Junior Euros 2023: Stunning Finals Day performance lands Team England seven golds

July 31, 2023 | by Chris Boyd


Team England produced a clinical display on the final day of the EUBC Junior European Championships 2023, securing seven gold and one silver medal in Ploiesti, Romania.

The two Rubys, Cuthbertson and White respectively, claimed back-to-back gold medals in bouts one and two of Session One to get the ball rolling before the gold medals kept on coming for Team England.

The outcome of the ‘Best Team’ trophy came down to the final round of the last bout between England and Ukraine, but the Three Lions were pipped in a close decision to come 2nd place overall.

It would be England and Ukraine to open the Final Day too, as District Youth boxer Ruby Cuthbertson competed against Kira Makohonenko in the Under 46kg Junior Female final.

Ruby started the bout in a determined fashion, enforcing herself on her Ukraine foe as she produced a stellar performance.

Ruby’s frequent bursts of pressure, throughout all three rounds, would be the difference as she claimed a unanimous points decision to crown herself European Champion and secure Team England’s first gold medal.

There wasn’t to be a long wait for England’s second gold medal of the day, as reigning Junior European Champion Ruby White took to the ring for the Under 48kg final against Ukraine’s Uliana Ovsepian.

The Sturminster Newton was scintillating throughout her three-round pursuit to retain her medal.

White picked her shots well and with devastating accuracy, forcing a clear unanimous points decision and the privilege to call herself a two-time Junior European Champion.

England’s first Junior Male finalist of the day was next to take to the ring, as Humza Malik competed against Adam Marcin of the Czech Republic in the Under 46kg final.

The Repton boxer has warmed into the Championships in Romania but saved his best performance for the final day.

Malik showed outstanding patience and control against Marcin, putting on a fine point-scoring display to win unanimously and bring home a European medal.

Broadplain’s Hollie Haskins was the first Team England boxer to take to the ring in Session Two, as she faced home nation boxer Rebeca Muller in the Under 50kg final.

The bout was an extremely tight affair and was the personification of how much this medal meant to the boxers.

In the end, there was very little to separate Haskins and Muller, however, Hollie’s sheer dogged determination to win earned her the victory via a 3-2 split decision, much to the disappointment of a feverish home crowd.

Ropes & Glory boxer Adam Maca was never going to give up his Junior European crown but went up against difficult opposition in Armenia’s Spartak Martirosyan in the Under 57kg final.

Maca looked sharper than ever in what was his fifth bout of the European Championships, delivering heavy-handed shots to flummox his southpaw opponent.

The final round was an extremely comfortable one for Maca as he sensed what was coming, picking up the unanimous decision victory to become a two-time Junior European Champion.

The bouts were coming quick and fast again for Team England, as St Mary’s boxer Paul Coyle took to the ring for the Under 60kg final against another Armenian in Andranik Martiroysan.

A first-round game of chess ensued, but southpaw Coyle soon found success through the jab to land combos and win the first two rounds unanimously.

The third round was to be scrappy as Paul landed comfortably against a much frustrated Armenian to be crowned Junior European Champion by a unanimous decision.

One of England’s finest performers at the tournament Joe John Carrigan was next to take to the ring, for his Under 70kg final against Amhed Koci of Albania.

The all-southpaw clash presented an extremely close opening round but the England boxer, from Border City ABC, found another gear in rounds two and three to take his performance to the next level.

Despite that initial test, Carrigan stormed to a unanimous decision victory against always-tricky Albanian opposition, to become Junior European champion and claim England’s 7th gold medal of the day.

Just as they had opened the show, England and Ukraine closed it and gave a whole new meaning to saving the best for last.

In what was the most exciting bout of the Championship, with a Junior European medal and the Best Team award on the line, Legions boxer Leo Atang went up against Oleksandr Sliesariev in the Over 80kg contest.

Both boxers truly went toe-to-toe, producing a contest that exhibited very little between the pair.

Atang inflicted a standing eight-count on his Ukrainian foe in the second round but was returned the favour in the third and final round.

Ultimately, Sliesariev was given an extremely close 3-2 split decision in his favour, meaning Atang brings home a silver medal after a hugely impressive championship for the Yorkshireman.

That decision meant Team England finished Finals Day and the EUBC Junior European Championships 2023 with seven gold medals and one silver, to go alongside their three-bronze picked up by Caitlyn Wise (Worcester City), Ella Lonsdale (Sunderland East End) and Mohammad Safari (The Ring). The trio received their medals during the ceremonies held in between bouts throughout the day.