Romania, Ukraine: 3
- Canada, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, England, Hungary, Korea,
Thailand: 2 boxers
- Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan,
Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, Panama, Philippines, Poland: 1
Quotes of the day
"I had much better preparation prior to the 8th edition of the
AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships than ever before. I am
much more mature and experienced in comparison to my previous
appearances in the major tournaments, and I would like to take
one bout at a time, to concentrate only to the next further step
and I hope I will be able to win at least a medal in this
prestigious championships in Jeju," commented Chinese Taipei's
Pin Meng Chieh who eliminated Italy's veteran Valeria Calabrese
in the Light Flyweight class (48 kg).
"We had watched my opponent's previous bout yesterday and knew
she was a mover, who did not like staying in range or in long
exchanges, so our tactic was to close the distance down and
attack her body and finish to her head with fast exchanges. She
got away from me a few times but once I found my range, I felt
comfortable. I felt good, and not as tired as the first bout, so
I had definitely blown the cobwebs out from my rest since the
“Back in the ring tomorrow against Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna,
I am keen and determined. I set myself a series of goals in
January and for this World Championships, and one of them was
winning three bouts so I am looking at staying positive to tick
another goal off my list," added Australia's Commonwealth Games
winner Shelley Watts who eliminated Kazakhstan's Gulzhaina
One of the most important sessions, the quarter-finals will be
held on the sixth competition day of the AIBA Women's World
Boxing Championships in Jeju, Korea on Friday.
Ireland's national icon Katie Taylor and Russia's two-time AIBA
Women's World Champion Sofya Ochigava hve to meet with each
other in the quarter-finals, with the Lightweight class (60 kg)
rivals looking to earn a medal.
Today's results from Strefa: