Astana Arlans Kazakhstan earned their 12th consecutive win in Season V of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) after defeating Puerto Rico Hurricanes 4-1 in San Juan.
Kazakhstan began the evening with a 1-0 advantage after Puerto Rican Welterweight (69 kg) Nicklaus Flaz could not compete, which resulted in a walkover verdict awarded to AIBA World Champion Daniyar Yeleussinov.
The Hurricanes roared back at Flyweight (52 kg) however when Jeyvier Cintrón Ocasio earned his fifth win of the season, and moved up to second in the rankings after defeating Olzhas Sattibayev.
With just one more match of the group stages to come, the Puerto Rican will be delighted with the unanimous points victory although he only won by a single point on all three scorecards.
Two Flyweight quotas available for Rio 2016 so Cintrón Ocasio knows that if he wins his last bout he will almost certainly reach his second Olympic Games
Jose Rosario’s chances of qualifying for Rio 2016 ended when the Lightweight (60 kg) lost his undefeated record after being beaten by Zakir Safiullin.
This was Safiullin’s first success of the season in four attempts, and the Kazakh star secured the victory on all three scorecards.
Croatia’s Hrvoje Sep then moved up to second in the Light heavyweight (81 kg) rankings with a dominant win over 0-5 Joseph Laboy.
Sep now has six wins in Season V all by the way of points, and after Cuba’s Julio César la Cruz surprisingly lost on Friday night, the Astana Arlans representative is now in the Olympic qualification places heading into the last match of the Regular Season.
Filip Hrgovic, a Croatian and Astana Arlans teammate of Sep also improved his Rio 2016 chances in the last match of the evening as he stopped Jose Gabriel Medina in round two of their bout.
The TKO moves Hrgovic back to the top of the Super heavyweight (91+ kg) rankings which is vital as there is only one Olympic quota available for the weight class through this competition.
Following Joseph Joyce’s defeat on Thursday night, Hrgovic’s main rival is now Cuba’s Lenier Eunice Pero, but victory in Italy in a fortnight will assure the Croatian of a place in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan visit Argentina Condors next week, while Puerto Rico Hurricanes host Azerbaijan Baku Fires.
Albert Selimov qualifies for Rio 2016 as Azerbaijan Baku Fires beat USA Knockouts
World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV runners up Azerbaijan Baku Fires continued their impressive form in the fifth instalment of the competition as they whitewashed USA Knockouts 5-0 in Guba.
This was Azerbaijan’s fourth successive home victory, while the American Franchise have now lost five of their last six WSB matches.
Only four fights were held on the night as American Super heavyweight (91+ kg) Cam F. Awesome did not compete, which resulted in a walkover victory for Haji Murtuzaliyev.
The biggest success story of the evening was Azerbaijan’s Albert Selimov, who has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through WSB.
A 2007 AIBA World Champion, the number one ranked Lightweight (60 kg) now has a chance to add Olympic glory to an already glistening career after he defeated USA’s Carlos Balderas.
Selimov outworked the American youngster who impressed despite losing on points.
The fight was stopped at the end of the fourth round due to a head injury suffered by Balderas.
Now 6-0 in Season V, Selimov is three points ahead of second ranked Cuban Lazaro Alvarez and crucially ten points ahead of third placed Russian Adlan Abdurashidov.
This unassailable points lead means that the Azeri fighter has reached Rio with one match of the Regular Season to go.
USA’s Brent Venegas III saw his Olympic hopes falter after losing by split decision to Flyweight (52 kg) Murad Rabadanov in the first bout of the evening.
Rabadanov edged the narrow bout 49-46 and 48-47 on two scorecards, while the American youngster was awarded a 48-47 score according to the third judge.
Fourth ranked Azeri Welterweight (69 kg) Parviz Baghirov then enjoyed a comfortable victory over American Brian Ceballo to seal the overall win for Azerbaijan.
The 5-0 scoreline was assured in the last bout at Light heavyweight (81 kg) when 3-2 home star Soltan Migitinov widely outpointed Steve Nelson.
Azerbaijan Baku Fires visit Puerto Rico Hurricanes next week, while USA Knockouts travel to Rafako Hussars Poland.
Italia Thunder continue home dominance with victory over Rafako Hussars Poland
An excellent performance in Andria saw Italia Thunder defeat Rafako Hussars Poland 4-1 in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
This was an important result for the Italian Franchise heading into the last two matches of the Regular Season as they aim to reach the knockout stages of Season V.
In addition to team success for the Italians, their Light heavyweight (81 kg) Valentino Manfredonia made a giant step towards qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through WSB, as he defeated Poland’s 1-3 Mateusz Jerzy Tryc on points.
Manfredonia is 6-0 this season, and now leads the Light heavyweight rankings outright after his main rival Julio Cesar La Cruz lost on Friday night.
It was a routine victory for the Italian who dropped just one round on a single scorecard, and he will head into his last Regular Season match in two weeks time full of confidence.
Although Ireland’s Steven Donnelly won his fifth match of the campaign for his Polish team against Italy’s Dario Morello, the third ranked Welterweight (69 kg) is likely to miss out on reaching Rio 2016 via this competition.
After the top two ranked Welterweights Radzhab Butaev and Mohammed Rabii both won earlier on in week 12, Donnelly’s split decision victory left him six points behind with just one match to go.
Donnelly was awarded the fight 48-47 on two scorecards, while Morello was given the same score by the third judge.
The night began with a victory for the Thunder at Flyweight (52 kg) when India’s Gaurav Bidhuri won every round against Poland’s Grzegorz Kozlowski.
Italian Lightweight (60 kg) Fabio Introvaia then edged a split decision over Poland’s Mateusz Polski in a tight contest.
Introvaia controlled the first three rounds of the fight, but Polski rallied in the latter stages leading to one judge awarding him the victory by a single point.
Both of the remaining judges preferred the work of the Italian by scores of 49-46 and 48-47.
The 4-1 win for Italy was confirmed at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) when reigning Italian Champion Alessio Spahiu outpointed Roger Hryniuk.
Italia Thunder travel to Caciques Venezuela next week, while Rafako Hussars Poland host USA Knockouts.