The Hala Mosir sports venue in Szczecin played host to five thrilling bouts of WSB boxing on Saturday night as the Russian Boxing Team conjured up a spirited fight back from 2-0 down to beat Rafako Hussars Poland 3-2.
A tight flyweight bout between the Hussars’ German 24-year-old Hamza Touba and Russia’s Ovik Ogannisian saw Touba recover from a slow start to put his opponent on the back foot with a stirring finish, taking a crucial fifth round to give the hosts the early advantage.
The lead was doubled when the experienced lightweight Dawid Michelus – stepping out for his 15th WSB contest – capitalised on a brilliant start against Gabil Mamedov, delivering a controlled performance that put the Hussars one bout away from a precious first Group C win.
Russian Boxing Team’s Albert Karibian had other ideas, showing no sign of debut nerves as he got his welterweight bout against 22-year-old Damian Kiwior off to a flying start. The Polish athlete finished well, but Karibian’s accurate punching and dangerous hooks early on had done enough to earn him the judges’ verdict and make it 2-1.
Another Russian debutant Iaroslav Doronichev then drew the match level, shocking the taller Pawel Wierzbicki with some fierce hooks and taking the contest down to the wire. That left super heavyweights Arkadiusz Szwedowicz and Pavel Silyagin to decide the evening, and despite a quick start from the Pole, Silyagin’s defence remained tight, from which he launched successful attacks that won him the judges’ decision and his team the match in a remarkable turnaround.
Cuba Domadores lay down the gauntlet with impressive opening win over Türkiye Conquerors in Istanbul
Following a morale-boosting victory over China Dragons on the opening weekend of Season VI, Türkiye Conquerors went in to Saturday night’s home match against Cuba Domadores full of belief, but the visitors proved too strong in Istanbul’s Bagcilar Olympic Sport Complex, snuffing out the challenge to win 5-0.
The opening bout saw Türkiye Conquerors’ experienced 28-year-old Ferhat Pehlivan making his WSB debut against Domadores’ talented 19-year-old Frank Saldivar. The Cuban southpaw’s speed and energy left Pehlivan tiring in the final two rounds, earning a unanimous win for the hosts.
At 1-0 up, Cuba Domadores were able to call upon three-time AIBA World Champion and WSB Team Champion Lazaro Alvarez. Yasin Yilmaz made a valiant effort to unsettle the Cuban star in the opening round, and the crowd came to life as the two southpaws embarked on an entertaining bout, eventually awarded to Alvarez in a unanimous decision.
Turkey’s 19 year-old welterweight Serhat Guler faced a similarly stiff challenge in the form of Domadores’ lightening-quick Roniel Iglesias, and the reigning Olympic champion never looked in trouble as Cuba marched into a commanding 3-0 lead on the night.
Türkiye Conquerors’ National Light Heavyweight Champion Nadir Unal made his competition debut against three-time AIBA World Champion and WSB Team Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz, and the Cuban adopted his usual flamboyant counter-attacking style to give Unal a WSB masterclass and take the match to 4-0. The whitewash was completed in emphatic fashion when double Olympian Bahram Muzaffer was knocked out in the first round by Cuban youngster Yohandi Toirac, completing an impressive night for the Domadores who once again look like the team to beat in Season VI.
Ukraine Otamans get their season off to perfect start against China Dragons
The Ukraine Otamans got their WSB Season VI campaign off to the perfect start on Saturday night as they registered a whitewash 5-0 win over China Dragons in Vinnytsia, Ukraine.
The Dragons had let a 2-0 lead slip in the Season VI curtain-raiser against Türkiye Conquerors and it quickly became clear that the Otamans were in no mood to be generous. From the moment their national flyweight champion Maksym Fatych won his WSB debut against the technical Hu Jianguan in a split judges’ decision, it wasn’t going to be China’s evening.
The score was 2-0 to the hosts before the second bout was even two rounds old, with Viktor Slavinskyi knocking out Shan Jun late in round two of their lightweight contest. An engaging battle between Otamans’ Serhii Bohachuk and Dragons’ Cong Wenbin saw both boxers land some excellent punches, but in the third round the Chinese corner had to call time on the bout as Bohachuk’s strong hooks and uppercuts proved too much for their athlete.
The hosts’ new National Light Heavyweight Champion Denys Solonenko underlined the Ukrainians’ superiority with an attacking display against Shi Guojun, before their super heavyweight Viktor Vykhryst sealed the ideal start for Ukraine’s new WSB season, holding off the challenge of Wang Zhibao to take a unanimous decision and make the final score 5-0.