With not much other than pride at stake the China Dragons hosted the Astana Arlans at The Mangrove in Sanya.
The evening’s action kicked off at flyweight (52kg) with Zhang Guo taking on Anvar Muzaparov. Guo began extremely well, scoring with some excellent combinations to give himself an early lead. Muzaparov attempted to close the distance and turn the tied but Guo remained in control and took a deserved points win to give the Dragons a 1 nil lead.
Next up at lightweight (60kg) Wang Sen was up against Zakir Safiullin. Safiullin has been in terrific form in this season’s competition and despite a good start from Sen the Kazaks strength, experience and class saw him take over as the fight progressed and he won a split decision to even things up.
With the scores level, welterweights (69kg) Hu Richabilige and Aslanbek Shymbergenov had the chance the seas the advantage for their team. Richabilige rose to the challenge and prevailed on points in an exciting encounter.
The penultimate bout featured light heavyweights (81kg) Wang Lida and Arman Rysbek. Lida came in when a knockout reputation but he was on the end of a hammering from Rysbek who scored a KO inside a round to level things up once again.
It was now left to the super heavyweights +91kg) to decide things as Wang Zhibao faced Olzhas Bukayev. A highly entertaining contest was unfortunately halted with Zhibao suffering a cut and Bukayev was declared the winner giving the Arlans the 3-2 victory and securing their 5th win of the season as they topped the group and progressed to the quarter-finals.
It was a winner takes all clash at the Sukharev Sport Complex in Perm as the Russian Patriot Boxing Team squared off against the Uzbek Tigers with a guaranteed quarter-final place up for grabs.
First up at flyweight (52kg) Viacheslav Tashkarakov took on Abrorjon Kodirov. Tashkarakov was the man coming forward with Kodirov landing the more eye catching shots in an evenly contested first 3 rounds. The momentum continued to swing this way then that but it was Kodirov’s greater quality that earned him the unanimous point’s verdict.
Next up at lightweight (60kg) Konstantin Bogomazov clashed with Ulugbek Dusmuradov. With it being Bogomazov’s first WSB contest for some considerable time and the debut of Dusmuradov both men were cautious early on and similar to the opening contest there was little to separate the pair. Dusmuradov enjoyed an excellent last 30 seconds to pinch round 3 but Bogomazov managed to establish distance and a knockdown in round 5 sealed a unanimous decision victory for the Russian.
With scores level it was the turn of the welterweights (69kg) with Artem Zaytsev versus newcomer Odiljon Aslonov. Aslonov showed no nerves and began with intent with Zaytsev happy to wait for scoring opportunities. Zaytsev made his man miss more regularly and landed with cute counters in the process. Aslonov never stopped pressing forward and wasn’t discouraged but Zaytsev’s superior all round boxing skills and a standing 8 count in the last round gave him the unanimous points victory.
Light heavyweights (81kg) Pavel Silyagin and Madiyar Saidrakhimov then entered the ring. Silyagin was one step ahead of his debuting opponent over the first 2 rounds but the home man was wobbled in round 3 with Saidrakhimov gaining in confidence. Silyagin managed to regain control of proceedings and prevailed via split decision in a thoroughly enjoyable bout giving the Patriots an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Lastly at super heavyweight (+91kg) Artem Suslenkov faced Mirzobek Khasanov. Khasanov was the fluid and relaxed fighter with Suslenkov possibly feeling some nerves on his first WSB appearance. As the pace began to slow Suslenkov enjoyed some fleeting success but in the main Khasanov did as he pleased and the Uzbek boxed his way to a unanimous decision win to pull it back to 3-2 with both sides safely making it through to the last 8.
The quarter-final line up is as follows with the home and away fixtures to be played over the weekends of 12-13 and 19-20 May.
Cuba Domadores v Uzbek Tigers.
French Fighting Roosters v British Lionhearts.
Colombia Heroicos v Italia Thunder.
Astana Arlans v Patriot Boxing Team.