Caciques Venezuela recovered from losing the first two legs in Maiquetía to defeatItalia Thunder 3-2 in a pulsating World Series of Boxing (WSB) clash.
The victory for the South American Franchise means they are just a single point behind third placed Italy in the Group B table, with one match of the Regular Season to go.
There was early team and individual success for the Italian team in the opening match of the evening when Ireland’s Patrick Barnes earned his seventh successive victory of the season, and finished top of the Light flyweight (49 kg) rankings after he defeated Venezuela’s Yoel Finol.
Only one Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota was available for the Light flyweights, and Barnes needed to win following Hasanboy Dusmatov’s success on Friday night.
He showed no nerves against Finol, knocking down his opponent in the first round and utilised his power and pressure consistently throughout the fight.
Barnes won 49-45 on two scorecards, while the third judge awarded the contest to the Venezuelan 48-47.
Despite the split decision verdict, the win was enough to send Barnes back to the top of the Light flyweight rankings, and earn him a Rio 2016 quota.
Another Irish fighter to succeed for the Italy on the night was 5-2 Michael Conlan, who also achieved his own Olympic quota by beating José Vicente Azocar.
Conlan began the WSB weekend ranked third at Bantamweight (56 kg), but after Azerbaijan’s Magomed Gurbanov lost in Puerto Rico, his Olympic destiny was secured with a 49-46 win across the board against his South American opponent.
The Irish star expertly displayed his unorthodox style and elusive reflexes en route to the victory, and the valuable second place in the Bantamweight rankings.
Italy’s Vincenzo Mangiacapre headed into his fight with Venezuela’s Luis Arcónknowing that a stoppage or unanimous decision win would not only seal the overall victory for Italy on the night, but also secure a top two ranking in the Light welterweight (64 kg) division and an Olympic quota.
Unfortunately for the Italian he was up against a motivated Arcón who was the busier fighter in the opening three rounds.
Though Mangiacapre made a comeback it was too late, and he lost the match, plus his Olympic opportunities through WSB 48-47 according to all three judges.
The Venezuelan team evened up the match after fight number four at Middleweight (75 kg) when Nalek Rachid Korbaj Barrerra dominated Italy’s Salvatore Cavallaro in a very entertaining clash.
With everything to play for heading into the last bout at Heavyweight (91 kg), it was down to either home star Alfonso Flores or Italian debutant Giuseppe Claudio Squeo to become a hero for their team.
Squeo was aggressive in the opening stages of the fight, but Flores remained composed and eventually won on all three scorecards, securing a famous victory for Venezuela which maintains their hopes of reaching the knockout stages in their debut season.
Caciques Venezuela travel to Rafako Hussars Poland in the last week of the Regular Season, while Italia Thunder host Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.
Algeria Desert Hawks win African derby after outperforming Morocco Atlas Lions
The second ever World Series of Boxing (WSB) African derby was won by Algeria Desert Hawks 4-1 over Morocco Atlas Lions.
This was only the second win for Algeria in Season V of WSB, but their wonderful performance more than warranted the victory, and offers sweet revenge after narrowly losing the first derby earlier on in the campaign.
Morocco will be disappointed at losing their first match in four fixtures, but will take some comfort from remaining three places above their African opponents in the Group A table.
Algeria set the template for their overall victory in the first bout of the evening at Light flyweight (49 kg), when Zoheir Toudjine won his first match of the season in five attempts against Zouhair El Bekkali.
No Algerian Light flyweight had achieved success across six fixtures, so Toudjine will be delighted to destroy that record.
The Atlas Lions levelled up the scoring at Bantamweight (56 kg) after 3-2 Mohamed Hamout widely outpointed 0-4 Fahem Hammachi.
Hamout looked excellent in the bout and teamed fast hands with a wide array of shots.
Light welterweight (64 kg) Ahmed Boudiaf recovered from the losing the first round against Morocco’s Hamza El Barbari to win perhaps the most entertaining fight of the night.
Boudiaf took control in round two, before dropping El Barbari in the third frame.
Moments after the knockdown, the ringside doctor ruled that the Moroccan could not continue due to a head injury, which resulted in Algeria’s second win of the evening.
Ilyas Abbadi has been one of Algeria’s most successful boxers this season, and the star enjoyed his fourth successive home win over Said Harnouf to secure the famous victory for his Franchise.
Abbadi delighted the crowd with his entertaining style, and completely dominated Harnouf over the course of their contest.
The win means that Abbadi finishes the Regular Season sixth in the Middleweight (75 kg) rankings.
Another stoppage occurred in the last match of the night when Heavyweight (91 kg)Bouziane Houna finished Amine Azzouzi in round two.
Houna had dropped Azzouzi twice earlier in the round, and after another flurry the referee called an end to the bout.
Algeria Desert Hawks travel to China Dragons next week in the last match of the Regular Season, while Morocco Atlas Lions host Russian Boxing Team.
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan win 13th WSB fight in a row against Argentina Condors
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan recovered from losing the first match of the evening to secure a 4-1 away win in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) against Argentina Condors.
Not only was this Kazakhstan’s 13th consecutive win in Season V, but their Heavyweight (91 kg) star Vassiliy Levit also achieved a Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota through WSB after stopping Argentina’s Diego Blanche in the last fight of the evening.
Levit has now won all seven of his bouts this season, and the victory over Blanche represented his fifth TKO success of the campaign.
Only one qualification spot for the Olympic Games next year was available at Heavyweight, but Levit never looked troubled against Banche and dominated throughout the two rounds.
His five stoppages means that he finishes top of the Heavyweight rankings despite achieving the same amount of points as Cuba’s Erislandy Savon, and ensures his Rio 2016 quota as a result of that incredible achievement.
The night began with a rare loss for Kazakhstan after 3-2 Condors Light flyweight (49 kg) Junior Zarate won by unanimous decision over Zhomart Yerzhan.
Zarate was the faster man in the ring, and his aggression ultimately carried him to victory.
Kazakhstan began their comeback at Bantamweight (56 kg) when 2013 AIBA World Championships bronze medalist Kairat Yeraliyev achieved his second victory of the season against debutant Jonathan Emanuel Sanchez.
Astana Arlans took the lead in Argentina in the next fight following Samat Bashenov’s fifth successive WSB win.
Bashenov, the fifth ranked Light welterweight (64 kg) in Season V was excellent in his contest with Lucas Ivan Gimenez and won every round.
The team from Kazakhstan opened up an unassailable 3-1 lead at Middleweight (75 kg) when 2013 AIBA World Champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly defeated Christian Zarate on points.
Alimkhanuly dropped Zarate in round one, but the Argentine fighter was brave and managed to carry on until the end of the contest.
Argentina Condors travel to Azerbaijan Baku Fires next week, while Astana Arlans Kazakhstan visit Italia Thunder.
Revitalized Rafako Hussars Poland dominate USA Knockouts in Szczecin
Rafako Hussars Poland won their penultimate home match in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Regular Season 4-1 against USA Knockouts.
The victory gave a great reward to Poland’s excellent home support in Szczecin, and came as a result of their hard work and dedication.
Poland began the fixture with a 1-0 lead after USA’s Joshua Franco was unable to compete in his Light flyweight (49 kg) match with Dawid Sebastian Jagodzinski.
One victory turned to a second at Bantamweight (56 kg) when Sylwester Kozlowskienjoyed a points win over 4-3 Francisco Martinez.
Kozlowski looked the bigger man in the ring, and was the pressure fighter across the close contest which finished with all three judges awarding the bout to the Polish star.
Martinez started the campaign with four successive wins, and though he has now lost three in a row, the boxer has only just turned 19, and should be proud with how his debut WSB season has gone.
2-1 Tra-Kwon Pettis pulled back a win for the Knockouts at Light welterweight (64 kg) with a wide points decision over Kazimierz ??gowski.
Pettis utilised fast flurries and used his reach incredibly well which caused significant problems for ??gowski.
The American comeback was stopped at Middleweight (75 kg) when Tomasz Jablonski enjoyed his sixth victory of the season, and the overall result for Poland against USA’s Anthony Campbell.
Jablonski has been Poland’s best boxer this season, and began this week with an outside chance of earning a Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota through WSB.
Although he defeated Campbell, he ultimately finished third in the Middleweight rankings, and outside of the Olympic qualification places despite having the same amount of points as Arlen Lopez and Petr Khamukov.
Throughout all five rounds of his contest with Campbell, the Polish fighter expertly showed why he has been so successful this season, and his overhand right was a constant weapon.
Poland secured their fourth triumph of the night at Heavyweight (91 kg) when Michal Olas dropped USA’s Joshua Temple en route to a unanimous decision result.
Rafako Hussars host Caciques Venezuela next week in the last match of the group stages, while USA Knockouts are at home to Puerto Rico Hurricanes.