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The István Bocskai boxing memorial competition is now part of the World Boxing Tour series

Debrecen will host the István Bocskai István International Boxing Memorial Tournament for the 66th time between 8th and 12th February 2022.

Speaking at a press conference in Debrecen on 3 February 2022, Lajos Barcsa, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen, stressed that it is a remarkable event to be held for the 66th time, both internationally and globally. The cooperation between the Hungarian Boxing Association and the City of Debrecen is very good and goes back several decades, for which the participants deserve thanks. The city is again providing the venue, accommodation for the foreign athletes and judges, and the Dutch porcelain souvenirs and medals for the winners and runners-up.

The International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umar Kremlyov, in one of his first trips to Debrecen last year in this position, found the standard of the competition to be adequate and one of the most important new features of this year’s tournament is that it has also enabled Bocskai to become the first event in the IBA’s new money to paying World Boxing Tour series. On the other hand – unlike last year – the fights will again take place in front of an audience at the usual venue, the Oláh Gábor Street Sports Hall between 8 and 12th February 2022. During the whole event, great care will be taken to ensure security, so only masks and immunity cards will be allowed to enter. Adult tickets for the five days of the competition will cost 4,000 HUF, day tickets 1,000 HUF, student tickets 1,500 HUF, and student day tickets 500 HUF. The matches are free of charge for pensioners and under 14’s. The official opening of the 66th Bocskai István Bocskai International Boxing Memorial Tournament will take place on Tuesday 8th February at 2:00 p.m., the women’s finals on 11th February, and the men’s finals on 12th February.

Zsuzsanna Tóth, Secretary General of the Hungarian Boxing Association, also stressed that although the Bocskai Memorial Competition was still a European A-category event, the IBA included it in its new competition schedule because of its tradition, quality and the number of participating countries. This year, more than 200 athletes from 20 countries, including England, France, Ukraine, Turkey, Serbia, Brazil, Belarus, and the Czech Republic, have indicated their intention to participate. Both the female and male fields will be large. For those who are unable to attend the event, the Hungarian Boxing Federation will be able to follow the action online. The Secretary-General also stressed that the competition was held without any problems last year in terms of the epidemic situation and that this year again great emphasis will be placed on health safety.

Róbert Bertók, the national captain of the national boxing team, said that all Hungarian boxers know how important it is to take part in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament, where many of the world’s top boxing powers are represented. However, he started with the news that some of the key players of the Hungarian national team, 8 Hungarian adult champions, will not be able to participate in the tournament due to injury, coronavirus infection or other illnesses. Nevertheless, the majority of the adult and U22 squads will be present, including Debrecen’s top athletes such as Attila Bernáth at 51 kg and László Bernáth at 54 kg, from whom the captain expects serious results. According to Róbert Bertók, the Hungarian national team is particularly strong in the lower and higher weight categories, with 3-4 very good and experienced competitors per weight category, but there are also excellent players in other weight categories. The captain is confident that there will be Hungarian gold medallists and a few podium finishers. There are also many stars in the foreign field: European U22 champions, European champions, European adult champions, world youth and adult champions, Olympic medallists, such as the women’s world champion and Olympic silver medallist Beatriz Ferreira from Brazil.

Zoltán Pajna, a member of the board of the Hungarian Boxing Association, described the success of the Hungarian sports diplomacy as the first cash prize competition of the IBA in Debrecen. It is also very important that fighters already preparing for the Paris Olympics can show/test their skills here. He expressed the hope that the performance of all the Hungarian athletes, including those from Debrecen, would make the competition worthwhile for spectators.

Sándor Szabó, member of the board of the Hungarian Boxing Federation and president of the DVSC Boxing Club, said that the club – in Debrecen and Hajdúhadháza – currently has more than 60 members. Among them, 6 competitors – 2 women and 4 men – will take part in the memorial competition. Petra Mátrai 54, Anna Dr. Győrfi 63, Attila Bernáth 51, László Bernáth 54 – they could be gold medallists -, the fist fighter László Bernáth 57 and András Komjáthi 86 kilograms.