A powerful first leg performance from Astana Arlans Kazakhstan resulted in a 5-0 victory over Russian Boxing Team.
This result means that Russia need to win every match of tomorrow’s second leg, including a tie-breaker bout to overhaul Astana Arlans and qualify for the WSB Final.
Kazakhstan began the fixture strongly as their lower weight class boxers took them into an early lead, and their grip tightened as the matches progressed.
3-1 Light flyweight (49 kg) Temirtas Zhussupov gave Kazakhstan a perfect start as he won every round against 1-1 Vadim Kudriakov in the opening match.
Zhussupov was the busier boxer throughout the contest, and managed to nullify the attacks of Kudriako while frequently choosing the right moment to launch his own punches.
2013 AIBA World Championships bronze medalist Kairat Yeraliyev doubled Kazakhstan’s lead at Bantamweight (56 kg) when he outpointed Russia’s 1-1 Andranik Grigorian.
After Yeraliyev dominated the first three rounds, his Russian Rival finished strongly, but because of his poor start he could not make up the rounds difference.
Kazakh Light welterweight (64 kg) Samat Bashenov achieved his sixth win of the season, and put his Franchise into an unassailable lead in the third match, but was made to work very hard for his win by Russia’s 23-year-old Avak Uzlian.
All three judges awarded the first round to Uzlian who was busier and more effective in the first three minutes, before Bashenov took the next three rounds as his WSB experience became apparent.
Uzlian never gave up however, and dominated the last round, but Bashenov had impressed enough to secure the victory by unanimous decision 49-46, and 48-47 on two scorecards.
6-0 Middleweight (75 kg) Meiirim Nursultanov enjoyed a more comfortable triumph against Russian debutant Sukhrob Sidikov, as he dropped just one round on a single scorecard to make it 4-0 on the night for Kazakhstan.
Few boxers are as entertaining to watch in the ring as Nursultanov, and he delighted the home crowd with a very accomplished performance.
In the last match of the first leg, number one ranked Heavyweight (91 kg) Vassiliy Levit dominated Russia’s Vitaly Kudukhov to seal the whitewash for his team.
Levit has blown away the majority of his opponents this season, and his eighth success of Season V was no different.
The first three rounds saw Levit utilise power shots from both hands, before Kudukhov was disqualified midway through the fourth round.
This significant win means that Russia now need a miracle tomorrow night if they are to stage one of the most incredible comebacks in the history of this competition.