The official draw for the 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships took place at the Ezdan Hotel in Doha this afternoon, following the official weigh-in earlier in the day. AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu welcomed the 243 boxers taking part in the 10-day competition, which begins with the preliminary rounds running from Tuesday to Friday.
Opening proceedings with the 49kg class, the first round highlight for Tuesday afternoon sees India’s Commonwealth Games silver medalist Laishram Devendro Singh take on Britain’s young hope Harvey Horn. As with all the weight classes, the four top seeds join the action in the last 16, with Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Champion and second seed Hasanboy Dusmatov looking to have the best run to the final.
In the 56kg class, Ireland’s WSB number one boxer and EUBC European Championship winner Michael Conlan has a golden opportunity to bring home his country’s first ever AIBA World Championship gold medal. The pick of the first preliminary round sees Thailand’s defending ASBC Asian champion Chatchai Butdee face the Ukrainian AIBA World Championship bronze medalist Mykola Butsenko.
In a 60kg class loaded with big bouts, Cuba’s two-time AIBA World Champion Lazaro Alvarez has a good chance of reaching the semi finals, while the first round highlight sees Russia’s WSB star Adlan Abdurashidov face Kazakhstan’s ASBC Asian Championship silver medalist and WSB Team Champion, Zakir Safiullin.
The ever-strong Cuban team brings no fewer than five top seeds to Doha; Yosbany Veitia, Lazaro Alvarez (60kg), Yasnier Toledo (64kg), Arlen Lopez (75kg) and Erislandy Savon (91kg). Two years ago in Almaty, however, it was Kazakhstan who topped the team rankings, and in Doha they have four top-ranking boxers competing. AIBA Boxer of the Year for the last two years Daniyar Yeleussinov is a strong contender for gold in the 69kg category, and he is joined by fellow top seeds Kayrat Yeralyev (56kg), Adilbek Niyazymbetov (81kg) and Ivan Dychko (+91kg).
Uzbekistan’s talented young Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Bektemir Melikuziev is undefeated since joining the elite 75kg class in January. The 19-year-old middleweight star’s Doha campaign begins with an intriguing match against Georgian veteran Zaal Kvachatadze.
In the welterweight category, Lithuania’s EUBC European Champion Eimantas Stanionis faces Ireland’s London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan in the preliminary round. “Nothing has changed after the draw, and as a new European Champion I have got great expectations in Doha. You can’t change the draw so I will do my best to win in the ring against everybody. I know my Irish opponent well enough, but I am also well prepared,” said Lithuania’s Stanionis following the official draw.