Home Amateur & Olympic World Series of Boxing results: USA narrowly loses to Ukraine, Cuba shuts...

World Series of Boxing results: USA narrowly loses to Ukraine, Cuba shuts out Mexico

Credit: AIBA

USA 2-3 Ukraine: Knockouts make a point vs. Otamans

The USA Knockouts scored a major coup by becoming the first team in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) this season to take a point from Group leaders, the Ukraine Otamans. Moreover they achieved it with a squad of WSB debutants. With the match going right down to the wire, it was a tough evening for the Season II runners-up before unlikely hero Denys Poyatsyka came to their rescue.

Bout of the match

19 year old Lu Bin of China made a spectacular WSB debut for the Knockouts at Light Flyweight against fellow 19 year old Vadym Kudryakov. Bin, a switch-hitter chose to operate from a southpaw stance against the naturally southpaw Ukraine Otamans boxer. Both athletes looked very good with solid defence, excellent attacking combinations and far more experience and ring craft than you would expect for boxers their age. However the USA Knockouts really pulled the rabbit out of the hat with the young Chinese fighter, who dug deep to edge the win in a very close bout.

Boxer of the match

The Otamans Heavyweight Denys Poyatsyka looked like a machine against his Chinese opponent Xuanxuan Wang who was boxing for the Knockouts. The orthodox boxer stalked his southpaw opponent from the opening bell, with the Chinese fighter seeming unable to contain him with his jab. The Chinaman had a better second round but Poyatsyka caught him with a hard right hand to drop him in the third. It took a few seconds for the full force of the blow to take effect with Wang even able to land a decent looking counter punch before his legs began to do a Bambi impression. He dropped to one knee and there he remained for the full ten counts to give the Otamans the win via TKO.

The victory was personally important for Poyatsyka; not only did he save the night for the Otamans, but he also took his record to 5-4, which will make him look like a slightly safer bet for Head Coach Valentyn Sobolyevskyy, who may now ease him into more bouts of this type to help him build his experience.

The turning point

With the match at 2:1 in favor of the USA Knockouts, Ukraine called out their big guns in the guise of Middleweight Ivan Golub. The Otamans’ southpaw, who stepped in at the last minute for Dmytro Mytrofanov, has often been kept out of the starting line-up by the Ukrainian great, but he has nonetheless clocked up an impressive record of 5-0 in the WSB across two seasons.

His opponent Marlo Delgado Suarez from Ecuador however looked extremely confident in the ring for a man who was making his first appearance in the WSB. You could immediately see why he was picked up by the US selectors with his beautiful classic orthodox style, so closely matching the American school of thought on the art of boxing.

He was good enough to win the first and last rounds 10:9 on all three judges’ scorecards, but the battling Ukrainian’s experience came through in the end to take the three crucial rounds in the middle of the bout. This was a big win for Golub in tough circumstances. The result levelled the scores, but full credit to Delgado Suarez who could be a force in the future for the Knockouts.

Fact/Stat of the match

Every single member of the USA Knockouts team were debutants this week and none were actually from the States. Rather there were two Chinese boxers, an Indian, one from the Dominican Republic and one from Ecuador. This just shows the global reach of the League.

Quotes of the match

“Well this was billed as the top team in Group A vs. the bottom team, and so far it has not looked that way at all” – Commentator Steve Holdsworth

“I don’t think that Poyatsyka is a particularly tough man to outbox, but he is a tough man to out-tough! And I think that Wang should concentrate on the former rather than the later” – Commentator Steve Holdsworth

Wrap up

Bantamweight Shiva Thapa of India had a tough WSB debut against the experienced Mykola Butsenko of Ukraine, who now takes his WSB record to 3-2.

Carlos Ademes of the Dominican Republic on the other hand had a successful start to his WSB career when the USA Knockouts boxer beat Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn. The Ukrainian fought in last year’s WSB Finals against Ireland’s Eric Donavan of the Astana Arlans and won, so this was a very good result for Ademes, who seems to be a good find for the Knockouts this year.

Cuba 5-0 Mexico: Domadores back to their best

It was a big night in Havana for the Cuba Domadores last night as they dominated the first of our Super-Saturday derby matches in Group B. After having been roughed up in recent weeks, the Domadores were back to looking invincible again against the aggressive Mexico Guerreros team.

Bout of the match

At Lightweight, Lazaro Alvarez, the current World Champion, went up against Raul Curiel. Obviously, taking on a double World Champion, Pan American Gold Medallist and a London 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist – whose nickname is “the Prince” – on your first outing in the WSB, might not be considered ideal.

It certainly was a trial by fire for the young Mexican, but whilst it would be easy to wax-lyrical about the 22 year old Cuban phenomenon’s boxing, it is also worth noting the bravery of the Guerrero, who didn’t make it easy for his more experienced opponent. Technically speaking it was the closest bout of the evening on the judges’ scorecards and it was a wonderful bout to watch. Curiel deserves to have his WSB record of 0-1 overlooked by fans and pundits when he makes his next appearance after that performance.

Boxer of the match

Welterweight Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo, the 2009 World Champion and Olympic Champion from the London Games (after taking Bronze in Beijing), made his long awaited WSB debut against Hector Reyes. Reyes also turned out for the first time in the WSB today and like Curiel, he must have had one of the most demanding debuts on record. Unlike his compatriot however, he was unable to get through the full five rounds with the southpaw Cuban and he failed to come out for the final round.

Sotolongo meanwhile looked majestic in the ring. Leading with his right hand low to invite the counter-punch set-up, he was also able to snap in long range lead hooks and jabs with astonishing speed. This was a world class performance from a boxer who may well be re-finding his best form.

The turning point

Light Heavyweight Emmanuel Reyes made his WSB debut in unfortunate circumstances as a replacement for Julio La Cruz who was shot in a roadside robbery earlier in the month. Having had surgery to remove a bullet form his hip, La Cruz is now making a recovery. Reyes seemed to be a competent replacement however with a notable jab.

Petru Ciobanu, his Guerreros opponent, was unable to make a significant impact on the bout on what was his WSB debut. He does however deserve credit for hanging tough against a skilled opponent. The Moldovan Guerreros boxer was certainly game but the counter-punching Cuban’s craft and guile was simply too much for him in the end. Reyes’ win ensured that the Cubans would be keeping all three points in Havana this weekend.

Fact/Stat of the match

Their victory today meant that the Cubans have now only lost four bouts in 30 in the WSB so far. We will have to trawl the archives to see if they are now on for some sort of record.

Wrap up

Flyweights Gerardo Cervantes of Cuba and Orlando Huitzil opened the evening with a high paced affair with the two orthodox boxers very explosive in their styles. Huitzil did show the classic Guerrero spirit, relentlessly trying to defeat his opponent despite the odds increasingly being stacked against him. But in the end, the better work came from Cervantes.

Super Heavyweights Jose Larduet and Gerardo Bisbal took to the ring in the final bout of the evening, with both men starting surprisingly quickly. Bisbal had only lost twice before in eight WSB matches and was the most experienced member of the Guerreros team in Havana, but he was unable to deal with Larduet’s pace. It was an important win for the Cuban, who was one of the few, if not the only member of the team with a negative record. This he has now remedied as he goes 1-1 in the WSB.

Azerbaijan 4-1 Kazakhstan: The Fires roast the Champions

The Azerbaijan Baku Fires made a serious statement of intent this evening in their match against defending champions, the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, in the Week 6 of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV.

Bout of the match

Elvin Mamishzada, the 2010 European silver medallist and London 2012 Olympian, looked sharp against Iliyas Suliemenov of the Arlans at Flyweight. The local boxer was on the front foot from the off. Pressing his debutant Kazakh opponent, he looked good in the opening two rounds, but Suliemenov came back well in the third. The Kazakh boxer was clearly the more accurate of the two with a whipping jab, whilst the Fires boxer liked to scrap.

The question would be who was going to dominate the stylistic battle and enforce their game plan onto the match. Going into the final round, this still wasn’t clear with both boxers having their moments and the scores all even on the judges’ cards. With everything to play for, it was a blistering final round. In the end it was a huge win for the home team as they drew the proverbial first blood of the night.

Boxer of the match

2007 World Champion Albert Selimov took on Kazakh star boxer Samat Bashenov at Lightweight. Bashenov is a serious boxer; it was he who the Kazakhs sent out into last year’s WSB Finals to face arguably the greatest Lightweight in the world at the moment, Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine. But he struggled against the Fires fighter, who was in absolutely phenomenal form. Mixing it up incredibly well, the southpaw Azeri often lead with right upper cuts many of these landed with lethal intent on the chin of his rival.

Bashenov was always dangerous, but was unable to take a single round from Selimov who proved to be too much for his opponent in the end. Taking the bout to 2:0 put the hosts in an excellent position against the defending champions could be summed up as a good day at the office in boxing terms.

The turning point

At Welterweight, a strong looking Yauheni Ramashkevich started very fast indeed against Kazakhstan’s Meirim Nursultanov. The Young Kazakh boxer was excellent however in his response and used guile and ring-craft against the extremely fit Azeri, who may be the most explosive athlete in the category this season. The bout went down to the wire yet again, making it a dramatic final few moments. But it was the Fires boxer who took the win in an extremely close affair. This was a big win for Ramashkevich personally and it brought his record back to a more respectable1-1 in the WSB.

Fact/Stat of the match

The only other team to turn the Astana Arlans over this year has been the Cuba Domadores, who only won 3-2. Thus the Baku Fires are the only team to take full-points away from a clash with the defending champions so far this year. An excellent performance.

Iranian Light Heavyweight Ehsan Rouzbahani seemed to struggle early on against Samir Magomedov, but managed to overwhelm the Azeri debutant at 2:58 of the second round to earn a TKO victory. This takes him to a very respectable 5-2 in the WSB.

In an epic final bout at Super Heavyweight, two WSB veterans collided in the shape of Haji Murtuzaliyev of the Baku Fires against Ruslan Myrsatayev of the Astana Arlans. It was an excellent clash, and it was close to being the bout of the night (which without being too self-congratulatory, we predicted perfectly by the way, so don’t miss our previews next week…). In the end it was the superior physical conditioning of the Azeri that took the bout, but not before an immense scrap had ensued.

Poland 2-3 Russia: Hussars impress in defeat

The Hussars Poland at last got the point they have chased for the last six weeks in the World Series of Boxing (WSB). The team has been painfully close before but the ever courageous Poles finally got their well-deserved point on the board against arch rivals, the Russian Boxing Team.

That shouldn’t take away from another excellent Russian performance that sees them seriously ramp up the pressure on the defending Champions, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, tying them on points, in their bid to wrest second place to the Playoffs from the Alpha Wolves.

Bout of the match

Dawid Michelus started well against Konstantin Bogomazov in an intense but clean opening round. But the Russian was relentlessly aggressive in round two and pressed continually despite taking some significant punishment on the way in, this was to be his tactic throughout. The Pole took the round but the question was would he be able to hang in there in what was clearly going to become a difficult battle of attrition.

The Russian made it interesting by taking round three. But the Pole battled back and in a nail biting finale, the crowd in Poland finally had something to cheer about as Michelus’ hand was raised at the end of the bout. This was only Poland’s second win all season, but it also made it two wins in two weeks with three bouts still to go. Importantly it showed the rest of the team that it was possible.

Boxer of the match

World Champion Misha Aloian took on Grzegorz Kozlowski who came into the bout with a 0-3 record. But if Aloian hoped that the Pole would be beaten before he walked through the ropes, he was mistaken. An under-discussed truth that is well known by fighters is that often the superior boxer may feel under more pressure than the less-skilful one.

He feels he needs to not only win, but win clearly and in a stylish manner, whilst the other is unburdened by such baggage. Kozlowski took to the ring like a boxer who was aware he had nothing to lose and started brightly. The Champion however soon brought his experience to bear on the situation.

His footwork was sublime, with his ability to switch-hit making him so mobile in the ring. He was a genuine pleasure to watch and it was a beautiful win. Aloian really is one of the most exciting boxers in the WSB on a pound for pound basis at the moment.

The turning point

With the score-line at 3-1, it was left to Super Heavyweight Sergiy Werwejko to keep the Hussars hopes of scrapping their first points of the year alive. For such a big man, his opponent Ivan Veriasov moved extremely well and had very fast hands. The Russian was possibly the better technical boxer but the Pole was clearly the fitter. Nonetheless the Russian was economical and controlled the distance well.

This was yet another match that was very even early on, the question here was going to be: could the Russian stay sharp as the rounds wore on or could the Pole wear him down sufficiently to take the lead? Soon enough we had our answer with the increased hugging from the Russian a sign of increased fatigue. The Pole battled hard and hung in there to get the Hussars an important first point.

Fact/Stat of the match

30 bouts and 3 wins gives the Poles just a 10% win record this season. But three from the last 10 boosts them to a more respectable 30%. If they can hold this, it we will start to see some solid performances from the resilient Group B underdogs.

Wrap up

Zhora Simonyan was brave but out-gunned against Alexander Besputin, who nailed the Pole for a count in the first round. Somehow the Pole made it through to the last round, but was utterly dominated all the way, effectively in survival mode the full distance. However, that in itself must have required some serious discipline and fortitude. It was clear he wouldn’t win but he toughed it out and ended with a serious attacking flourish in a last moment of defiance. That clearly earned the respect of Besputin who embraced the young man when the bell rang a few moments later.

Light Heavyweight Kasjusz Zycinski of Poland took on Aleksander Khotyantsev in a bout that the Pole was close to win. It was a pivotal win for the Russian for the final outcome of the match.

Italy 4-1 Argentina: Thunder downs Condors

With Group A of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) becoming a place of surprises, this week the Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder did well to ensure that the points all stayed in Italy against a tricky Argentina Condors side.

Bout of the match

Middleweight Michel Tavares took on effective new Condors boxer Carlos Ozan, who has come to the WSB from a pro background. The southpaw Frenchman, who was making his 20th performance in the WSB, looked understandably at ease, but the aggressive Argentinian southpaw soon put an end to that. Indeed Tavares was given a standing eight count by the end of the first round. This seemed to shake Tavares up enough for him to go up a gear. The second opened extremely brightly with the Thunder boxer beginning to dominate the show with his stinging right jab. This significantly slowed the Argentinian down and in the end it was the foot work of the Frenchman that won the bout for the Thunder.

Boxer of the match

Imre Szello, the great Hungarian Heavyweight, was left to shut the match down for the Thunder against Swedish debutant Gabriel Richards for the Condors. The young Swede looked very relaxed given the 10-3 record and four seasons of experience that the Italia Thunder star came into the ring with. That didn’t last long however and Szello began to put some daylight between them on the scoreboard. His confident style is always great to watch. He is one of those boxers who stands with his hands down, but actually makes it work for him and very rarely gets caught by his opponent. The Swede was given a standing eight count after a blistering right hand at the end of the third and his resistance began to fade thereafter. Another great win for Szello, but Richards is an interesting find for the Condors.

The turning point

Renato de Donato took on Carlos Aquino in what was the debut for both boxers. The Italian southpaw fighting with his lead hand low whilst the very tall Argentinian boxed orthodox and tried to make use of his jab and cross. In fact both boxers were extremely tall for Light Welterweights and consequently preferred to stay on their bikes. It was the Argentinian however who seemed to be the aggressor, constantly pushing the pace and advancing. The counter punching of the Italian just scrapped the split decision though and it was a vital one for the Italians to take full points.

Wrap up

Michele Crudetti of the Italia Thunder took on Alberto Melian of the Condors in a very interesting bout. The Condors man came to the ring with a 5-1 record across two seasons whilst the Italian was making his debut. It wasn’t a particularly stunning performance by the Argentinian, but it was a solid one and what it lacked in being pleasing to the eye it made up for in effectiveness and tactical intelligence. A solid win for the Condors fighter.

Mark Barriga made his long-awaited WSB debut against Leandro Blanc of the Condors at Light Flyweight. The southpaw from the Philippines looked like he was born to be in the WSB ring. His footwork was sublime as he danced out of trouble, at times looking barely touchable. Barriga’s talent just went to highlight the depth of this year’s Italia Thunder squad. The fact that they have refrained from selecting the APB star until Week 6 just shows how full of amazing athletes the Thunder’s ranks are. Barriga’s win was an emphatic 50:43, 50:45 and 50:41.

Algeria 4-1 Germany: Hawks outmaneuver the Eagles

In a massive weekend for the Algeria Desert Hawks, they positively trounce the third placed Team Germany to leap frog the Argentina Condors and snatch fourth place in Group A. This opens up a potential Playoffs place for the African team.

In our preview we had noted that this was the strongest team that Algeria had fielded so far this year, and that there was a risk, and a strong one we felt, that the Germans could be taken aback by the Desert Hawks this Saturday.

The return of World silver medallist Mohamed Flissi at Light Flyweight meant that the evening started well for the hosts. The aggressive and mobile boxer loves to use his hooks and he cleverly outworked his opponent Serge Neumann.

Omar el Hag scraped one back for the visitors against Samir Brahimi at Bantamweight, but WSB veteran Abdelkader Chadi didn’t leave Team Germany boxer Angelo Frank with much room for manoeuvre in the third bout of the evening at Light Welterweight.

Ilyas Abbadi, who had an excellent World Championships in Almaty last October, was in no mood to mess about either at Middleweight against Zhek Paskali, whilst Heavyweight superstar Chouaib Bouloudinats had nothing to worry about with Johann Witt.