Ukraine 4-1 Germany: Otamans show their class
Despite fielding a team that didn’t include any of their A-list boxing stars, the Ukraine Otamans demonstrated the depth of quality in their ranks as they secured an excellent win over Team Germany in Kiev. This was a great opportunity for the up-and-coming boxers on the Otamans’ team to show the world their skills, and they took full advantage of it.
Bout of the match
The European Light Heavyweight Champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine took on Igor Teziev, in what was a stunning performance of good boxing from both men. Even from the opening bell, both athletes put some real heat on their punches. The Otamans boxer was extremely explosive in his hooks to the body. Teziev meanwhile opted to focus on working relentlessly, constantly pressuring forward, hoping to wear his opponent down through a battle of attrition. However, the tactic wasn’t working well enough despite a phenomenal amount of effort on the German’s behalf, but he seemed unable to adapt his tactics to find a way to the win. This was not a pretty match but it was an extremely hard fought one. Both boxers deserve the bout of the night for their sheer hard work, but it was Khyzhniak that took it.
Boxer of the match
Super Heavyweights Viktor Vykhryst of the Ukraine Otamans and Ali Kiydin put on a very interesting match. Both men were extremely well conditioned and possessed obvious power. The Ukrainian was incredibly tall for the 100.2kg he weighed in, whilst Kiydin looked like a walking brick. The Otamans athlete began to dominate the match, making use of his jab, but with the German taking the centre of the ring and willing to take the fight to him. With just a minute left in round two however, Vykhryst knocked his man down with a huge combination of shots. The German looked wobbly as he walked to the neutral corner to take his count. Almost immediately after the bout resumed and Vykhryst was overwhelming his besieged German adversary, the referee had very quickly seen enough. He stopped the bout with just a few seconds left on the clock for the round.
The turning point
Welterweight Vjaceslav Kerber of Team Germany took on Ievgenii Barabanov of the Ukraine Otamans at a pivotal time in the match. With the Otamans 2-0 up going into the bout, Barabanov was in a position to assure the win for the hosts. The two southpaws looked very evenly matched early on. The 20 year old Ukrainian came into the ring with an unfortunate 3-1 record. This was a performance from him in terms of work rate that highlighted his desperation to improve it. Kerber however was sharp as a razor blade and scored repeatedly with overhand rights. He put in a very solid performance and did well to avoid letting the match slip into the slug-fest that would have suited Barabanov. The German’s win was important in not allowing the Otamans to have everything their own way. Kerber meanwhile goes onto a respectable 2-1 in the WSB.
Fact/Stat of the match
Ali Kiydin has the unfortunate stat of having lost both his WSB bouts to date by TKO. The first came at the hands of Italia Thunder star Joseph Joyce in Week 3 of this season. Elsewhere Vykhryst who beat him this evening is in the unfortunate state of not having any vowels in his name…or maybe that just bothers writers…
Quote of the match
“That left cross of Kerber is absolutely heat seeking” – WSB Commentator Will Vanders.
Jasurbek Latipov of the Ukraine Otamans and Ronny Beblik put on a great show for the crowd at Flyweight. In a high paced affair, it was the harder working Otamans boxer who displayed the better performance in the eyes of the judges as he took the win by split decision. This was a good debut for the young Uzbek boxer who seems to have slotted into the Ukrainian style of boxing quite comfortably.
Elsewhere, Lightweight Oleg Prudkyi of the Ukraine Otamans took on Robert Harutyunyan of Team Germany in a real battle. With both boxers operating from behind high guards and very upright stances, the German almost immediately went on the front foot attempting to pressure his host. Prudkyi proved to be a skilful opponent however. Willing to brawl when needed, he tried to keep the aggressive Harutyunyan at bay with some intelligent boxing. After a real scrap it was eventually the Ukrainian who won by split decision.
Germany 5-0 USA: Eagles go third
In a huge statement of intent, Team Germany overtook the USA Knockouts to go third in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group A after an excellent home performance. The Knockouts will now need to quickly regroup before next week’s match, which will see the rampant Germans visit them in Miami.
Bout of the match
Edgar Walth took on star Indian boxer Shiva Thapa who was representing the USA Knockouts. This was a hotly contested bout at Bantamweight with both boxers trading some serious leather. The Knockouts fighter Thapa looked very sharp as he tried to work through the German’s tight guard. The later responded with aggressive bursts of body shots and viscous looking hooks, which did real damage when they landed. The German came out very hard in round four and really seemed to have the more powerful punches. But Thapa responded by making use of his greater speed and footwork. He couldn’t do enough to contain the hard hitting German however and in the end it was Walth who took the victory.
Boxer of the match
Artem Harutyunyan faced Carlos Adames of the Dominican Republic at Light Welterweight. The German boxer, though only making his WSB debut, made himself known on the global boxing stage at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013 last October. He is very much a front foot boxer, and enjoys employing a slightly ugly but nonetheless effective style of aggressive boxing. His opponent Adames has made an impression on the WSB this season for the Knockouts, especially after he won his Week 6 encounter against the Ukraine Otaman Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn. He is agile, tactical and has great footwork. This was a classic stylistic match-up but it was one that suited the German and his aggressive approach better. He sent out a clear message that he is a man of serious talent with the win over an athlete of Adames’ calibre.
The turning point
Josef Attanjaoui faced Anthony Campbell of the USA at a pivotal time of the evening. With the Germans already 3-0 up, Campbell had the chance to keep the Knockouts’ hopes of salvaging a point from the evening alive. Campbell is a very elusive fighter who uses great foot work to stay out of trouble. He is also very well-conditioned so he can maintain the tactic for the whole bout. The German however was the more aggressive, and that counts heavily on the judges’ score cards. The American wasn’t offering enough offensively for his hit-and-move game plan to work in his favour, and the front foot boxer from Germany took the Middleweight bout comfortably in the end. The unlucky Campbell now goes 0-4 in his WSB career despite clearly having some good boxing skills, hopefully for the Knockouts’ sake his luck will turn soon. But it was a great WSB debut for Attanjaoui.
Fact/Stat of the match
Artem Harutyunyan fought just a day after his brother Robert competed for Team Germany against the Ukraine Otamans. This makes them the first brothers to compete for the German Franchise. Another interesting fact about the brothers is that before they took up boxing, they both competed internationally for Germany as kids in the sport of Tae Kwan Do. If you think it must be in the blood, then you are right, as their father is both a Tae Kwan Do black belt and a Referee & Judge with the German Boxing Federation.
Light Flyweight Noberto Torres of the USA went out first for his team against Serge Neumann. The two nineteen year olds were both making their debuts. Neumann looked the more composed in the ring early on. The local boxer also had a reach advantage which he put to good use. He out-gunned the American boxer to take a win for the German team.
Artur Mann of Team Germany and Earl Newman of the USA contested an interesting final bout. The two tough Heavyweight athletes really went for each other, with the American trying to work his solid left jab against a very physical opponent, who did his own work from behind a high guard. The German coaches looked the happiest at the final bell though as it was indeed their boxer who won the bout. Both athletes showed great respect for each other following the fight, with the American publically applauding Mann’s performance.