Q & A with AIBA’s Hamburg 2017 World Championship Official Supplier Sportcom

AIBA has welcomed SportCom as the Official Supplier of the 2017 World Championships in Hamburg, bringing in their expertise in developing first-class boxing rings and equipment to help create the best possible stage for the world’s top boxer to perform on. The SportCom CEO Mr Jean-Rene Savary explained what it means to the company to be involved in the biggest competition in the boxing calendar.

How far back does SportCom’s involvement with boxing go?
Since 2003, SportCom has been the specialist in boxing rings, punching bags rails and brackets, cross-training stations and floor solutions, providing all services to its customers – from the pre-sales consulting and design to the installation – including London 2012 Summer Olympics and the Milan 2009 World Championships.

Why was it important for SportCom to associate with AIBA and these World Championships?
Our participation at the 2017 World Championships is part of the SportCom international development strategy, and the team’s wish to move forward and to accomplish new goals. The AIBA license reflects the quality of our boxing rings, 100% Made in France, but also SportCom’s reliability and efficiency as a technical partner. We are very proud to be a part of this Hamburg adventure.

What innovations will we see being used in your equipment in Hamburg?
Foldable SportCom boxing rings are being used in the training area to help the competitors’ preparations. These are internationally patented boxing rings and one of our flagship products, their foldability allows users to turn any area into a boxing venue in less than a minute.

What are the values and qualities that are important to SportCom that the boxing world can relate to and that relate directly to boxing?
There are five: respect, audacity, perseverance, strength and a thirst for a challenge.

How does SportCom view the current golden age for boxing and the new generation of Olympic greats?
SportCom is very happy to evolve in the current boxing golden age. This is a great opportunity for us to respond to the increasing customer needs but also to develop innovative and high-value products and disrupt the boxing equipment industry. Sportcom shares the Olympic philosophy of altruism and sharing, taking joy in the effort and the education.

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31 nations reach Quarter Finals in Hamburg as preliminary-round bouts come to an end on Day Four

Monday in Hamburg saw the Flyweight (52kg), Lightweight (60kg), Welterweight (69kg), Light Heavyweight (81kg) and Super Heavyweight (+91kg) boxers in action across two sessions, each of them looking to secure their place in Tuesday’s Quarter-Finals and take a big step closer to World Championship gold.

THREE ROUNDS FROM DAY FOUR

ROUND ONE: Mongolia maintain 100% record
It was another excellent day in the ring for the Mongolian team as Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu (60kg) and Tuvshinbat Byamba (69kg) became the third and fourth members of the side to reach Tuesday’s Quarter-Finals. The team has once again resuscitated its rich boxing tradition in the wake of Enkhbatyn Badar-Uugan’s 2008 Olympic gold, and the new generation has performed brilliantly so far in Hamburg.

ROUND TWO: Last man standing
Of the 31 nations remaining in the competition at the Quarter-Final stage, thirteen are now represented by one boxer. Among them are the notable figures of Ecuador’s Carlos Mina (81kg), Korea’s Inkyu Kim (52kg), Shabbos Negmatulloev (81kg) of Tajikstan, Netherlands’ Roy Korving (91kg), China’s Jiawei Zhang (56kg) and Ireland’s Joe Ward (81kg).

ROUND THREE: France enter the fray
Day Four saw the French boxers enter the ring for the first time, with Olympic silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha (60kg) and Djamili-Dini Aboudou-Moindze (+91kg) in action during the evening session. Impressive victories put both one more win from a precious medal as French Boxing rebuilds towards Tokyo in its bid to replicate the hugely successful Rio 2016 Olympic campaign.

DAY FOUR RECAP
Four high-quality Flyweight (52kg) bouts began Day Four, including a brilliant final-round display from the exciting Spanish talent Gabriel Escobar that earned him a split-decision victory over Israel’s David Alaverdian and a place in the last eight. He will now meet Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia, silver medallist in Doha two years ago, while Russia’s Tamir Galanov and Italian Manuel Cappai also progressed with impressive wins.

Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre vs India’s Manoj Kumar

Cuban Lightweight (60kg) Lazaro Alvarez’s pursuit of a fourth consecutive World Championship title got off to the perfect start with a unanimous win over Netherlands’ Enrico Lacruz, before the two tough Welterweight (69kg) boxers Manoj Kumar of India and Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre went toe-to-toe for a place in the last eight, the 30-year-old Maestre hoping to return to the World Championship podium after his bronze in 2013.

The unerring accuracy of German Light Heavyweight (81kg) Ibragim Bazuev saw him through a tough test against England’s Thomas Hart, and Uzbekistan’s Super Heavyweight (+91kg) medal prospect Bakhodir Jalolov delivered an early lesson in power punching to ensure a first-round victory against Denmark’s Kem Larsen. Jalolov now meets Kazakhstan’s equally impressive Kamshybek Kunkabayev on Tuesday. Cameroon’s big-hitting Fokou Arsene’s win over Moldovan Alexei Zavatin set up a Quarter-Final against Colombia’s Cristian Salcedo, winner of an attrition bout with Ireland’s Dean Gardiner.

The evening session saw a thrilling contest between two Continental Flyweight (52kg) Champions, and after three tight rounds it was Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov who edged the points decision against Bulgarian Daniel Asenov.

In Ring A, India’s Kavinder Bisht defeated another 2017 Continental Champion, Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi, and a brilliant bout between Ireland’s Brendan Irvine and South Korea’s ever-accurate Kim Inkyu saw the man who lost this year’s ASBC Final against Latipov progress, along with Colombia’s Ceiber Segura.

German Welterweight (69kg) Abass Baraou recovered from a slow start to leave his Dominican opponent Juan Solano Santos on the canvas twice and himself one bout away from a medal, before triple European Champion Joe Ward put in an exhibition of Light Heavyweight (81kg) boxing against Georgia’s Iago Kizira as the Irishman began his quest for a first World Championship title.

One of the bouts of the day on paper, Uzbek Bektemir Melikuziev and Russian Muslim Gadzhimagomedov’s contest also lived up to expectations, Melikuziev using all his experience to summon the stronger finish and reach the last eight. The Super Heavyweights (+91kg) wrapped up the fourth day, with Australia’s Joseph Goodall narrowly beating Ukrainian third seed Viktor Vykhryst and Azerbaijan’s Mahammadrasul Majidov eliminating Jordanian second-seed Hussein Iashaish.

For all the day’s results CLICK HERE

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Q&A with AIBA’s Hamburg 2017 World Championship partner adidas

As part of AIBA’s scaling up of its Men’s World Championships, a new partnership secured Adidas Global and @adidasboxing as the official supplier to the 2017 edition in Hamburg. This year’s World Championships will now reach further than ever, with communications relayed across the brand’s official channels in 70 countries. Worldwide exposure will be achieved through innovative social media activations and new digital platforms, and fans and boxers alike will benefit from their booths located within the Sporthalle venue and training area. Adidas’ Double D General Manager Mr Christophe Dessalles reveals more about the partnership.

How far back into adidas’ history does the involvement with boxing go?

The adidas brand has a historical link with boxing that goes back decades. Since 1949, adidas has designed footwear for top athletes and celebrated the world of sports and for years the best boxers on the planet have tested, trained with and, simply, preferred the adidas boxing apparel and hardware equipment. This is the best reward for the brand.

Why was it important for adidas to associate with AIBA and the 2017 World Championships?

Boxing in general is a strong focus for the adidas brand because it has the values associated with being an Olympic sport, but it has also become a lifestyle sport. Being the official supplier of the AIBA World Championships in Germany, the home country of the adidas brand, is somehow natural.

What special activations and spectator engagement can we see in Hamburg?

Maximum exposure is being given to the World Championships on a global scale through our social media channels. We have two experiential booths, one for the public that allows them to discover all the latest innovations in boxing, and one for the boxers’ warm-up area where there is also a dedicated equipment testing area for the boxers and coaches. Everyone also has the chance to take part in our fun new ‘Speed Challenge’ at the adidas booth in the Spectator Zone, where the punch bag has an electronic measuring tool that tests the speed of users’ punches.

What are the values and qualities that are important to adidas that the boxing world can relate to and that relate directly to boxing?

Our years of experience and the endorsement of the best boxers of yesterday and today create the history of the future. The adidas brand has been the official and sole supplier of gloves and headguards for the Summer Olympics in London and Beijing as well as many World Championships and Qualifying events. The boxers judge our quality by its performance in the ring.

AIBA and adidas are long-established in their fields, what is the secret to that longevity?

For adidas, it is high quality products with the motto ‘all the best for the athletes’. The brands are dedicated to safety in the practice of boxing and sport performance.

How does adidas view the current golden age for boxing and the new generation of Olympic greats?

Adidas is supporting the golden age with great products developed for all the different fields of the sport, from Olympic to Pro to Fitness Boxing. Together with AIBA, we can create a new standard for boxing apparel, making it more attractive than ever for spectators and media through modern and stylish products.

Germany’s Abass BARAOU in the #Hamburg2017WCH training area

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Q&A with AIBA’s Hamburg 2017 World Championship partner adidas

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Q&A with AIBA’s Hamburg 2017 World Championship partner adidas

As part of AIBA’s scaling up of its Men’s World Championships, a new partnership secured Adidas Global and @adidasboxing as the official supplier to the 2017 edition in Hamburg. This year’s World Championships will now reach further than ever, with communications relayed across the brand’s official channels in 70 countries. Worldwide exposure will be achieved through innovative social media activations and new digital platforms, and fans and boxers alike will benefit from their booths located within the Sporthalle venue and training area. Adidas’ Double D General Manager Mr Christophe Dessalles reveals more about the partnership.

How far back into adidas’ history does the involvement with boxing go?

The adidas brand has a historical link with boxing that goes back decades. Since 1949, adidas has designed footwear for top athletes and celebrated the world of sports and for years the best boxers on the planet have tested, trained with and, simply, preferred the adidas boxing apparel and hardware equipment. This is the best reward for the brand.

Why was it important for adidas to associate with AIBA and the 2017 World Championships?

Boxing in general is a strong focus for the adidas brand because it has the values associated with being an Olympic sport, but it has also become a lifestyle sport. Being the official supplier of the AIBA World Championships in Germany, the home country of the adidas brand, is somehow natural.

What special activations and spectator engagement can we see in Hamburg?

Maximum exposure is being given to the World Championships on a global scale through our social media channels. We have two experiential booths, one for the public that allows them to discover all the latest innovations in boxing, and one for the boxers’ warm-up area where there is also a dedicated equipment testing area for the boxers and coaches. Everyone also has the chance to take part in our fun new ‘Speed Challenge’ at the adidas booth in the Spectator Zone, where the punch bag has an electronic measuring tool that tests the speed of users’ punches.

What are the values and qualities that are important to adidas that the boxing world can relate to and that relate directly to boxing?

Our years of experience and the endorsement of the best boxers of yesterday and today create the history of the future. The adidas brand has been the official and sole supplier of gloves and headguards for the Summer Olympics in London and Beijing as well as many World Championships and Qualifying events. The boxers judge our quality by its performance in the ring.

AIBA and adidas are long-established in their fields, what is the secret to that longevity?

For adidas, it is high quality products with the motto ‘all the best for the athletes’. The brands are dedicated to safety in the practice of boxing and sport performance.

How does adidas view the current golden age for boxing and the new generation of Olympic greats?

Adidas is supporting the golden age with great products developed for all the different fields of the sport, from Olympic to Pro to Fitness Boxing. Together with AIBA, we can create a new standard for boxing apparel, making it more attractive than ever for spectators and media through modern and stylish products.

Germany’s Abass BARAOU in the #Hamburg2017WCH training area

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The 2017 AIBA World Championships get underway with 40 entertaining bouts

After months of preparations, the 2017 AIBA World Championships finally got underway in Hamburg on Friday afternoon, with 40 bouts across two sessions featuring boxers from 50 different National Federations at Light Flyweight (49kg), Bantamweight (56kg), Light Welterweight (64kg), Middleweight (75kg) and Heavyweight (91kg).

Three Rounds from Day One

Round 1.
You get knocked down, you get back up

First Ireland’s Kurt Walker recovered from a first-round count to push Dominican Republic’s Leonel de Los Santos all the way in a gripping afternoon encounter, then Scotland’s Lee McGregor got up off the canvas to defeat Vanuatu’s Boe McGregor in one of the top bouts of the evening session.

Round 2.
India return stronger

Light Flyweight (49kg) Amit and Bantamweight Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) both delivered impressive performances to progress to the second round as the Boxing Federation of India’s boxing evolution looks to continue its upward trajectory over the past nine months.

Round 3.
USA show the way

US Bantamweight (56kg) Duke Ragan has clearly brought his good recent form to Hamburg, and having already found success in Germany this year at the Chemistry Cup, his win over Cuba’s Javier Ibanez on Friday evening firmly established the 19-year-old’s World Championship medal credentials.

DAY ONE – recap

The talent was on display from the first bell on Friday, with Puerto Rico’s Oscar Collazo delivering a powerful statement of intent on World Championship debut against Belarus’ Yauheni Karmilchyk and Kazakhstan’s Zhomart Yerzhan controlling his contest with Guatemala’s Michael Tello Tello, as two high-quality bouts of Light Flyweight boxing began the 19th edition of the tournament in style.

The skill level showed no sign of letting up as Leonel de Los Santos’ fast hands left Ireland’s Kurt Walker chasing shadows and on the canvas at the end of the first round of their Bantamweight (56kg) tie. The brave Irishman bounced back to show just what it means to compete at the World Championships, returning strongly in rounds two and three to lose only by the narrowest of split decisions.

In equally uncompromising mood was Nicaraguan Angel Jarquin, who’s powerful right in the second round against Uganda’s Geofrey Kaketo forced the Referee to call a halt to their Bantamweight contest. England’s Light Welterweight (64kg) medal hope Luke McCormack began his campaign with a gutsy win over China’s Gang Wang, before the first of the Heavyweight (91kg) action saw Colombian Deivis Julio Blanco unload some huge punches to overcome China’s Fengkai Yu.

It was England versus Scotland in the opening bout of the evening session as Galal Yafai put in an assured performance to defeat Aqeel Ahmed at Light Flyweight (49kg) and set up a tough tie against Olympic silver medallist Yuberjen Martinez of Colombia on Sunday evening. A pulsating Bantamweight bout then saw USA’s Duke Ragan defeat Cuban Javier Ibanez, before Turkmenistan’s Aziz Achilov showed that he and his team will be a force to be reckoned with under their new coach, former Olympic and World Champion Aleksander Lebzyak, after an assured display against Puerto Rico’s Luis Rodriguez.

For all the results from Day One CLICK HERE

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The 2017 AIBA World Championships get underway with 40 entertaining bouts

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The 2017 AIBA World Championships get underway with 40 entertaining bouts

After months of preparations, the 2017 AIBA World Championships finally got underway in Hamburg on Friday afternoon, with 40 bouts across two sessions featuring boxers from 50 different National Federations at Light Flyweight (49kg), Bantamweight (56kg), Light Welterweight (64kg), Middleweight (75kg) and Heavyweight (91kg).

Three Rounds from Day One

Round 1.
You get knocked down, you get back up

First Ireland’s Kurt Walker recovered from a first-round count to push Dominican Republic’s Leonel de Los Santos all the way in a gripping afternoon encounter, then Scotland’s Lee McGregor got up off the canvas to defeat Vanuatu’s Boe McGregor in one of the top bouts of the evening session.

Round 2.
India return stronger

Light Flyweight (49kg) Amit and Bantamweight Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) both delivered impressive performances to progress to the second round as the Boxing Federation of India’s boxing evolution looks to continue its upward trajectory over the past nine months.

Round 3.
USA show the way

US Bantamweight (56kg) Duke Ragan has clearly brought his good recent form to Hamburg, and having already found success in Germany this year at the Chemistry Cup, his win over Cuba’s Javier Ibanez on Friday evening firmly established the 19-year-old’s World Championship medal credentials.

DAY ONE – recap

The talent was on display from the first bell on Friday, with Puerto Rico’s Oscar Collazo delivering a powerful statement of intent on World Championship debut against Belarus’ Yauheni Karmilchyk and Kazakhstan’s Zhomart Yerzhan controlling his contest with Guatemala’s Michael Tello Tello, as two high-quality bouts of Light Flyweight boxing began the 19th edition of the tournament in style.

The skill level showed no sign of letting up as Leonel de Los Santos’ fast hands left Ireland’s Kurt Walker chasing shadows and on the canvas at the end of the first round of their Bantamweight (56kg) tie. The brave Irishman bounced back to show just what it means to compete at the World Championships, returning strongly in rounds two and three to lose only by the narrowest of split decisions.

In equally uncompromising mood was Nicaraguan Angel Jarquin, who’s powerful right in the second round against Uganda’s Geofrey Kaketo forced the Referee to call a halt to their Bantamweight contest. England’s Light Welterweight (64kg) medal hope Luke McCormack began his campaign with a gutsy win over China’s Gang Wang, before the first of the Heavyweight (91kg) action saw Colombian Deivis Julio Blanco unload some huge punches to overcome China’s Fengkai Yu.

It was England versus Scotland in the opening bout of the evening session as Galal Yafai put in an assured performance to defeat Aqeel Ahmed at Light Flyweight (49kg) and set up a tough tie against Olympic silver medallist Yuberjen Martinez of Colombia on Sunday evening. A pulsating Bantamweight bout then saw USA’s Duke Ragan defeat Cuban Javier Ibanez, before Turkmenistan’s Aziz Achilov showed that he and his team will be a force to be reckoned with under their new coach, former Olympic and World Champion Aleksander Lebzyak, after an assured display against Puerto Rico’s Luis Rodriguez.

For all the results from Day One CLICK HERE

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The 2017 AIBA World Championships get underway with 40 entertaining bouts

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Opening press conference begins first day of boxing at 2017 AIBA World Championships

AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu welcomed the world’s media to the 2017 World Boxing Championships on Friday morning in the first press conference at the city’s Sporthalle venue. Dr Wu thanked AIBA’s partners Borgward, Adidas and IMG as well as the volunteers for their efforts in delivering a fitting stage for the most prestigious tournament in the boxing calendar, that this year will see unprecedented coverage around the world. President Wu reiterated his message that over the next ten days boxing fans will witness a celebration of boxing and that the focus of attention will be placed squarely on the sport as the 243 boxers from 75 nations pursue their dreams of being crowned World Champion.

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Ones to watch ahead of the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships

With the draw for the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships set to take place on 24 August and competition getting underway the following day, we take a look at some of the boxers going for glory in each of the ten weight categories.

LIGHT FLYWEIGHT (49kg)
Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov won both the gold medal and the Val Barker Trophy for best boxer at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and, after another excellent WSB season with the Uzbek Tigers, looks like once more being the man to beat in Hamburg at Light Flyweight. Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez has also enjoyed a successful 2017 following his silver in Rio, and will be a serious contender alongside the likes of Cuba’s flamboyant Johanys Argilagos, Russia’s Vasilii Egorov, Philippines’ Rogen Ladon, Spain’s Samuel Carmona and Indian newcomer Amit Panghai. Ecuador’s double Olympian Carlos Quipo and England’s Galal Yafai are also ready to push all the way for a podium spot.

FLYWEIGHT (52kg)
The Flyweight category in Hamburg looks wide open with Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia, silver medallist in Doha two years ago, hoping to go one better this year. In a strong field, Bulgaria’s two-time EUBC European Champion Daniel Asenov was in sparkling form in Kharkiv two months ago, while Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi has achieved podium finishes at the last two World Championships. Jasurbek Latipov returned to the Uzbekistan squad full of confidence and will be looking for a gold medal to go with his silver in 2013 and bronze two years earlier, but the experienced figures of Italy’s Manuel Cappai, Colombia’s Ceiber David Avila and Ireland’s Brendan Irvine all have what it takes to shine in Hamburg. Good preparations from Germany’s Hamza Touba and Ukraine’s Dmytro Zamotaev have also put them in medal-winning form.

BANTAMWEIGHT (56kg)
An intriguing Bantamweight competition awaits in Hamburg, with Dominican Republic’s AMBC Champion Leonel de los Santos, England’s EUBC Champion Peter McGrail and Uzbekistan’s ASBC Champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev all impressing during their respective Continental Championships earlier this year. Javier Ibanez will take some stopping after several brilliant displays for Cuba Domadores this season, but USA’s young hope Duke Ragan was also full of confidence during the AMBC tournament in Tegucigalpa. Ukraine’s Mykola Butsenko knows what it takes to win a medal on the biggest stage, and Mauritius’ AFBC Champion Jean-Jordy Vadamootoo also has the talent to go a long way in this year’s competition along with China’s Jiawei Zhang, Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev, Scotland’s Lee McGregor and Australian talent Sam Goodman.

LIGHTWEIGHT (60kg)
Having won gold at the last three World Championships, Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez faces his toughest test yet as he tries to top the podium for a fourth straight time and win gold in Hamburg. England’s Calum French has amassed a host of AOB titles over the past two years and will be eager to make his mark on the biggest stage of them all, but France’s Olympic silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha is well-prepared and will bring his very best to the Sporthalle. The USA’s promising Delante Johnson was among the stars of the AIBA World Youth Championships in November and will be hoping to make an immediate impact at the elite level, while Ukraine’s Iurii Shestak defeated Russia’s Gabil Mamedov in the EUBC final two months ago to confirm both are currently among the strongest in the world. Mongolia’s ASBC Asian Champion Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu is also a contender along with India’s two-time Olympian Shiva Thapa, Kazakh National Champion Adilet Kurmetov and Kenya’s Nicholas Okoth.

LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT (64kg)
A Bantamweight Quarter-Finalist in Doha, Cuba’s Andy Cruz has settled in well at his new Light Welterweight category and the Pan-American Games winner and AMBC American Champion has been in unstoppable form in AOB and WSB competition ahead of this year’s World Championships. German number one Artem Harutyunyan will need no more inspiration than his home-town crowd as he pursues a career-best performance, but it was Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov who wowed at the EUBC Championships in Kharkiv and will go into the tournament full of confidence. Russia’s defending World Champion Vitaly Dunaytsev returns but needed a wildcard to qualify after losing twice to Ireland’s Sean McComb this year, while England’s European U22 Champion Luke McCormack is in the best form of his career. Azerbaijan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Lorenzo Sotomayor is always likely to be a medal contender, and Uzbekistan have unearthed a real talent in Ikboljon Kholdarov.

WELTERWEIGHT (69kg)
The Welterweight (69kg) category in Hamburg is once again replete with potential podium firepower that, in Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias, has a former World Champion now back in the kind of form that saw him win Olympic gold at London 2012. Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov won Olympic silver in Rio but suffered defeat at the hands of the Cuban in the WSB Play-Offs earlier this year, and the two EUBC finalists, Germany’s Abass Baraou and England’s Pat McCormack, will both be looking to find their way safely through the early stages of this year’s tournament and mount a serious title challenge. Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre, Kazakhstan’s 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Ablaikhan Zhussupov, Italy’s Vincenzo Mangiacapre and Russia’s Sergei Sobylinskiy are also among the names that will be chasing for the title in Hamburg.

MIDDLEWEIGHT (75kg)
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak impressed with his energetic and attacking flair in Kharkiv, and will be looking to emulate that EUBC success in Hamburg when he goes up against the best Middleweights in the world. The field includes the likes of Uzbekistan’s Israil Madrimov, who has enjoyed huge AOB and WSB success since moving up to the weight category just last year, Cuba’s defending AIBA World Champion and Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Arlen Lopez, Kazakh newcomer Abilkhan Amankul and Russia’s Petr Khamukov. India’s two-time Olympian and former Asian Games winner Vikas Krishan Yadav will have a podium finish firmly in his sights, as will Cameroon’s AFBC Champion Dieudonne Ntsengue, Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly, Colombian Jorge Luis Vivas and Hungary’s double-Olympian Zoltan Harcsa.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (81kg)
Like his teammate Lazaro Alvarez, Cuba’s Julio Cesar La Cruz arrives in Hamburg chasing a remarkable fourth straight World title, and his dominance of the weight category continued in Rio with Olympic gold last year. Standing in his way is a talented Light Heavyweight field that includes Uzbekistan’s tough Bektemir Melikuziev, runner-up to La Cruz in Doha and Rio, and Ireland’s three-time EUBC Champion Joe Ward, hoping to finally convert European gold to a World title. The 25-year-old Kazakh Yerik Alzhanov, Russia’s EUBC silver medallist Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, Venezuela’s WSB star Albert Ramon Ramirez and Ecuador’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Carlos Andres Mina all have the ability to make a big impact on the competition, while Brazil’s Michel Borges will want to carry his momentum from Rio 2016 on into Hamburg.

HEAVYWEIGHT (91kg)
Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko is the reigning Olympic Champion, AIBA World Champion and EUBC European Champion, but will need to overcome the likes of Kazakhstan’s number one Vassiliy Levit and Cuba’s imposing Erislandy Savon if he is to successfully defend his title in Hamburg. Commonwealth Games winner and unbeaten WSB newcomer David Nyika could become only the second New Zealander to win a World Championship medal if he is able to maintain his excellent form going in to the tournament, but a strong contingent from the Americas is packed with podium potential in the form of Argentina’s Yamil Alberto Peralta, Colombian veteran Deivis Julio and Ecuador’s double Olympian Julio Cesar Castillo. France’s EUBC European U22 Champion Paul Omba Biongolo and England’s Cheavan Clarke are among the new talents hoping to make their mark on the competition.

SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT (+91kg)
With Cuba’s Jose Angel Larduet and England’s Frazer Clarke both unable to compete in Hamburg, the medal opportunities at Super Heavyweight open up a little wider with the likes of Kazakhstan’s Kamshybek Kunkabayev and Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov ready to seize the initiative and mount serious title challenges. Among the boxers also pursuing podium finishes will be Azerbaijan’s two-time World Champion Mahammadrasul Majidov, Ukraine’s EUBC European Champion Viktor Vykhryst and Russia’s Maxim Babanin. Germany’s Max Keller will be dreaming of a medal as he makes his World Championship debut, along with Jordan’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games quarter-finalist and ASBC bronze medallist Hussein Iashaish. The powerful Romanian Mihai Nistor, Australia’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Joseph Goodall and Denmark’s Kem Ljungquist Larsen will also be looking to safely progress through to the latter stages and push for a medal.

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Three days to go: Wladimir Klitschko, Gilberto Mendoza and even more reasons not to miss this year’s AIBA World Championships in Hamburg

The 19th edition of the AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships begins on 25 August in Hamburg, featuring the best elite boxers on the planet today. With just three days to go until the opening bell sounds, here are another three very good reasons to be excited for this year’s competition.

  • Among the VIPs in attendance will be the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games Super Heavyweight gold medallist and World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko and President of the World Boxing Association (WBA), Mr Gilberto Mendoza.

  • The Sporthalle Hamburg has a series of unique spectator experiences ready to be enjoyed and the city’s favourite sports venue will be bouncing with up to 7,000 boxing fans cheering on their heroes.

  • As well as the prestige of being crowned World Champion, this year the boxers will be competing for a Hamburg 2017 medal, the unique design for which was selected by boxing fans around the world via an online vote in July.

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Three days to go: Wladimir Klitschko, Gilberto Mendoza and even more reasons not to miss this year’s AIBA World Championships in Hamburg

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