WSB boxer Jianguan Hu had already surprised Uzbekistan’s Shakhobiddin Zoirov in the preliminary rounds in Doha, and on quarterfinal Saturday, the Chinese flyweight produced another sensational performance to eliminate Olzhas Sattibayev and set up a semi-final against Cuba’s own WSB machine Yosbany Veitia.
Cuba’s defending lightweight world champion Lazaro Alvarez will face Elnur Abduraimov in Monday’s semi-final after defeating Ukrainian Tymur Beliak in some style. Albert Selimov’s defeat of Frenchman Sofiane Oumiha will see him face Brazil’s in-form Robson Donato Conceicao, who proved too fast for British hope Joe Cordina.
Elshod Rasulov could be the man to continue Uzbekestan’s remarkable run of light heavyweight world champions after overcoming Adilbek Niazymbetov in their light heavyweight match-up. Over in Ring B, Russia’s Pavel Silyagin ended Peter Mullenberg’s campaign and will now face Cuba’s crowd favourite Julio La Cruz in the semi-final.
Mighty Kazakh Ivan Dychko made light work of his super heavyweight quarter-final with German Florian Schulz and faces Bakhodir Jalalov in two days’ time. Britain’s Joe Joyce and Frenchman Tony Yoka made it through testing bouts and will appreciate the rest day before their big semi-final match-up on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Ireland had a good afternoon session with the two Michaels – O’Reilly and Conlan – making it through `to the semis. Head coach Billy Walsh said after the former’s middleweight bout: “We absolutely believed that Michael could beat the current World champion, but it was nerve racking stuff, edge of the seat. We knew we couldn’t go chasing this guy. Michael counter-punched a counter-puncher today. It was a brilliant win.”
There will be 18 different countries challenging for the ten titles on October 14-15, with the first round of semi-finals – light flyweight, bantamweight, light welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight – taking place on Sunday evening from 7pm.