THE atmosphere and tension was high on Friday night when South Africa went head-to-head against the Land of Fire, The Republic of Azerbaijan, in the inaugaral Heyder Aliyev Africa-Azerbaijan Kickboxing Tournament.
Held at the Transnet Engineering Boxing Academy in Pretoria, The Azerbaijan Embassy and key sponsor, Paramount Group and organisers; Friends of Azerbaijan and SAAKA (South African Amateur Kickboxing Association) provided a glamorous sporting event which coincided with President Heydar Aliyev‘s 90th birthday celebration.
An extraordinary man and historic personality, Heydar Aliyev was Azerbaijan’s first president as an independent country and is credited with setting forth the policy and structures which has seen Azerbaijan enjoy unprecedented socio-economic development since its independence in 1991 and become a truly world class country. He was not only a leader during the 1970’s revival of Azerbaijan, but the Father of the Nation.
South African top fighters from across the country battled it out to win the Heyder Aliyev Africa-Azerbaijan Kickboxing Tournament title as they competed against Azerbaijan’s top fighters. Over 300 guests comprising of Government and Embassy officials, VIP’s, media, sport promoters, kickboxing fans and ambassadors from numerous countries witnessed the spectacular event.
The event kick started with a pre-cocktail party for VIP guests and an official opening ceremony which displayed dance shows and opening speeches. The evening then followed with the action-packed fights and as a result, eight winners were from the Azerbaijan team and two winners were from the South African team. Results are as follows:
Emil Mohsumzade (AZ) defeated Jurgens Bence (SA) via decision at U/75kg (Junior).
Ramiz Mammadov (AZ) defeated Tshepo Thladi (SA) via decision at U/57kg.
Ramal Aslanov (AZ) defeated Ruan Dekker (SA) via decision at U/71kg.
Eduard Mammadov (AZ) defeated Lucky Mokate (SA) via decision at U/63.5kg.
Johan Westervelt (SA) defeated Aghalar Sadigzade (AZ) via decision at +91kg.
Greogry Gans (SA) defeated Mahammad Suleymanov (AZ) via KO at U/75kg (Junior).
Truan Gafarov (AZ) defeated Michael Clatcher (SA) by decision at U/63kg.
Parvis Abdullayev (AZ) defeated Mbuso Ngwabe (SA) via decision at U/75kg.
Elnur Hamidov (AZ) defeated Adriaan van Wyk (SA) via decision at U/81kg.
Ayaz Gafarov (AZ) defeated Albert Cilliers (SA) via decision at +91kg
Elkhan P. Polukhov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to South Africa comments:
“The inaugural Heyder Aliyev Africa-Azerbaijan Kickboxing event proved to be a sound success. We hope that this tournament will bode toward strengthening the relationship between our two countries, and that that it will become an annual event. We hope to raise awareness about each of our countries and believe that sport is a very important aspect for the people of South African and Azerbaijan.”