The European Confederation Boxing Championships is set to get underway in the Bulgarian town of Samokov today.
Competition will have additional significance this year as boxers will be able to secure qualification places for the 2015 International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) World Boxing Championships, due to take place in Doha in October.
A total of 60 boxers will be awarded quota places at the Championships, organised by the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC), with the top six in each division set to be earn berths in Doha when competition draws to a close on August 15.
The Championships in Samokov will be the first of five AIBA Confederation Boxing Championships to be held this summer and AIBA President C K Wu believes the competition will be fierce with so much at stake.
“EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships represent the ultimate step to qualify to AIBA World Boxing Championships 2015, where the best boxers from all over the world will compete for the ultimate boxing glory,” he said.
“Samokov, Bulgaria is the perfect stage to showcase the best European boxers in front of thousands of passionate boxing fans.”
Established boxing nations Russia and Ukraine have both named strong teams for the Championships.
Ukraine’s squad also has a youthful feel as the average age is just 21-years-old.
They are just two of the 42 nations set to compete across the nine-day event, with developing boxing nations Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro and Slovenia having sent their largest ever teams to compete.
The opening day of competition will see the men’s 60 kilogram lightweight, 64kg light welterweight and 91kg heavyweight preliminaries get underway, with Bulgaria’s lightweight Elian Veselinov Dimitrov and Olympic heavyweight bronze medallist Tervel Pulev due to get the home challenge underway.
“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the organisation of this event, especially the Bulgarian Boxing Federation, the Local Organising Committee, Governmental and institutional support,” Franco Falcinelli, President of EUBC.
“Their excellent work and dedication has made these Championships a reality, for which EUBC is very grateful.“