It was time for the finals of the 2017 world championships in Hamburg Germany and there were 7 Asian boxers going for gold.
We began at light flyweight (49kg) as Cuba’s Joahnys Argilagos went up against Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov from Uzbekistan. Both landed eye catching single shots in a close first round with Dusmatov on the front foot and Argilagos looking to counter. Dusmatov targeted the body very effectively in round 2 and whilst Argilagos displayed excellent movement he was being forced backwards and simply wasn’t doing enough offensively. The last round again saw Dusmatov pressing the action but it was the Cuban who got the judge’s verdict by split decision.
The flyweights (52kg) were up next with Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia taking on Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov. Veitia showed plenty of patients and edged a fairly quiet opening stanza. Latipov struggle to find the range for most of round 2 but the Uzbek had some minor success as the round progressed. Latipov loaded up on the right hand in the final 3 minutes but Veitia caught Latipov with a cracking body shot resulting in a standing 8 count and it was the Cuban who claimed the deserved unanimous decision.
The bantamweight (56kg) final was contested between Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev and America’s Duke Ragan. Both landed with a few flurries in a nip and tuck opening round. The pace picked up significantly in round 2 with the greater volume coming from Yeraliyev but the accuracy was with Ragan. The 3rd round was very messy with lots of clinching and wrestling and as we went to the cards it was Yeraliyev who took the split decision in a pretty poor bout in all honesty.
It was Uzbekistan v Cuba at light welterweight (64kg) with Ikboljon Kholdarov versus Andy Cruz. Cruz produced a boxing masterclass in the opening round with Kholdarov being picked off with consummate ease. Round 2 followed a similar vein and Kholdarov had an absolute mountain to climb. The Uzbek tried everything he could but to no avail and Cruz romped home to a unanimous decision producing as good a boxing display as you could wish to see.
Next up at welterweight (69kg) Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov faced Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias. Giyasov made a really bright start and outworked Iglesias in round 1. There were some terrific exchanges in the 2nd but Giyasov continued to be far busier than his opponent. Iglesias came in to things at the beginning of the 3rd but Giyasov would not be denied and the Uzbek claimed the gold via a thoroughly deserved unanimous point’s verdict.
The middleweights (75kg) then entered the ring with Abilkhan Amankul from Kazakhstan squaring off against Oleksandr Khyzhniak. Khyzhniak flew out of the blocks to begin round 1 but Amankul used the range to land some quality straight punches in an entertaining stanza. The Ukrainian maintained his incessant pressure in round 2 and Amankul was fading rapidly. Khyzhniak’s relentless bombardment never stopped in the final 3 minutes and he prevailed by unanimous decision to take gold.
Lastly at super heavyweight (+91kg) Kanshybek Kunkabayev from Kazakhstan took on Azerbaijan’s Mahammadrasul Majidov. Majidov attempted to close the distance but was caught with a few decent shots from Kunkabayev in a first round containing little action. Majidov had fantastic success with the left hook in round 2 and a clash of heads left Kunkabayev with a cut which only gave the Azeri even more encouragement. Kunkabayev held the centre of the ring at the start of the 3rd but he simply was unable to halt the forward march of Majidov and it was the man from Azerbaijan who was declared the winner via split decision.