Venezuela Caciques moved to the top of Group C following their 5-0 whitewash of Rafako Hussars Poland on Saturday night. It was another strong display from the South American franchise and sets up what is planned to be a thrilling finale to the preliminary rounds on 1 April against a Russian Boxing Team who still have three group matches to go.
The Caciques’ South American Youth Games winner Franklin Jose Gonzalez led the line in style on Saturday, the flyweight going out first against tough Russian Hamza Touba and, after a tricky first round, delivering a stirring finish to earn a unanimous points win.
The evening’s second bout was a closer affair that saw Christian Palacio eager to justify his selection in the squad ahead of compatriot Luis Angel Cabrera. A solid first round charge against the Hussars’ experienced 2015 European Games bronze medalist Mateusz Polski was halted as the Polish lightweight came back into the bout, but the judges’ split decision eventually went to the home boxer by the narrowest of margins and the Venezuelans established a 2-0 advantage.
After a well-balanced first round, the eagerly awaited duel between the Caciques’ Hungarian pugilist, European Confederation Champion Balazs Bacskai, and Rafako Hussars’ Irish star Steven Donnelly became a more one-sided affair, Bacskai knocking the Irishman down three times in the final two rounds to earn his side a comfortable match win.
Venezuela’s Argenis Espana went into his light heavyweight bout with considerably less WSB experience than his opponnet Mateusz Tryc, but after a slow start he soon found his rhythm to take a unanimous points triumph. That left the Caciques’ new super heavyweight talent, Brazil’s Henrique Dos Santos Nascimento, to wrap up the action with a superb debut against the Hussars’ experienced German draft pick Florian Schulz. Nascimento’s victory completed the comprehensive 5-0 win for the home side who will travel to Moscow for their final group match on 1 April against Russian Boxing Team.
World Series of Boxing newcomers Uzbek Tigers underlined their Season VI huge potential on Saturday night as they defeated the reigning champions Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in a stunning display in Tashkent.
The Sport Complex of Uzbekistan was lit up by a brilliant show of boxing from the home side, who now have two crucial matches left in Group D including the return match at the start of April.
The Tigers’ Asian Champion Hasanboy Dusmatov got the hosts off to the perfect start with the speed of his attacks proving too much for Arlans’ Temirtas Zhussupov. With the crowd firmly behind him, Dusmatov was able to withstand Zhussupov’s late fightback and the hosts took a crucial 1-0 lead.
Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov had a tough challenge in the second bout in the shape of two-time WSB Team Champion Meirbolat Toitov, and the southpaw duo were soon locked in to a fascinating contest. After five gripping rounds the bout was decided by Sharakhmatov’s superior speed and powerful right jabs, earning a unanimous decision from the judges and doubling the home advantage.
Tigers’ Fazliddin Meliboev and Askhat Ualikhanov’s light welterweight bout proved equally tight, but the Uzbek National Champion took charge early on and refused to concede the upper hand, earning the judges’ decision and sealing the home side’s win in unexpectedly comfortable fashion.
Kazakhstan’s rising star Meirim Nursultanov managed to halt the home side’s dominance in the fourth bout with the narrowest of wins over the Tigers’ Hurshidbek Normatov. With the contest tied at 38:38 after four rounds, Nursultanov turned up the heat and put the Arlans’ first point on the board, but the recovery proved short-lived. Former AIBA Junior World Champion Mirzobek Khasanov rallied after a poor start against Yerkin Mukhametzhan, edging another close encounter between the two exquisite WSB teams and rounding off a superb night of boxing with a 4-1 home win.
China Dragons clinch superb home triumph as final-bout drama seals 3-2 win over Turkiye Conquerors
After their close encounter in Istanbul on the opening weekend of WSB Season VI, China Dragons went in to Saturday night’s match against Turkiye Conquerors determined to secure their first win of the current campaign, and did so in thrilling fashion. The Sanya Sport Center Stadium exploded in to life as the hosts edged the win in the final bout, denting the Conquerors’ hopes of qualifying from Group A with three matches to go.
Dragons’ Fang Bo had a debut to remember in the opening flyweight bout against Turkey’s London 2012 Olympic quarter-finalist Ferhat Pehlivan. Buoyed by the home crowd, Bo’s energy was impressive as he romped to a unanimous judges’ decision to give his side a 1-0 lead.
The evening’s lightweight encounter then saw Dragons’ Wang Yong struggle to adapt to his new weight class, the big-hitting Yasin Yilmaz proving too quick both of feet and mind early on and, refusing to let up the pace, ensuring the Conquerors levelled the match at 1-1.
Chinese welterweight Cong Wenbin started quickly against Turkey’s 19-year-old Serhat Guler, but grew more patient and more effective the longer the bout went on. With no agreement between the judges after any of the five rounds of superb boxing, Wenbin edged a nail-biting finale courtesy of some well-timed uppercuts in the fifth.
Facing a 2-1 deficit, Türkiye Conquerors’ light heavyweight Nadir Mehmet Unal then took the match down to the wire after capitalising on his blistering start against Zhang Yawei, but it was to be China Dragons’ night as the super heavyweights battled through the deciding bout. The hosts’ young talent Mou Haipeng picked the ideal moment to grab his first WSB win, cruising to a unanimous points win over Turkish debutant Ibrahim Demirezen to the delight of the home crowd.
Ukraine Otamans show ruthless streak to take sensational 3-2 win over Cuba Domadores in Kharkiv
A superb display from Ukraine Otamans saw Cuba Domadores suffer their first defeat of Season VI in Kharkiv on Saturday night. In contrast, this was a third straight win for the in-form Ukrainians, sending them to the top of Group A with three preliminary-round matches to go.
Defending Ukrainian Flyweight Champion Maksym Fatych won on a dramatic WSB debut earlier in the season, and added Cuba’s WSB Team Champion Yosbany Veitia to his growing list of big-match victims on Saturday after a brilliant opening bout.
The Otamans’ Viktor Slavinskyi was in equally determined mood as he faced off against three-time AIBA World Champion Lazaro Jorge Alvarez, but after a bright start his brave challenge faded. An incredible final round from Alvarez tipped the decision in his favour, and the Cubans were back on level terms.
Serhii Bohachuk started the third bout slowly against London 2012 gold medalist Roniel Iglesias, but some big uppercuts quickly brought the Ukrainian back into contention. Several clean lefts shocked the Olympic Champion in the fourth round and the judges confirmed Bohachuk’s brilliant display with a 2:1 points win.
Facing a rare defeat, Cuba’s virtuoso captain and three-time AIBA World Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz then stepped up to draw the match level with a typically controlled performance against Maksym Kots, deputising for Denys Solonenko. The tension was palpable as the super heavyweights went into the ring to decide the night, and it was a suitably close finish between Otamans’ Rostyslav Arkhipenko and Domadores’ two-time Pan-American Games winner Leinier Eunice Pero. Arkhipenko put in the performance of his life infront of his home fans, and some big right jabs in the third round tipped the bout in his favor, earning another close points win and a magnificent 3-2 triumph for the home side who now top Group A.