By Marcus Bellinger-
We are now at the semi-final stage in the 2017 world championships in Hamburg and there was still plenty of Asian interest.
Kicking things off at light flyweight (49kg) Cuba’s Joahnys Argilagos was up against Kazakhstan’s Zhomart Yerzhan. Both were incredibly measured and patient in the opening round with Argilagos just about getting the better of things. The pace remained the same in round 2 and Argilagos was in cruise control and Yerzhan needed to change tactics and quickly. Yerzhan finally landed a good southpaw left in round 3 but was immediately met with a response and the Cuban eased home to a unanimous decision win.
The 2nd semi at light flyweight (49kg) was a rematch of last year’s Olympic final with Colombia’s Yurberjen Martinez versus Hasanboy Dusmatov from Uzbekistan. Martinez as per norm was on the front foot and set a very high tempo but Dusmatov went with the Colombian in a tight opening round of the highest calibre. Dusmatov displayed outstanding accuracy in the 2nd round but the work rate of Martinez never relented. In a sensational last stanza Martinez hammered away at the body with Dusmatov looking to pick his shots but it was the Uzbek who prevailed via unanimous decision in a real treat that was worthy of being the final.
It was then on to the bantamweights (56kg) and Kazak Kairat Yeraliyev took on England’s Peter McGrail. McGrail used the southpaw left hand to good effect in a closely fought opening round where Yeraliyev also enjoyed his successes. Yeraliyev picked up the pace in round 2 but McGrail was still moving well and it was all to play for going in to the last. Yeraliyev seem to be struggling with the pace slightly in the final round but the Kazak did enough to take the unanimous verdict.
The other bantamweight (56kg) semi was a tussle between India and America with Gaurav Bidhuri against Duke Ragan. Ragan had the quicker hands and boxed well from range but Bidhuri landed with a good counter right hand in the opening round. The aggression was being shown by Bidhuri but the quality punches were coming from Ragan who boxed extremely well in the 2nd round. Despite his effort Bidhuri was frustrated and unable to get inside and was outclassed by Ragan who took the unanimous decision.
In the light welterweight (64kg) division Freddy Rojas from the US squared off against Uzbekistan’s Ikboljon Kholdarov. Both men launched big shots in a quite scrappy and wild opening 3 minutes. Kholdarov scored with some big shots in round 2 but Rojas was content to box at range and keep the punches long. As well as plenty of missing both landed with some hard shots in an exciting final round but it was Kholdarov who claimed the split points win and he will face Cuba’s Andy Cruz who put on an exhibition to defeat Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov.
Moving on to the middleweights (75kg) and Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan faced Kamran Shakhsuvarly of Azerbaijan. Shakhsuvarly landed a solid shot in the early stages but Amankul maintained his composure and fought well at distance for much of the rest of the opening round. Shakhsuvarly buckled Amankul with a big hook in round 2 and landed the harder shots. The Kazak responded brilliantly in round 3, boxing from range and outworking his opponent and he got the split decision to advance to the final where he will meet Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak who proved too strong for America’s Troy Isley.
Finally it was time for the heavyweights (91kg) and Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko clashed with Sanjar Tursunov from Uzbekistan. Tishchenko was allowed to fight at his own pace in the opening round. Tursunov had more success in the 2nd but he wasn’t throwing enough punches. Tursunov looked for the knockout punch but it never looked like coming and Tishchenko went through to the final via unanimous decision.
The other last 4 encounter at heavyweight (91kg) was an Olympic semi-final rematch from last year with Vassiliy Levit from Kazakhstan versus Cuba’s Erislandy Savon. Both exchanged jabs in a tight and tense opening stanza. Levit came in to things more in round 2 but the pace and the distance were still suiting Savon more. Savon then used the jab to great effect in the last 3 minutes to claim the deserved split decision.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features