Home Amateur & Olympic World Series of Boxing results: Cuban team continues to showcase class

World Series of Boxing results: Cuban team continues to showcase class

Credit: AIBA

Kazakhstan 2 – 3 Cuba: Domadores dominate the Champions.

In the most exciting and highly anticipated match of the season so far, the new kids on the block, the Cuba Domadores out-classed the defending champions the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in a thriller in Almaty.

The Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) all got to take to the ring in this afternoon’s amazing World Series of Boxing (WSB) battle.

Bout of the match

Light Heavyweight World Champion Julio “The Doctor” La Cruz took on Astana Arlans WSB veteran Hrvoje Sep in a crunch match. Sep walked onto some very well-placed uppercuts early on and immediately opted to start working on the inside. Attempting to spoil the Cuban’s game by disrupting his rhythm, the Croatian began to make a menace of himself. While the Cuban took the first round, the Croatian put him under serious pressure in round two. Beautiful though La Cruz’s style is, boxing with your hands around your waist is inevitably risky. 99% of the time the Cuban looks good doing this, but against the scrappy Sep, there was the odd moment when he appeared vulnerable, with the Arlans man’s overhand right sometimes connecting well. This became a contrast of styles with La Cruz dominating at range when he could use his brilliant foot work to maximum effect and the Arlans fighter looking dangerous whenever he could cut the ring off and box on the inside. Sep boxed a tactically splendid bout, really disrupting the Cuban’s game. In the end though the Cuban was just too good and he took the bout over tough opposition to seal the win for the Cubans.

Boxer of the match

With the score tied to one bout apiece the pressure was really on both Bakhytzan Kozhabekov of the Arlans and Arisnoidys Despaigne of Cuba in their Welterweight bout. The crowd went crazy when the Cuban slipped in the first, with many of them thinking he had been knocked down from their viewpoint in the stands. The Cuban was alright though. The southpaw Kazakh boxer took round one against the World silver medallist Despaigne by using his height advantage, piling even more pressure on his opponent. The Cuban however battled his way back into it to take round two by split decision. Despaigne’s aggressive style, which was at first so unusual for a Cuban boxer, is quickly becoming familiar to fans and his overwhelming barrage gradually began to gain momentum as the bout wore on. The intensity continued to build with the Kazakh athlete starting to suffer tremendously. The referee had seen enough with a minute left in round three and Despaigne took his second TKO in two WSB outings. This was a standout performance even by Despaigne’s standards and if we haven’t already mused over the point, then surely today we have to wonder who out there is capable of stopping him this year?

The turning point

Flyweight Miras Zhakupov put in an incredible performance against Gerardo Cervantes of Cuba. The two orthodox boxers were in great form with the Kazakh boxer showing truly exceptional footwork and utterly dominating the range of the bout. With the Arlans man taking the opening three rounds, the Cuban fought back hard in the 4th to take the round. But going into the 5th, the Cervantes knew that the only way to take the bout was to knock his opponent out and he came out with the clear intention of achieving just that. Despite Cervantes really battering his Kazakh opponent for the whole round, the tactical Zhakupov had done enough at long range to hold onto the lead. This was a huge win for the Arlans number two pick, which brought him to 5-1 in the WSB and added another big name to his CV. More importantly this was the first time the Cuba Domadores had lost a bout in the WSB; thus it was Zhakupov who proved that even the mighty Cubans are not invincible.

Fact/Stat of the match

Until the Zhakupov vs Cervantes match the Cubans had gone 15 straight bouts without defeat.

Tonight also saw Filip Hrgovic get the 4th TKO of his illustrious Career in the WSB (see below).

Wrap up

Double world Champion Lazaro “the Prince” Alvarez struggled against WSB debutant Zhandos Momunov of Kazakhstan at Lightweight. The southpaw Cuban perhaps underestimated the skill level of his opponent, and also felt the psychological impact of his teammate Gerardo Cervantes having lost Cuba’s first ever bout just moments before he took to the ring. However, he soon got into his stride and by round three looked fairly comfortable. But credit is due to the inexperienced Arlans boxer for bravely pushing the Cuban hard.

Super Heavyweight Filip Hrgovic looked very confident going out against WSB debutant Jose Angel Larduet, the 2009 World Champion. But then the bout started. It then quickly became clear that these were very evenly matched boxers, with Hrgovic using his jab and cross in conjunction with his reach advantage, while the Cuban looked to land overhand rights and massive left hooks. Hrgovic began to have the better of the bout, drawing on his three seasons of prior experience in the WSB to drop the Cuban in the second. He gave him a standing eight in the third. The Cuban got another one with a minute to go and the referee had seen enough with 35 seconds left in the third round. This was an important bout for the Arlans as it gave them a valuable point to take away from this match, and gave them some breathing space between themselves and the pursuing Russian Boxing Team and Azerbaijan Baku Fires, one of whom could be breathing down their necks by the end of the weekend.

Ukraine 4-1 Italy: Otamans ease past the Thunder

In a great night of action in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season III, finalists the Ukraine Otamans proved they are still a force to be reckoned with as they ease past the highly rated Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder team to top the group.

The Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg), were the ones in the ring, providing us with the entertainment this evening in Brovary, Ukraine.

Bout of the match

Heavyweight World Champion and Italia Thunder captain Clemente Russo looked determined when he took to the ring against Siarhei Karneyeu of the Otamans. At this stage, the Ukrainian Franchise had already taken the match 3-1, but Russo had the chance to give the Italians a point if he could pull the match to 3-2. Karneyeu, a former LA Matadors fighter making his return to the WSB after missing last season, had other ideas however. He was determined to make life difficult for the Italian star. In some ways the Italian’s flamboyant style assisted him in this, but Russo is talented enough to get away with it on most occasions. The 31 year old is in exceptional shape and should have been the more physical of the two, as well as the most experienced, but going into the 5th round the bout was hanging by a thread. The young Ukrainian’s work-rate and dogged persistence saw him make a stunning return to the WSB by taking out its biggest star.

Boxer of the match

In truth this bout and the one above are practically inter-changeable since both feature surprise results from very tightly contested bouts. In this case Evaldas Petrauskas, the 21 year old Lithuanian, took on Italia Thunder’s Branimir Stankovic of Serbia in an impressive bout at Bantamweight. Petrauskas, a former AIBA Road to Dream boxer, made an excellent WSB debut against the three season veteran Stankovic, but then again he is the current Olympic bronze medallist. He is another Ukrainian who operates from a tight guard and is not the kind to tap away at his opponents. Indeed, he only opens his defences to throw shots with the potential to knock his opponents spark-out in one go, usually via massive long range hooks and overhands. By round four the bout was extremely close and Stankovic was told emphatically by his coach to “go to work”, but he was unable to pull ahead despite his best efforts. In the end Petrauskas did enough to steal the win, inflicting only the third defeat on the Serbian in his three seasons in the WSB. It was a truly excellent debut.

The turning point

Michael Tavares was the second Frenchman to take to the ring for the Italia Thunder this evening. The Middleweight southpaw had his hands full in the Otamans’ star boxer Dmytro Mytrofanov. The bout was a critical one with the Otamans 2:1 up at this stage. This meant that Italia Thunder needed a win to stay in the match, whilst of course Mytrofanov could win the whole match for his team. The Ukrainian made really good use of a short lead left hook, which he was able to sneak in at very odd moments, and it was he who took the opening two rounds. This required a response from the Frenchman but try as he might Tavares was unable to provide one. Mytrofanov began to take ever greater control of the fight and with the Italia Thunder star fading, Mytrofanov had become totally dominant by the end of the fifth round. It was another good win for the Ukrainian.

Fact/Stat of the match

Siarhei Karneyeu not only managed to defeat the reigning World Champion tonight, but he also became just the second man to defeat Russo in the WSB after Mihai Nistor (then) of the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan beat him in Week 9 of Season III. Despite being 17-2, this effectively means that the great Italian has now lost two in succession in the WSB.

Wrap up

Vadym Kudryakov took on Gianluca Conselmo of the Italia Thunder in a stunning debut. Both boxers are only 19 years old, so for them to be boxing at this level is extremely impressive. The southpaw Ukrainian worked from a high guard on the inside while the Italian looked best while making use of his jab at range. The Otamans boxer has a very effective lead screw punch with his right hand. In the end it was a great performance by the Ukrainian who gave his opponent a couple of standing eight counts during the bout.

In a night of surprises, French boxer Khedafi Djelkhir caused another against the WSB veteran Mykola Butsenko of the Ukraine Otamans. Though the Frenchman has plenty of experience, this was his WSB debut. He worked well from behind a tight shield, making use of his hooks and uppercuts. He was so successful at this tactic that he forced Butsenko to follow suit and engage with him on these terms alone. Djelkhir looks like an astonishing find for the Italia Thunder, extremely difficult to deal with stylistically; he is absolutely relentless going forward. The bout was so close that the last 30 seconds were potentially still critical for both boxers, and they worked at full throttle for the full five rounds in what was a serious contender for bout of the night. Butsenko was seen praying in his corner at the end, but even that was not enough to prevent an Italia Thunder victory in the bout.

Argentina 4-1 Algeria: Big win for the Condors

In an important night’s boxing in Group A of the World Series of Boxing (WSB), the Argentina Condors secured an impressive home win over the Algeria Desert Hawks to see them leap frog the German Eagles and go into third place in the table.
With all three teams behind them all having matches in hand, it was important for the Condors to get the points on the board if they are to make it through to the Playoffs. It was bad news for Algeria though, with competition for the fourth place spot really intensifying at the bottom of the group.

In this match we had the Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) competing in the ring.

Bout of the match

Middleweights Carlos Gabriel Ozan of the Condors and Nordine Samoudi both made their WSB debuts last night, but both boxers were also recruited from the professional ranks and thus came with some experience. Samoudi from France has a good record of 9-1-2, yet it was Ozan who ran the show. The Argentinian, who is 10-0 in the pro ranks, got a warm response from the local crowd, having been born in the city of Mendoza, where the bout was staged. Like Brian Castaño, he appears to have been a fantastic find from for the Condors. The tall orthodox boxer took to the centre of the ring early and began dominating the bout quickly. Using the full vocabulary of punches available to him in his expressive style of boxing, the new Condors man knocked Samoudi to the floor just a minute into round two. But Samoudi came back well in round three to get himself back in the game. Ozan was back on the front foot from there on out though, giving his man a standing eight count in round 5. And with just 15 seconds left on the clock, the referee stopped the bout in favour of the local lad.

Boxer of the match

Bantamweight Alberto Melian took his record to 5-1 in the WSB, which makes him one of the Condors statistically most successful boxers. His performance against Farid Kennouche, who was making his debut for the Desert Hawks, was an excellent one. Melian is an aggressive front foot boxer who is always looking to bring the action to his opponents. In Round two, the Argentinian landed an enormous long range left hook which sent the Algerian flying into the turnbuckle, which resulted in a standing eight count. As the commentator noted, Kennouche frequently made the mistake of boxing at mid and short range with the shorter Melian, rather than making use of his range. The Algerian was overwhelmed in the end and his corner pulled him out at the end of round 3.

The turning point

Coming into the final bout, the Hawks still had the chance to walk away with a point from the match if they could win this last encounter to bring the score line to 3:2. World bronze medallist Yamil Peralta, was the obstacle that Desert Hawks veteran Chouaib Bouloudinats had to get past at Heavyweight. The two London 2012 Olympians traded some serious leather with each other but it was Peralta who scored the more telling blows. A series of heavy hooks left the Algerian star wobbling around like a new-born colt before he crashed to the canvas halfway through round two. Chouaib is an experienced boxer though and he regrouped sufficiently to prevent Peralta from capitalising on the situation, but he was unable to reverse the flow of the bout, or indeed the match. Thus it was Peralta who walked away with yet another win in his WSB record book.

Fact/Stat of the match

Gabriel Ozan, was not only the home town favourite, but he also has boxing history in the city of Mendoza as well. Eight of his ten pro bouts were fought and won in the fourth largest city of Argentina, which lies in the North East of the country on the Eastern side of the Andes mountains.
Yamil Peralta meanwhile extends his unbeaten run in the WSB to 7-0. He was the surprise number one ranked Light Heavyweight last year (in the old 80-85kg WSB weight group), and is on track to be high up in the list again this year.

Elsewhere in the most surprising fact of the day, (if you can bring yourself to believe it), is that although the match was staged in the Mendoza’s open air “Greek Theatre”…It wasn’t the Ancient Greeks that built it.

Wrap up

Abdelkadir Chadi got some consolation for the Desert Hawks with his win at Welterweight over Alberto Palmetta. Chadi, who has now competed in every season of the WSB, took his record to 6-3-1, making him one of the Hawks most effective boxers. He looked solid as an orthodox boxer against the less experienced southpaw Palmetta in a very physical bout in which both boxers were docked points for various misdemeanours. Chadi hung tough however, to give the Hawks a consolation win.

Elsewhere, there was a walkover at Light Flyweight for Leandro Blanc, whose opponent was forced to withdraw at the last minute.

Mexico 5-0 Poland: The Guerreros are back!

After a difficult start to this campaign, the Season III semi-finalists, the Mexico Guerreros, are back with a vengeance after last night’s victory over fellow strugglers Hussars Poland on home soil.

It was an important win for the Latin American team, who have at last got some points on the board. They will now watch with baited breath as third placed Azerbaijan take on the fourth placed Russian Boxing team in a crunch World Series of Boxing (WSB) match later today.

It was a good display by the Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) of the Guerreros team who left the evening with a KO, TKO and three points victories.

Bout of the match

The most competitive bout of the evening was arguably between Hussars star Dawid Michelus and WSB debutant Lindolfo Delgado at Lightweight. The Hussars athlete came into this bout 2-2 which included a win over World silver medallist Mohammed Flissi of the Algeria Desert Hawks last season. He was able to rock the Guerreros boxer with some extremely hard shots throughout the bout. The 18 year old Delgado however dominated the opening two rounds. The Pole battled back to take rounds three and four meaning the bout went right down to the wire. In the end though, an overjoyed Delgado did enough to get his first win in the WSB.

Boxer of the match

Cometh the hour…Cometh the man. With only one victory in 15 bouts all season for the Guerreros, the WSB Best Boxer of the Year 2013, team captain Elias Emigdio entered the ring against WSB debutant Mariusz Koch. Emigdio, who was 14-3 going into this bout went to work on the Polish boxer very quickly, and gave his man a standing eight count in the second round. He repeated the feat shortly after and was soon awarded a TKO victory. This was hugely important for the psychology of the team. Emigdio gave the Mexicans hope that they then clung to for the rest of the match. They ended the night with a collective record of 6-14 for the season: a vast improvement on the 1-14 they started with.

The turning point

Another of the Guerreros leading boxers Marvin Cabrera rose to the occasion. Undefeated in the WSB last season, with a record of 6-1 he was last year’s number one ranked Middleweight at the old weight limit (68-73kg). In his first performance this year, Cabrera totally dominated Ireneusz Zakrzewski of Poland at Welterweight. He was awarded a clear points advantage over the Pole to secure a Mexican victory by taking the match to 3:0.

Fact of the match

Guerrero is the Spanish word for warrior, a term the team uses to encapsulate their never say die style of fighting. Interestingly, Guerrero is also one of the 32 Federal States of Mexico. Located in the South West of the country, its capital is Chilpancingo and the area takes its name after Vincente Guerrero, a prominent leader of the Mexican War of Independence and the country’s second president.

Wrap up

Elsewhere Abraham Viagas of the Guerreros stepped in at the last minute to take on WSB debutant Piotr Podlucki of the Hussars at Light Heavyweight. Viagas out-muscled, out-gunned and generally out fought his opponent to pick up a well-deserved win.

Finally at Super Heavyweight Gerardo Bisbal from Puerto Rico also stepped in at the last minute and took his record to 6-2 with a great win over Polish debutant Toborek Arkadiusz. The super-fast Bisbal landed an excellent left on the Pole to score his first ever knockout victory in the WSB.

Russia 5-0 Azerbaijan: Ice-cold Russia freeze out the Fires

The Russian boxing team were in ruthless form today, as they firmly shut the door on World Series of Boxing (WSB) rivals the Azerbaijan Baku Fires and narrowed the gap on defending Champions the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in the Group B table.

The Russians showed that a top two finish is not beyond them, thanks to their Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg), who were impressive today.

Bout of the match

Alexander Besputin of Russia looked very strong against Yauheni Ramashkevich at Welterweight. The Azeri did have some early success with a long range left hook but Besputin responded well. He opened up totally, meaning both boxers engaged in prolonged exchanges in which defence did not seem much of an issue for either of them. With both athletes dropping bombs on each other you felt that control of the match could swing either way at any time. Besputin is a relentless and aggressive boxer with very fast hands and tons of power, whilst Ramashkevich was more calculated, cleaner and with better footwork. This was an excellent debut for the young Azeri boxer, who looks like a class act indeed. But the experience of Besputin gradually shone through and the Russian took the bout.

Boxer of the match

World Champion Misha Aloian had an exciting bout with WSB debutant Rauf Agayev. The Azeri was certainly not overwhelmed by the calibre of his opponent and was very aggressive in the exchanges. The Russian took the first three rounds, despite a strong third for the Fires boxer. It was a scrappy bout which was good for the Azeri, but by the end Aloian was comfortably ahead. He started to look comfortable and took full control of the bout for another win in the WSB, to take his record to 3-0. But credit is definitely due to Rauf Agayev, who is a good find for the Fires.

The turning point

Light Heavyweight Dmitriy Bivol of the Russian Boxing Team brought his 2-0 record into the ring against the debutant Mikhail Dauhaliavets from Belarus. Round one was a frenetic affair with the debutant scoring hard and early. He seemed to gas later in round two, and he became slightly sloppy going into round three while Bivol remained focused. As the Azeri began to fade, the Russian scored ever more frequently and the more the Azeri threat waned, the clearer the writing on the wall became. Bivol was excellent and his win took the bout to 4-0, firmly shutting the door on any hope of the Fires coming home with a point. How important could this bout be then for both teams as the season progresses?

Quotes of the match.

“If you think about all the amazing footwork Misha Aloian has used during the opening two rounds, it’s not surprising that his bootlaces have come under pressure” – commentator Will Vanders forgives the World Champ for needing to get his boots tied mid bout.

“Alexander Besputin has just rampaged his way through this like a Rhino in Kevlar” Commentator Will Vanders

Wrap up

Adlan Abdurashidov, who had a 9-4-1 record coming into this bout, took on another fairly experienced WSB boxer in Hurshid Tojibayev of the Baku Fires at Lightweight. The Russian landed some very good left hooks early on to open a cut on the Azeri, but the Fires boxer regained his composure and fought back well. Round two was a far more tightly contested affair, but the Russian was able to hang on. As the bout wore on, despite the fact that it remained competitive, it was Abdurashidov who maintained control for the win.

Sergey Kuzmin of the Russian Team was able to show his extreme power when he faced Haji Murtuzaliyev at Super Heavyweight. The Azeri came in with a 5-4 record and is now entering his third season. Though faster, he was much smaller and lacked the strength of the bigger man. Some of Kuzmin’s shots later on in the bout were so slow that Nostradamus could have predicted them and the bout became a little ragged, but just as we foresaw after his last bout with Filip Hrgovic, Kuzmin is proving to be a difficult opponent for all but the best to face.