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Friday, June 23, 2023

Kapuler Advances in European Games

Miroslav Kapuler Ishchenko advanced to the round of 32 in the junior middleweight division at the European Games in Krakow, Poland. The European Games are a qualifying tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics. In many cases, reaching the semifinals is good enough to qualify.

Kapuler, a 26 year old who is 3-0 as a pro, won by unanimous decision against Milos Bartl of the Czech Republic. Bartl, a native of Prague, is two years older and 2-0 as a pro. Both are southpaw boxers who use in-an-out styles, but Kapuler was more effective.

Miroslav was clever and elusive the entire bout. His timing was better partly because Bartl bounced, a bad habit because the Czech fighter had to set his feet to throw a punch. Kapuler used good upper-body movement and punched off angles. Bartl was more one-dimensional, coming straight in-and-out. Kapuler's timing forced Bartle to be the aggressor, and Kapuler took advantage with sneaky counters.

Three judges called it a shutout, 30-27, while two others scored it 29-27, all for Kapuler. He faces Vakhid Abbasov of Serbia on Sunday. A fellow southpaw, Abbasov is 6-0 as a pro and won gold at last year's European Amateur Championships in the welterweight division.

Note: Fellow Israeli Ahmad Shwiti (8-0 as a pro), who isn't Jewish, lost to Narek Hovhannisyan of Armenia 3-2. Junior welterweight Shtiwi boxed well, but Hovhannisyan's volume carried the day.

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