Ukraine’s Artem Afanasenko pulled off one of the biggest individual wins ever seen on the IMMAF – WMMAA international amateur platform, ending the 28-0 win streak of double world champion and former European Open gold medalist, Bulgaria’s Delyan Georgiev.
Georgiev, who entered the 2019 European Open, taking place from 18-23 June in Rome, aimed for one last amateur title before planning to turn pro on an amateur record of 30-0.
The Bulgarian featherweight had amassed an already magnificent undefeated tenure including back to back gold medals at the 2017 and 2018 World Championships in Bahrain, in addition to triumph at the 2017 European Open in his home country.
Georgiev and Afanasenko faced off today, June 22, in the semi finals of the men’s senior featherweight bracket, both men entering the division’s final 4 following the opening round of 32 on June 19.
A tense split-decision via the judge’s scorecards was announced following the bout that essentially saw Georgiev’s signature approach backfire. The flawless timing and counter takedowns of the Bulgarian were less present as Afanasenko worked to keep the bout standing and use Georgiev’s patience against him, getting the better of the exchanges while Georgiev waited for an opening that just wouldn’t appear.
As a result, the takedowns that Georgiev secured came later in the rounds and with him unable to pass Afanasenko’s guard for side control, his favored position.
As a result, Afanasenko received a split-decision nod from the judges and now faces Juan Izquierdo of the suring Spanish national team, at tomorrow’s European Open finals.
By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran
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