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Mira Potkonen is 'Golden Girl' of Boras - 2015 - for second year in a row..
by Michael O'Neill
January 14, 2015


(JAN 14) The 2015 Golden Girl BC Championship finals came to a close on Sunday evening at the Boråshallen Arena in Boras, Sweden where around 170 boxers took part in this year’s championships be they Elite Seniors, Novices, Youth or Juniors.

A great tribute to organiser Ray Husac who with Lina Erlandsson first staged the tournament in 2009 and who continues to promote boxing in the region despite often small crowds at the venue.

(Photo: Mira Potkonen/Finland – Courtesy : Golden Girl BC)

This year, undoubtedly, saw the strongest entry ever with several current world champions, mainly from ‘amateur super power’ Russia, backed by a very strong Scandinavian contingent lacking only two time winner Marielle V.Hansen.

Despite the Russians including such World and National champions as Anastasia Beliakova, Tatiana Zhrazhevskaya, Sayana Sagatayeva and Elena Savelyeva to name but four of their current ‘crème de la crème’ it was always clear that

the 2014 ‘Golden Girl’, Finland’s Mira Potkonen was not about to relinquish her crown without a great fight, and so it came to pass.

As Ray Husac said when announcing the winner: “THE GOLDEN GIRL 2015 – MIRA POTKONEN. Now two-time champion.

The jury’s decision: “In the Group of Death, the reigning Champion did what she needed in three hard fights against great opponents. With power and an iron will, she wore down her opponents in hard fights. With lethal power shots and great accuracy Mira was not be beaten.”

In her opening bout on Friday, Sweden’s 21yrs old Patricia Berghult was unlucky enough to be drawn against the flying Finn in the 60kg lightweight opening bout and hard though she tried, the highly promising young Swede, who has represented her country at the AIBA World’s in Jeju and in China

in China 2012 was comprehensively defeated by Potkonen, using all her wile and power to overcome the Swede’s challenge. Have no doubt though but Berghult is one to watch in the future.

She, like Potkonen, provided a stern challenge to five times world champion Katie Taylor when both took on the Wicklow woman in Dublin and in Bray in 2014. Berghult though was not the only Swede to shine at the weekend for Potkonen’ s final opponent was none other than Agnes

Alexiusson from the Varnamo Bk club with the Finn taking the crown on a 3:0 decision. True, another tough fight but Potkonen was a deserving winner.

The big shock had come Saturday when Russia’s Anastasia Beliakova, the AIBA World champion (at 64kg) in Jeju went out against the unfancied Alexiusson 2:0. That said Beliakova at 21 is also one to watch for the future and could yet stake a place for Rio 2016 at the expense of Sofya Ochigava. Only time will tell but the powerful Russians have a number of developing stars in their squad so ‘watch this space’.

In other Elite finals, there were Russian victories for Tatiana Zhrazhevskaya, Sayana Sagatayeva and Elena Savelyeva, as expected whilst the host nation’s ‘veteran’ Anna Laurell took the 75kg title over Love Holgersson (2:1) whilst the 69kg decider was also an all-Sweden affair with Malena Hede also overcoming Linnea Molin (2:1).It was another all-Scandinavian final at 64kg where Denmark’s Yvonne B.Rasmussen defeated fellow Dane,Camilla Skov Jensen (2:1).

Among the Youth and juniors there were wins for Kildare’s Niamh Early and Chloe Callander, thus continuing a long run of successes for Irish boxers in Boras.

As Ray Husac said: “it was the strongest field yet and we are very pleased. All that was missing was Marielle V.Hansen”. Mira Potkonen was not present to receive her Golden Girl belt as she had to leave immediately after her fight to catch her ferry back to Tampere, Finland.

WBC Pro. light middleweight champion was among the audience and at the presentation which followed said : “I've never been here before but it was high-class Women's boxing. There was ‘pressure’ in all the battles and not so much "jumping around" as is often the case. It's fun and after all, it is boxing you are doing and not fencing”.

We look forward to Golden Girl 2016 but like Ray Husac hope that the good citizens of Boras and surrounding districts attend in greater numbers than ever before for they are truly missing one of the great ‘amateur’ tournaments in Europe. Worth considering inviting local school children and their parents

to fill those remaining empty seats Ray and thus encourage a new generation of Swedes to follow in the footsteps of Laurell, Lauren, Berghult and Holgersson?

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