(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
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
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?