Boxing

Strandja Cup 2021 boxing: All you need to know

The semis and finals of Europe's oldest international amateur boxing event will be shown live on olympicchannel.com

By Andrew Binner ·

Every year, many of the world’s top boxers gather in Bulgaria for the prestigious Strandja Cup.

Having first taken place in 1950, it is the oldest international amateur boxing competition in Europe.

The tournament has been won by several Olympic gold medallists including Roberto Cammarelle, Daniel Petrov, Armando Martinez and Alexander Povetkin.

Other notable participants include British lightweight Amir Khan, heavyweight hitter Kubrat Pulev, and current Asian Games champion Amit Panghal.

This year’s Strandja Cup, which takes place from 23-27 February in the nation’s capital of Sofia will have extra significance in the boxing calendar.

Many of the male and female entrants have not competed in a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will be keen to score a psychological advantage ahead of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in 2021.

All semi-finals and finals from 26-27 February will be shown live on OlympicChannel.com here.

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USA, Ireland send strong teams

With nearly a year since the last major competitions, teams are expected to field strong squads in Strandja.

USA Boxing are sending a team of seven, led by 2019 AIBA women's world bronze medallist Rashida Ellis at lightweight (60 kg).

Virginia Fuchs (flyweight, 51 kg) and Naomi Graham (middleweight, 75 kg), who both won world bronze in 2018, are also on the team.

Ireland, meanwhile, are looking for practice ahead of the anticipated resumption of the suspended Boxing Road to Tokyo European Olympic Qualifiers.

Irish boxers already eliminated from that tournament have been excluded from the squad, which includes 2018 world champion Kellie Harrington at lightweight and 2019 European Games silver medallist Michaela Walsh at featherweight (57 kg).

Brendan Irvine (52 kg), George Bates (63 kg), Emmett Brennan (81 kg), and Kirill Afanasev (91 kg), who all reached the round of 16 in their respective weight categories at last March's London qualifier before it was suspended, will all also take part in Strandja.

Schedule (all times local EET, GMT +2)

Tuesday 23 February

14:00 - Men’s preliminary rounds

18:00 - Women’s preliminary rounds

Wednesday 24 February

14:00 - Women’s quarter-finals

18:00 - Men’s quarter-finals

Thursday 25 February

14:00 - Women’s quarter-finals

18:00 - Men’s quarter-finals

Friday 26 February (shown live on Olympic Channel)

14:00 - Women’s semi-finals

18:00 - Men’s semi-finals

Saturday 27 February (shown live on Olympic Channel)

14:00 - Women’s finals

18:00 - Men’s finals

Where to watch

All semi-finals and finals from 26-27 February will be shown live on OlympicChannel.com here.

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