Kazakhstan first in semi-finals with impressive win over Argentina (5-0)
Just too strong and well-prepared for inexperienced Condors, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan have not had any difficulty to come back from their 2-3 loss last week in Buenos Aires. Setting the Almaty Towers Business Center on fire, the Kazakhs have confirmed that they should be considered as stronger contenders in this third season of World Series of Boxing (WSB).
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan started the evening intensively with Bantamweight (50-54kg) Bagdad Alimbekov putting a lot of pressure on Ignacio Perrin. Dominated in the first two rounds, absolutely overwhelmed in the third one, the Argentinean was left with no other choice than putting his last hopes in the remaining six minutes. However his aggressive style led him to forget about the defense and Alimbekov finished the bout with a few precise counter-attacks to give the first point to his team.
Following on a walk-over from Argentina at Lightweight (57-61kg), the match went straight to the Middleweight (68-73kg) bout between Konstantin Snigur and Henrri David Polanco for the Condors. After a tactical first round, the Israeli Arlans easily took the lead from the inexperienced though powerful Polanco, and kept it until the end for another unanimous decision.
Ready to offer the decisive point to Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) Ehsan Rouzbahani stepped into the ring with Facundo Nahuel Simal. Sending his opponent to the canvas after just a few seconds, Rouzbahani has had absolutely zero fear in this fight, except in the third round that Simal won in the opinion of two judges. Between those two heavy punchers, the Iranian had the clearest tactic and with his victory, sent the host Franchise to this season’s semi-finals.
Just to make sure that the Kazakh celebrations could be at its utmost, Heavyweight (91+kg) Roman Kapitonenko displayed all of his power against Angel Daniel Villalba. After a warning received in the first round, the Argentinean was even disqualified in the third, giving an easy last point to the hosts.
Mexico shocks Great Britain for a spot in the semi-finals (5-0)
Led by their most talented and experienced line-up, the Mexico Guerreros have yet again delighted their fortress, Foro Polanco, while surpassing the British Lionhearts. A few months after the London 2012 Olympic Games, the GB Franchise see its World Series of Boxing (WSB) ending in the quarter-finals.
The evening was expected to start with fireworks at Bantamweight (50-54kg) between last season’s Individual Championships finalist Elias Emigdio and 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Welshman Sean McGoldrick. Fast and furious, the Mexican dominated his opponent throughout the opening bout, giving the first point to his team.
The Lightweight (57-61kg) contest was also promised to the host Franchise, knowing the difference in experience between Individual Champion Juan Romero and Samuel Maxwell (1-3). Having to deal with Romero’s lengthy arms, the Lionheart was not able to put a good distance in this fight and left Romero the possibility to land precise punches. The control was later confirmed on the scorecards, the Mexican winning 50:45 for the three judges.
The remaining three bouts was the last hope for the British Lionhearts. Next up at Middleweight (68-73kg), Estonian Kaupo Arro probably felt the pressure against local Marvin Cabrera. Dominated in the first three rounds, the orthodox fighter finally managed to find a better rhythm afterwards. Unfortunately that was not enough to knock-down his opponent and the decision went again to the Mexican side, for just one point difference.
The closest fight of this match brought together Light Heavyweights (80-85kg) Guerrero Issac Muñoz and Babacar Kamara. Both boxers showed their full strength in the ring, landing punch after punch, making it impossible to determine who the leader was in the bout. This exciting contest ended on a split decision, in favor of the Guerreros, but every boxing fan will remember how much effort Kamara put in the battle.
With already 4-0 for the Guerreros, Heavyweight (91+kg) Uaine Fa was given the tough responsibility to send both teams to the tiebreaker when he faced the only foreigner in the Mexican squad, Puerto Rico Gerardo Miguel Bisbal. But exactly as his teammates tonight, Fa had a lot of difficulties to start the bout and lost unanimously the first two rounds. Slowly getting back to his best level afterwards, it was still not enough for the Tongan to give a first and decisive point to the British Lionhearts.
The Guerreros now have a pretty tough semi-final match against one of the most powerful Franchise’s in the league, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan. The first leg on 12/13 April in Mexico, and the return a week later (19/20) in Kazakhstan.