Facts about the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships

The 2016 International Boxing Association (AIBA) Youth World Boxing Championships was the fifth edition of the event.

It took place in Russian city St Petersburg from November 17 to 26, with more than 400 boxers from over 70 countries competing.

Guadalajara in Mexico hosted the first edition of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in 2008.

The biennial tournament took the place of the prestigious Junior World Championships for 17 to 19 year-old boxers, which replaced the longstanding Cadet World Championships for 15 to 16 year-olds.

The competition has always been considered a superb testing-ground for the potential elite-level champions of the future.

Previous winners include Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka of France, Pan-American Games winner Erislandy Savon of Cuba, and European Champion Filip Hrgovic of Croatia.

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Previous editions

2008 - Guadalajara, Mexico

Cuba topped the medal table after claiming four golds, one silver and one bronze.

The Caribbean island nation's victories came through light welterweight Frank Isla, middleweight Rey Eduardo Recio, light heavyweight Jose Larduet and heavyweight Erislandy Savon.

Savon has since gone on to win gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, silver at the 2015 World Championships in Doha and bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

Tony Yoka is a graduate of the Youth World Championships ©Getty Images
Tony Yoka is a graduate of the Youth World Championships ©Getty Images

2010 - Baku, Azerbaijan

As of the end of the final registration period, 105 countries were sending 532 competitors to the second edition of the Championships, but due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, only 466 boxers could make it to Azerbaijan's capital.

This year’s event should have taken place from April 20 to May 2, however, the only qualifying event for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games had to be postponed and started on April 25 with the finals on May 3.

Cuba were the dominant force once more, winning three golds, one silver and one bronze.

Robeisy Ramírez claimed top honours at bantamweight, while there were also victories for light heavyweight Irosvani Duverger and heavyweight Lenier Eunice Pero Justiz.

Ramírez went on to claim bantamweight gold at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, and two years later won flyweight gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

He moved back up to bantamweight for the Rio 2016 Olympics, where he struck gold. 

The last edition of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships was held in Bulgaria's capital Sofia ©AIBA
The last edition of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships was held in Bulgaria's capital Sofia ©AIBA

2012 - Yerevan, Armenia

This year's competition was held at the Karen Demirchyan Complex from November 25 to December 8.

Cuba, England and Russia each claimed two gold medals, while Armenia, China, Ukraine and Uzbekistan also had successful boxers. 

2014 - Sofia, Bulgaria

This year's competition was held at the Armeec Arena from April 10 to 25, and served as the sole qualifying event for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Cuba, Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States won two gold medals each with Bulgaria and Uzbekistan claiming the other two.

The women's titles were won by Armenian flyweight Anush Grigoryan, American lightweight Jajaira Gonzalez and Poland's Elzbieta Wojcik.

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About St Petersburg

Established by Peter the Great at the start of the 18th century, St Petersburg was conceived to provide Russia with a great port city on the edge of the Baltic Sea.

The country’s administrative capital during two separate periods, St Petersburg has developed into one of the truly great European cities and a symbol of Russian modernity that today is home to five million inhabitants.

Youth boxing is a great breeding ground for starts of the future ©AIBA
Youth boxing is a great breeding ground for starts of the future ©AIBA

The city is also Russia’s cultural capital and home to the Hermitage, one of the world’s finest art museums.

Spread across six historic sites, Pre-historic, Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek works sit alongside paintings by modern greats such as Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh in its permanent collection.

Geographically striking, St Petersburg’s canals and waterways and the local architecture lend themselves to comparisons with Venice.

Located on the River Neva that runs from vast Lake Ladoga to the Baltic Sea, the city boasts 342 bridges.

The Palace Bridge and the 17th century Lomonosov Bridge are among the most famous.

Sport has always had a significant role in the city’s daily life, with football club Zenit Saint Petersburg playing its home games at Petrovsky Stadium and basketball and ice hockey are also immensely popular.

One of the city’s favourite sporting sons is the former boxing champion Nikolai Valuev, who now runs a local gym that aims to help ensure that the sport continues to attract attention.

St Petersburg is Russia's cultural capital ©AIBA
St Petersburg is Russia's cultural capital ©AIBA

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Venue - Sibur Arena

The Sibur Arena played host to the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. 

One of St Petersburg's most modern sports venues and with a capacity of 7,120 spectators, the Sibur is located on Krestovsky Island in the heart of the city. 

Since its inauguration in 2013, the arena has hosted some of St Petersburg’s biggest sporting events, including World Series of Boxing franchise Russian Boxing Team’s home matches.

The venue has also staged ATP tennis tournaments, the 2013 World Combat Games and basketball team B.C. Zenit Saint Petersburg's games. 

The Sibur Arena will play host to the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships ©AIBA
The Sibur Arena will play host to the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships ©AIBA

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Boxers

A total of 417 boxers from 75 countries, including 2015 Junior World Boxing Championships gold medallists such as Azerbaijan's Mahammad Abdullayev, Romania's Cosmin Petre Girleanu, Uzbekistan's Bilolbek Mirzarakhimov and Cuba's Dainier Pero Justiz, took part in the 2016 edition.

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Mascot 

The St Petersburg Lion is said to impersonate boxing's key values - strength, confidence and willpower.

Behind the mascot, there is a complex background binding it with the host city and the history of boxing. 

Lions are among the symbols of St Petersburg; around the city, there are hundreds of images depicting the regal felines. 

From the very foundation of the Northern Capital, the statues and reliefs of lions ornate its architecture, symbolising the city's calm yet confident might. 

Referring to the host city, the mascot also pays a respectful tribute to the historical homeland of boxing, the United Kingdom, whose symbol has also been a lion for centuries.

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