Arajik Marutjan, was Germany’s first hope for a medal this year. The former Leipzig Leopards boxer from the 2011/2012 season got his best result to date by taking bronze in a tough weight category, which also featured Cuba’s Arisnoidys Despaigne. Despaigne, who has been named on the Domadores squad for his year, looked great for much of the tournament before having a seriously difficult final match against the boxer of the tournament, Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan. The 2013 AIBA Boxer of the year left the Cuban with a silver, which was nonetheless a good result for the WSB athlete.
Ireland’s Jason Quigley, who formally boxed for the Los Angeles Matadors had a fantastic tournament to take a silver medal, becoming the first Irishman to win something more than a bronze at a World Championships. Clearly mobile in the ring and with heavy hands he looked the complete boxer. He lost his final bout against Astana Arlans listed boxer Zhanibek Alimkhanuly. The Kazakh boxer has not yet made his WSB debut for the Arlans team, despite being on their books last year. With a boxer of Quigley’s stature admitting that he “couldn’t get near him”, and with a World Championships gold medal on his CV, that may soon change though.
Light Heavyweight (81kg)
Another former British Lionhearts boxer Joseph Ward was also in action. The Irishman looked like a rock throughout the tournament and did extremely well to claim the bronze, becoming the 7th Irishman to do so. He did particularly well to even be fit enough to participate in the tournament following what he called a “freak injury” to his knee during the European Championships in June. The level of resilience he showed to be back in top form in time for this event is praiseworthy in itself, let alone the bronze medal.
Another Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder Boxer was creating waves at this year’s event. Clemente Russo was back to his best, much to the delight of the local fans who chanted the great Italian’s name as he took his second world title to add to the one he won in Chicago in 2007 and his two Olympic silver medals. Very much the media attraction, Clemente was swarmed by the world’s press as he left the ring. As a former movie star the Italian was more than capable of coping with this attention, and dealt with the media in an extremely professional manner, giving everyone the time they wanted.
Not to be overlooked was Argentina Condors boxer Yamil Peralta who impressed this year with an extremely solid performance which earned him a well-deserved bronze. Russo and Peralta did not meet during the championships as they were on opposite sides of the bracket. It will be interesting to see how the new World Champion and World Bronze medallist fare when they line up against each other for their respective teams in January 2014.