Clash of the Group A table-toppers in Kharkiv as Ukraine Otamans take on star-studded Cuba Domadores
Ukraine Otamans’ unbeaten home record in Season VI faces its stiffest test yet on Saturday night as the team welcomes Season IV champions Cuba Domadores to the Palace of Sports. After comfortable wins against China Dragons and Turkiye Conquerors, the Otmanas will need to be at their very best if they are to overcome Julio Cesar La Cruz and his team, who have yet to drop a bout in the current campaign.
Reigning Ukrainian Flyweight Champion Maksym Fatych earned a brilliant win over China Dragons star Hu Jianguan on his WSB debut in Week 3, but Yosbany Veitia, a member of that championship winning side two years ago, represents an even bigger challenge in the evening’s opening bout.
Up second it’s the turn of Ukraine’s new lightweight star Viktor Slavinskyi, who knocked down China Dragons’ Shan Jun in Week 3, but will also need to put in a career-best performance to halt another of Cuba’s WSB champions and last year’s AIBA Worlds gold medalist, Lazaro Alvarez.
Bocskai Memorial Tournament silver medallist Otamans’ Serhii Bohachuk had a strong debut win against China, but he won’t have faced many better than his opponent on Saturday, London 2012 Olympic Champion Roniel Iglesias, who dominated his opening Season VI win over Türkiye Conquerors’ Serhat Guler. After already showcasing three incredibly talented boxers, the Domadores are able to call upon their captain and triple AIBA World Heavyweight Champion Julio Cesar la Cruz, who will be favourite to control his match against Maksym Kots.
The hosts’ Rostyslav Arkhipenko then rounds off the action at his newly adopted super heavyweight category, charged with the task of defeating Domadores’ two-time Pan-American Games winner Leinier Eunice Pero, who replaces Yohandi Toirac in the Otamans’ side.
China Dragons focused on home victory against Turkiye Conquerors in crucial Week 7 encounter
China Dragons have their sights firmly set on registering a precious first win of Season VI as they welcome Group A rivals the Turkiye Conquerors in Week 7. A thrilling opening encounter between the two sides in Istanbul during Week 1 saw the Dragons take a 2-0 lead before the Turkish side rallied to win the match 3-2, leaving Saturday’s match perfectly poised.
China’s two-time World Military Games bronze medalist Fang Bo has defeated strong Russian, Kazakh and Algerian boxers during his AOB career to date, meaning the flyweight will be confident going in to his WSB debut against Ferhat Pehlivan, a quarter-finalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Wang Yong recently moved up to the lightweight category where he will now face Turkey’s 20 year-old Yasin Yilmaz, who managed a spirited performance against Cuban legend Lazaro Alvarez during their Week 3 encounter. Another close bout could well be in store between China Dragons’ Cong Wenbin and Conquerors’ 19-year-old Serhat Guler, who made his debut during Week 3 on what was a tricky night for the Turks in Ukraine.
The hosts’ Zhang Yawei may have only competed in military events at international level so far, but the light heavyweight’s WSB debut could be a thrilling affair as he takes on a similarly attacking-minded opponent with a hard-hitting reputation, Nadir Mehmet Unal.
Saturday’s action will be rounded off with what could, if recent form this season is anything to go by, be the deciding bout between Turkey’s Ibrahim Demirezen and the home side’s super heavyweight Mou Haipeng, who will be desperate to earn a first WSB success infront of his home fans.
Reigning WSB champions Astana Arlans face stiff test against growing force of Uzbek Tigers in Tashkent
This weekend sees the Sport Complex of Uzbekistan host one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of WSB Season VI so far as Uzbek Tigers welcome Astana Arlans Kazakhstan to Tashkent. The reigning champions brushed past Azerbaijan Baku Fires 4-1 in their season opener, but face something of an unknown quantity against a new Uzbek Tigers franchise who demolished Puerto Rico Hurricanes 5-0 in their first ever WSB match before a narrow 3-2 defeat in Baku during Week 4.
Saturday night’s action gets underway with the thrilling prospect of the home side’s Asian Confederation Lightweight Champion Hasanboy Dusmatov taking on Astana Arlans’ Temirtas Zhussupov. Dusmatov was unbeaten during an impressive Season V with Ukraine Otamans, but his opponent will be looking to avenge defeat in Bangkok last year, while his own 7-2 record in last season’s campaign means the crowd can expect fireworks from the first bell.
The evening’s second bout sees Tigers’ 19-year-old southpaw Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov, who controlled his Week 2 contest against Edgardo Rolon, up against two-time WSB champion Meirbolat Toitov at bantamweight. Uzbekistan’s newly crowned National Champion Fazliddin Meliboev is one of the world’s most promising light welterweights, and he will want to maintain his Week 2 form against Askhat Ualikhanov, who again replaces Arlans’ team captain Samat Bashenov in the third contest.
The hosts’ Hurshidbek Normatov had an impressive 5-1 record in Season V with the Ukraine Otamans, including a win over Cuba Domadores’ AIBA World Champion Arlen Lopez, making his bout against Kazakhstan’s rising star Meirim Nursultanov yet another highlight of Saturday night’s card in Tashkent. Finally, former AIBA Junior World Champion Mirzobek Khasanov, who scored a TKO victory over Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ Jose Rosado in Week 2, has a tricky heavyweight contest against Yerkin Mukhametzhan in the last bout of the evening.
Venezuela Caciques hoping to keep play-off dreams alive as they host Rafako Hussars Poland in Caracas
After three tight Season VI matches so far against their Group C rivals, Venezuela Caciques have recorded a win and two defeats this campaign, and it will be the triumphant Week 1 performance against Rafako Hussars Poland that the team will want to reproduce on Saturday night in Vargas. The Poles have never beaten their South American opponents in WSB, and with three 3-2 defeats so far in Season VI, the Hussars will feel a win is long overdue.
Venezuela Caciques’ talented South American Youth Games winner Franklin Jose Gonzalez gets the evening underway, the WSB debutant facing an experienced German draft pick Hamza Touba in the flyweight bout as both boxers look to give their teams the early advantage.
Christian Palacio earned his first call up for the Caciques for the lightweight bout, where he will face 2015 European Games bronze medalist Mateusz Polski, a man famous for his aggressive style. Third into the ring for the most eagerly anticipated bout of the night will be two important draft picks: the hosts’ European Champion Balazs Bacskai of Hungary and Rafako Hussars’ Irish boxer Steven Donnelly, who has already qualified for Rio 2016 after an impressive Season V campaign.
The fourth contest sees Venezuela Caciques’ Argenis Espana against Mateusz Tryc at light heavyweight, before the super heavyweights close out the action. The Caciques’ Brazilian draft pick Henrique Dos Santos Nascimento faces a tough battle against the Hussars’ second German boxer, Florian Schulz, a silver medalist at last year’s European Confederation Boxing Championships in Samokov.
Uzbek Tigers get their big WSB weekend underway with superb 5-0 win over Puerto Rico Hurricanes
The opening battle of the WSB weekend took place on Friday night between WSB newcomers Uzbek Tigers and Puerto Rico Hurricanes in Tashkent, with the hosts looking very much at home in the new competition as they join Azerbaijan Baku Fires at the top of Group D. Defeat leaves the Hurricanes still chasing their first points of the campaign and with a tricky match against Astana Arlans ahead in Week 10.
Uzbekistan’s Abrorjon Kodirov enjoyed his first WSB bout in front of the home fans, getting off to a strong start against Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ Colombian flyweight Ceiber David Avila. Kodirov’s pace and accuracy proved too much for his southpaw opponent, and the referee stopped the bout after six minutes to award the home boxer a TKO victory.
The Tigers’ Elnur Abduraimov also looked to immediately imposed himself on his opponent in bout two, landing some heavy left jabs as he worked over WSB newcomer Steven Ruidiaz from close in to ease the hosts in to a 2-0 lead. Big-hitting Dostonbek Turdiev then dominated his welterweight contest against the Hurricanes’ second debutant of the match, Samuel Alexis Cedeno Roman, with the referee calling a halt to the bout in the third round and giving Uzbekistan an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Another of the Hurricanes’ Colombian draft picks, Juan Carlos Carrillo, gave Shukhrat Abdullaev a shock in the opening round of their heavyweight contest with some big combinations, but the Uzbek bounced back in style to dominate the latter stages of the bout and eventually take the judges’ decision. With the win already assured, Tigers’ experienced super heavyweight Sardorbek Abdullaev then completed the whitewash, the visitors’ Lithuanian boxer Mantas Valavicius unable to match his opponent’s sheer speed and size, leaving the home fans eager for the arrival of Astana Arlans Kazakhstan on Saturday night for the top-of-the-table clash.
Jasurbek Latipov proves too strong for Mungun-Erdene as Uzbekistan triumph on APB opening night in Tashkent
The big weekend of APB action got underway on Friday night at the Uzbekistan Sport Complex in the capital Tashkent, with the home fans’ favourite Jasurbek Latipov dominating his match against Mongolia’s Gandulam Mungun-Erdene. It was Latipov’s fourth APB-career win, and he was joined in victory by fellow countrymen Dilshod Makhmudov and Israil Madrimov as the Uzbeks made it a clean sweep.
AIBA World Championship silver medalist Latipov began in determined mood to get a fourth win, using his height and jabs to exploit his opponent’s weak spots and control the opening exchanges. As the Uzbek star began to find his rhythm with some incisive combinations, Mungun-Erdene’s challenge was cut short and the referee awarded Latipov the win by TKO.
Earlier in the evening, former AIBA World Championship silver medalist and Asian Games winner Dilshod Makhmudov returned to AIBA competition against Spain’s European Confederation bronze medalist Youba Ndiaye Sissokho at welterweight. Some powerful attacks had the Spaniard on the back foot early on, and a devastating third round put Makhmudov in control, eventually securing a unanimous points win from the judges.
Uzbekistan’s 21-year-old Israil Madrimov, silver medallist at the 2014 Asian Games, moved up to middleweight to win the Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament three weeks ago, and continued that good form against his Indian opponent, former AIBA Youth World Champion Vikas Krishan Yadav. Once again it was the home boxer who took the early initiative and Madrimov refused to let up the offensive pace, building up to a powerful final three minutes after which the judges’ unainmous decision was in no doubt.