This past weekend saw the semi-finalists decided in the WSB and at the Coliseo Ciudad Deportiva in Havana the Cuba Domadores were aiming to overturn a 3-2 deficit against the Uzbek Tigers.
First up at flyweight (52kg) Yosvany Veitia took on Jasurbek Latipov. Both struggled to find the range somewhat but it was the Cuban who was the busier and he edged the opening round. Veitia continued to beat Latipov to the punch in the next 2 rounds with the Uzbek failing to use his advantages in height and reach. A cut from a clash of heads brought the contest to a halt in round 5 but Veitia had cruised to an easy point’s victory putting the Domadores 1 up on the night and levelling things up overall.
The lightweights (60kg) were up next with Lazaro Alvarez up against Elnur Abduraimov. Abduraimov came forward with intent to try and pressure Alvarez in the first round but the Cuban picked his man off for the most part. Alvarez landed with some flashy shots in round 2 with Abduraimov continuing to try and walk his man down. Alvarez definitively won round 3 and despite the perseverance of the Uzbek the Cuban eased his way to a wide unanimous decision.
It was now imperative that the Tigers Shakhram Giyasov stopped the rot against Roniel Iglesias at welterweight (69kg). Iglesias was the aggressor in an entertaining opening 3 minutes where both men let their hands go repeatedly. Iglesias further stamped his authority on the contest in round 2 with Giyasov unable to get a foot hold in the fight. Giyasov enjoyed more success in rounds 3 and 4 but the Cuban did enough to claim the unanimous decision, leaving his side just one win away from the semi-finals.
In a battle of elite opperators at light heavyweight (81kg) Julio La Cruz squared off against Bektemir Melikuziev. Neither landed much of note in a tight and technical opening round before La Cruz assumed command in round 2, making Melikuziev miss on numerous occasions. There was now an air of inevitability to proceedings and La Cruz glided his way home to a wide point’s victory sealing the Domadores spot in the semis.
With only pride to play for the Super heavyweights (91+kg) entered the ring with the bout being contested between Jose Larduet and Bakhodir Jalolov. Larduet, who has been in destructive form in this season’s tournament managed to close the distance and work inside in the first round. Jalolov, who had the advantages in size, height and reach was unable to prevent his opponent from coming forward and he was forced backwards. Things went from bad to worse for Jalolov with a standing 8 count in round 3 adding to the Uzbek’s mounting problems. Larduet took a slight breather in round 4 and Jalolov dug in and showed real resolve in trying circumstances. Knowing he was well ahead Larduet took no unnecessary risks and the Cuban was victorious on points, wrapping up a whitewash for the Domadores who will face the Colombia Heroicos who overcame the Italia Thunder 6-4.
Over at the Serik Sapiyev boxing Centre in Karaganda City the Astana Arlans had a 3-2 lead going into the second leg against the Patriot Boxing Team.
At flyweight (52kg) Olzhas Sattibayev went up against Ivan Abramov. Abramov started well but by the end of the first round Sattibayev had cut the ring off and was working away on the inside. Round 2 followed a similar pattern with Abramov failing to maintain distance and allowing Sattibayev to force him into the corners. Again Abramov allowed Sattibayev to dictate terms and it looked like the Kazak just new a bit too much for his Russian opponent. That proved to be the case as Sattibayev strolled to a comprehensive points win to extend his side’s lead.
Next up in the lightweight division (60kg) Zakir Safiullin faced Shahriyor Akhmedov. Akhmedov began in a confident manor in the opening stanza with both men patiently looking for scoring opportunities. Safiullin had more success in round 2 but Akhmedov’s movement was still giving the Kazak a few issues. Safiullin adjusted in round 3 and counter punched Akhmedov expertly and also made him miss. Single shots from Akhmedov in round 4 made Safiullin’s task more straight forward and the home man scored repeatedly with right hands in the final round to give him the unanimous win and leave the Arlans just one victory away from a semi-final place.
In a change to the scheduled order Super heavyweights (91+kg) Dmitriy Zisko and Artem Suslenkov contested the third bout of the evening. In an epic opening 3 minutes Suslenkov came out firing but the WSB debutant responded with his own artillery as the pair waged war. The left hand of Suslenkov was constantly disrupting Zisko whose lack of experience was beginning to show in the second round. Zisko proved his toughness but he was simply unable to cope with the stinging jab of the Russian who powered his way to a shutout, giving his side a glimmer of hope.
The penultimate fight saw Aslambek Shymbergenov take on Shakhabas Makhmudov at welterweight (69kg). Makhmudov rumbled forward in round 1 but Shymbergenov caught his man on the way in with straight shots. Makhmudov continued to chug forward in rounds 2 and 3 but there was not much method to his forays and Shymbergenov piled up the points with little fuss. The fight carried on in a similar manor and at the final bell Shymbergenov claimed the wide unanimous decision to confirm the Arlans spot in the semi-finals where they will meet the British Lionhearts who narrowly defeated the French Fighting Roosters 6-5.
Lastly up at light heavyweight (81kg) it was Arman Rysbek versus Imam Khataev. Khataev’s brisk start saw him win the opening round before Rysbek responded well to take the second in what was becoming a really fun fight to watch. Khataev was becoming ragged and disorganised in round 3 and Rysbek was now in the ascendancy. Rysbek managed to stave off a tough challenge of Khataev and eventually prevail via unanimous decision in what was a terrific bout to finish off the nights boxing.
We’ve now reached the quarter-final stages of the World Series of Boxing and it was 2 familiar foes who met at the Arena Sports and Entertainment Complex in Kemerovo as the Patriot Boxing Team took on the Astana Arlans.
First in the ring at light flyweight (49kg) Bator Sagaluev was up against Temirtas Zhussupov. Sagaluev used his quick feet to dart in and out to win the opening round. Zhussupov had more success in round 2 by targeting the body and the Kazak established range and landed with straight shots in round 3. Zhussupov continued to find a home for his long straight punches in round 4 before things became rather untidy in round 5. We went to the cards and it was the Russian who won a unanimous decision to give his team the perfect start.
It was then on to the Bantamweights (56kg) as debutant Maksim Chernyshev faced the highly experienced Ilyas Suleimenov. Chernyshev began brightly before Suleimenov responded in an entertaining opening stanza. Chernyshev again came out with positive intent but Suleimenov picked off his man with good right hands and body shots. The Russian pushed his opponent back and managed to sustain his attacks in round 3 before a closely fought round 4 left the contest in the balance. With it all to play for both men gave it all they had but it was the cleaner work of Suleimenov that won him the unanimous decision to level things up.
At light welterweight (64kg) Aleksei Mazur was up against Dilmurat Mizhitov. The pair exchanged shots in the opening round with Mazur fighting well off the back foot. Mizhitov got through with some good body shots in round 2 but Mazur remained composed and boxed and moved really effectively. Mizhitov’s come forward style began to pay dividends in round 3 with Mazur being forced to fight at close quarters. The Kazak continued to pile on the pressure and hammer away at the body in round 4 and it was definitely now Mizhitov’s kind of fight. The last round was rather scrappy with not much of note landed but it was Mizhitov who claimed the split decision to put the Arlans 2-1 up.
The penultimate bout was at Middleweight (75kg) with Andrey Kovalchuk taking on Saparbay Aidarov. There was very little to separate them in a quiet opening stanza and an accidental clash of heads caused a cut on the right eye of Aidarov. Neither man landed much of consequence in round 2 but the Kazak was just about getting the better of things. Aidarov demonstrated some nice movement to pinch round 3 but Kovalchuk responded to take the 4th and make things interesting going in to the last round. There was plenty of effort but until late on accuracy was lacking from both but Aidarov won the unanimous point’s victory to hand the Astana Arlans the first leg win.
The final fight saw Ilia Kvasmikov face Anton Pinchuk at heavyweight (91kg). Kvasnikov was quick out the blocks early on and a big left hand had Pinchuk in all sorts of trouble and an 8 count was administered by the referee. With his nose bleeding profusely Pinchuk was unable to continue and Kvasnikov recorded the TKO win to give the Russian’s some hope going in to the second leg.
In a salivating quarter-final powerhouses Cuban Domadores and Uzbek Tigers met in the first leg at the Anphitheater in Mojiza, Samarkand. Both sides fielded star-studded line-ups making their intentions to become WSB champions abundantly clear.
The action kicked off at light flyweight (49kg) with Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov up against current world champion Johanys Argilagos. Dusmatov, who was brimming with confidence after winning the Asian championships continued that supreme form by putting on a tremendous boxing display throughout against the Cuban. The Uzbek was on the front foot using his lightning fast hands to score with combinations against Argilagos who was always a step behind. At the final bell it was Dusmatov who won the unanimous decision to give his team the ideal start.
In the battle of the Bantamweights (56kg) recently crowned Asian champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev tussled with Javier Ibanez. Neither man wanted to give an inch in a hotly contested opening round and the toe to toe action carried on in round 2 with Ibanez just shading proceedings although Akhmadaliev was having more than his fair share of success. After a frantic first 6 minutes the pace unsurprisingly slowed with both looking to box more and pick their punches more wisely. The tempo increased in round 4 as furious exchanges lead to a pulsating 3 minutes of action. After a wonderful final round where both landed with hard combinations it was Akhmadaliev who won the split decision in what was a superb advert for WSB boxing between 2 bonified high quality fighters.
With the Tigers now 2 nil up light welterweight (64kg) Ikboljon Kholdarov had the chance to put the first leg beyond doubt against Andy Cruz. Both were looking to counted which resulted in a tactical opening stanza. Kholdarov had some joy in round 2 but Cruz was comfortable with the pace and style of the contest. The Cuban won round 3 and even worked well inside which isn’t his natural game. The action opened up slightly in the last 2 rounds but there was no doubt of the winner with Cruz claiming the unanimous decision and putting the Domadores right back in to the contest.
In what looked a potentially explosive encounter at Middleweight (75kg) Israil Madrimov squared off against Arlen Lopez. Lopez took his time in the opening round with Madrimov moving forward and pressing the action. The Uzbek really grew in confidence in round 2 and beat the Cuban to the punch and simply outworked him. Madrimov was in full control over the next 2 rounds and although he did tire in the final stages he’d done more than enough to pull off a fantastic victory over the reigning Olympic gold Medallist whose display was lacklustre to say the least.
Finally in the Heavyweight (91kg) division Sanjar Tursunov went up against Erislandy Savon. Savon maintained distance to win the opening round and the Cuban again controlled proceedings with the jab in round 2 as Tursunov was unable to get inside. The home man had some occasional moments but wasn’t able to sustain the momentum for any prolonged period. Tursunov caught Savon with a decent shot but the Cuban, somewhat annoyed at having taken a solid punch reasserted his dominance for the rest of the 4th. Savon avoided any dramas in the last round and prevailed via unanimous decision to leave the tie beautifully poised with the Tigers 3-2 up ahead of the second leg.
The final days action from the Uzbekistan Sports Complex in Tashkent saw the other 5 gold Medals being decided and also the remaining 10 box offs with world championship places also on the line.
The action commenced with the light flyweight (49kg) box offs as Kazakhstan’s Zhomart Yerzhan was up against Indonesia’s Cornelis Kwangu Langu. Kwangu Langu began brightly but as the opening round progressed the straight punches of Zhomart drove his opponent backwards. The pair engaged in a highly entertaining second round where both scored with plenty of shots. Yerzhan came out fast to start the final stanza but Kwangu Langu responded with some cracking left hooks as a real war broke out with both boxers desperate to secure their places in Hamburg. At the final bell it was Kwangu Langu who got the split decision in what was a superb 9 minutes of non-stop action.
The other box off was contested between China’s He Junjun and Syria’s Hussin Al Masri. A good right hand from He was the most memorable action from the opening round. Al Masri struggled with his accuracy as he simply was throwing his punches from too far out therefore making it straight forward for He to counter him. The counter right hand proved to be a fruitful shot for He but it was Al Masri who claimed the unanimous decision in a rather ungainly and messy fight.
The atmosphere then reached fever pitch as local superstar Hasanboy Dusmatov took on Mongolia’s Erdeen Gan-Gankhuyag in the light flyweight final. Dusmatov’s quick hands and quick feet were on full display in round 1 but Gankhuyag had his moments when he managed to close the distance. Gankhuyag was unable to sustain any sort of momentum as the mesmeric movement and boxing skills of Dusmatov were now taking over. Not much of significance was landed in round 3 but there was no doubt of the winner as the Uzbek retained his Asian crown with the unanimous decision sparking celebrations in the crowd.
We moved to the flyweight (52kg) division and in the first box off India’s Kavinder Singh won his bout against Abdul Salam Kasim via walk over.
The other box off saw Sri Lanka’s Seneviratne Bandara up against Japan’s Ryusei Baba. Baba was completely right hand happy but it worked as he caught Bandara with the shot time after time during the first 2 rounds. A point off for not keeping his head up slightly complicated things for Baba in round 3 but the man from Japan did enough to claim the deserved split decision and book his spot at the world championships.
The gold medal bout saw Uzbek Jasurbek Latipov face Korea’s Kim Inkyu. Kim was in charge for much of the opening round, tagging his man as he came forward but Latipov managed to find his range in the last 30 seconds or so. Latipov scored with 2 excellent single shots to begin round 2 and he hit the target fairly frequently throughout the whole 3 minutes. Kim came out with aggressive intent but the final round was blighted by much holding and clinching. At the final bell it was Latipov who was declared the winner, taking Asian gold with the judges all favouring him on the cards.
Next up at light welterweight (64kg) the first box off saw Indonesia’s Saraogatua Lumbantobin face Wang Gang from China. It was Wang who booked his world championship spot in terrific style as he drilled the Indonesian with hard shots to both body and head and Lumbantobin was dumped on the canvas in the first round with the contest being rightly stopped.
The second box off saw Sri Lanka’s Dushan Saparamadu claim his place in Germany with a walk over result over Chinese Taipei’s Pan Hung-Ming.
Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh squared off against home man Ikboljon Kholdarov in the light welterweight final. Baatarsukh came out all guns blazing and drilled Kholdarov with a crunching right hand as he seem to dominate round 1. The second round was a lot more competitive with both men landing in a cracking 3 minutes of action. Baatarsukh, knowing he needed to make it a conclusive victory chin checked Kholdarov with some hard right hands once again in round 3 with the Uzbek showing he had good whiskers to his credit. The Mongolian looked to have done more than enough to win gold however, the judges disagreed and Kholdarov won the unanimous decision, giving Uzbekistan their 7th gold medal in this tournament.
The last session began with the welterweight (69kg) box offs with Koreas Lee Seunghyeon versus Syria’s Ahmad Ghosson. Both were looking to counter in the opening round but a right hand from Lee put Ghosson down but it was ruled a slip with Lee unfortunate not to have been awarded a knockdown. Ghosson got to grips with proceedings and had an excellent round 2. 2 point deductions for careless use of the head in round 3 left Lee with an impossible task and it was Ghosson who prevailed via unanimous decision and went through to the world championships.
The other box off saw India’s Manoj Kumar face China’s Liu Wei. Kumar wanted to box from range with Liu attempting to close the distance and it was a tight opening round. Liu had some more success on the inside in round 2 but a point deduction for use of the head undid any good work he may have had. Knowing he needed a huge round Liu poured it on constantly throwing hard punches but Kumar used his left jab to great effect. Liu never stopped coming forward and a late point loss for Kumar left the fight right in the balance but it was Kumar who grabbed the split decision to guarantee his world championship birth.
The welterweight final saw Uzbek Shakhram Giyasov tackle Kazak Ablaikhan Zhussupov. It was a rapid start to the contest with both fighters letting their hands go before Giyasov put Zhussupov down with a right hand in the opening round but to his credit Zhussupov recovered well and scored with some solid southpaw lefts of his own. The pace slowed in round 2 but it was Giyasov who got home with the more telling blows. Zhussupov did his best to turn things around but it was the Uzbek who won the unanimous decision giving his country their 8th Asian gold.
The super heavyweights (91+kg) then took to the ring with Korea’s Kim Dohyeon victorious in his box off over Sri Lanka’s Duwaneka Addurakaram via walk over.
The final box off was between India’s Satish Kumar and China’s MuHaipeng. Kumar produced an outstanding performance to completely out box his opponent who was left confused and bewildered. Mu never got anything going due to Kumar’s terrific foot work and straight punches and the Indian prevailed via unanimous decision and booked his place in Germany with a stylish display.
The final bout of proceedings was the contest to decide super heavyweight gold as Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov squared off against Kazakhstan’s Kanshybek Kunkabayev. Both scored with significant punches in a closely fought opening stanza. Kunkabayev was forcing his opponent to retreat in round 2 but a point off for holding put him in a precarious position. Kunkabayev continued to pour forward but Jalolov landed some stinging left hands in the final round as both boxers felt the effects of a hard fought encounter. It was Jalolov who was victorious on points meaning Uzbekistan came away with 9 gold Medals from the championships, the most any nation has ever claimed.
A few overall thoughts from the last week’s events and as expected Uzbekistan reigned supreme with Kazakhstan not too far behind them. India continue to make great strides forward and Mongolia, China and the Philippines can be fairly satisfied with their weeks work. It was wonderful to see the encouraging signs for the future from Syria and Indonesia however, Japan will be disappointed not to have come away with any medals and Thailand had a tournament to forget with no boxers through to the world championships.
After a day of terrific semi-final action at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex in Tashkent it was on to the finals with gold Medals at stake. In addition there were box offs with the chance for the 4 losing quarter finalists to secure 2 world championship places.
The first bout was a box off at bantamweight (56kg) with Bhutan’s Nima Jordi versus Indonesia’s Simon Makarawe. In a really entertaining opening round both landed with left hooks and hard combinations. The excellent action continued in round 2 but Dorji had a point deducted for use of the head which in a close fight was a disaster. Dorji began to rapidly fade in the last round and was holding on for dear life and swinging for the fences. Makarawe, who was feeling the effects of a tough fight himself had just that bit more in the tank to secure the points win and book his spot at the world championships in Hamburg.
The second bantamweight box off saw Ryomei Tanaka of Japan face India’s Gaurav Bidhuri. Tanaka flew out of the traps and consistently landed with blistering combinations through the first round. Bidhuri managed to fight his way back in to proceedings but it proved not to be enough as Tanaka claimed the split decision and earned his world championship place in the process.
Still at bantamweight it was time to decide the gold Medallist as Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev took on China’s Zhang Jiawei. Akhmadaliev has been in frightening form during the tournament and the Uzbek totally dominated the opening round. Zhang attempted to turn things around but it was to prove a thankless task and Akhmadaliev was the better fighter in every department winning on points and becoming Asian champion.
Up at lightweight (60kg) a world championship spot was on the line as Kazakhstan’s Adilet Kurrmetov took on LaiChu-En from Chinese Taipei. Kurrmetov scored with some nice combinations towards the end of the opening round. The Kazak controlled things and won via unanimous decision to seal his place in Hamburg.
The other box off at lightweight saw Arashi Morisaka from Japan clash with Farrand Papendang from Indonesia. It was the man from Japan who came through the bout to win on points and make it 2 fighters from the land of the rising sun who will compete at the upcoming world championships.
The lightweight final was an intriguing prospect as India’s Shiva Thapa went up against Uzbek Elnur Abduraimov in a contest of 2 high quality boxers. In a keenly contested opening round where Thapa and Abduraimov scored with single shots a clash of heads which left Thapa unable to continue brought the bout to an end. Abduraimov was declared the victor on the cards but in all honesty the fighters and the public were robbed of what was shaping up to be a fantastic tussle between 2 terrific operators.
The middleweights (75kg) then took center stage with Indonesia’s Brama Betaubun vying for a world championship birth against Aziz Achilov from Turkmenistan. Achilov stamped his authority on the contest early on, forcing Betaubun to take a standing 8 count and then a crushing right hook left the Indonesian down and out with Achilov winning in devastating style.
The other box off saw Syria’s Abdul Mouen Aziz tangle with Filipino Eumir Marcial. Both were looking for openings but Marcial hurt Aziz with a cracking left hand and had it come earlier on in the round it could have been curtains for Aziz. Marcial, who was now brimming with confidence once again had Aziz on shaky legs and patiently picked his punches in a dominant second round for the Filipino. The left hand stunned Aziz at the start of the third and the Syrian had a second point docked for use of the head. Marcial could have easily went for the stoppage but he was content to coast home to a wide points win in what was a power packed display from the 21-year-old.
The middleweight final saw Lee Dongyun from Korean up against it with Uzbekistan’s Israil Madrimov in the other corner. Lee scored with a decent body shot but Madrimov soon opened up, letting rip with his customary explosive combinations and he looked in the mood to do some serious damage. Frustratingly a cut behind the ear opened up resulting in Madrimov being unable to continue leaving the verdict in the hands of the judges and the home man was victorious on a split decision sending the Tashkent crowd in to wild celebrations for the third time.
The second session of the day began with the light heavyweight (81kg) box offs as Shabbos Negmatulloev from Tajikistan faced Malaysia’s Hafidz Adli Mohd Pauzi. Mohd Pauzi took an absolute hammering in the opening round with Negmatulloev bullying him back to the ropes. The bombardment continued in round 2 and a warning for excessive holding followed by 2 more standing 8 counts finally brought a conclusion to what was a very one sided fight.
The other box off saw India’s Manish Panwar take on Pakistan’s Awais Ali Khan. The first round was pretty devoid of quality with more punches missing than landed. Both men enjoyed success in round 2 in what was a competitive bout. Khan caught Panwar with a big right hand at the start of the final round and unloaded on his opponent. The pair then furiously let their hands go giving it everything they had but at the final bell it was Khan who prevailed via split decision to book his place in Germany.
It was then on to the gold medal bout with local star Bektemir Melikuziev versus Yerik Alzhanov from Kazakhstan. Melikuziev showed his class in the opening stanza but Alzhanov hadn’t just come to make up the numbers and the Uzbek suffered a cut on his eye. Alzhanov continued to press forward but Melikuziev went through the gears displaying his full repertoire of skills. Despite being cut on both eyes Melikuziev continued to box superbly and the 21-year-old had clinched the Asian title winning a clear unanimous decision.
The first light heavyweight (91kg) box off was between Sanjar Tursunov of Uzbekistan and Salar Gholami of Iran. Gholami controlled the distance pretty well in round 1 with Tursunov struggling to cut off the ring for much of the 3 minutes. Things became very untidy with a lot of holding and clinching on the inside and Tursunov lost a point which left him in a tricky position. The ugly nature of the bout carried on in to round 3 with both boxers losing a point but it was Tursunov who was awarded the split decision in an incident filled contest.
The other box off saw China’s Yu Fengkai prevail by walk over versus Mehmood Sanaull of Pakistan.
The final bout of the day was between Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit up against India’s Sumit Sangwan to decide who would take gold. Both landed with jabs early on but as the round progressed Levit began to take the ascendancy and forced his man backwards. Sangwan caught Levit with a nice right hand in round 2 but a right hand response came immediately from Levit. The pair exchange more jabs in round 3 but it was Levit’s greater volume of harder shots that saw him deservedly crowned Asian champion via unanimous decision.
This past week has seen the Asian Boxing Championships taking place in Tashkent at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex and today it was the semi-finals.
First up at flyweight (52kg) local man Jasurbek Latipov took on Kazakhstan’s Azamat Issakulov. Latipov was happy to fight on the back foot and wait for countering opportunities and the Uzbek landed the better shots in a foul filled encounter which saw both men docked points and Latipov won via split decision.
The second semi saw Filipino Daniel Maamo face Koreas Kim Inkyu. Kim came out all guns blazing and took the fight to Maamo who struggled to cope with the pressure and volume of his opponent. Maamo was then buzzed by a right hand at the start of round 2 but the Filipino came back in to things as the stanza progressed. Maamo came out fast at the beginning of round 3 as the pair went to war in a furious 3 minutes of action. At the final bell it was Kim who was awarded the split verdict in a highly entertaining contest.
Up at bantamweight (56kg) Olympic and world Medallist Murodjon Akhmadaliev faced Ham Younghun. Akhmadaliev, who has been in dynamic form during this tournament had his way with his Korean opponent and it really was man versus boy for the whole fight. The Uzbek pummelled Ham in round 1 and knocked him through the ropes with the Korean turning his back. The one way traffic continue before wisely Ham was pulled out in round 2.
The other semi saw Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan take on Chinas Zhang Jiawei. Both men enjoyed success in what was a close and technical opening round. It was again pretty hard to split them in round 2 with Zhang just shading proceedings with some nice jabs. There were some neat bursts of quality punches from both in round 3 as things got slightly untidy but it was Zhang who was victorious via split decision in an engaging but not pulsating bout.
Up at lightweight (60kg) Mongolia’s Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu took on India’s Shiva Thapa. Not much of significance was landed in the opening round. Thapa then picked up the pace in the next 2 rounds to grab a thoroughly deserved split decision over Dorjnyambuu in without doubt the Indians best display since moving up from bantamweight.
The second lightweight semi saw Chinas Shan Jun square off against home favourite Elnur Abduraimov. Both had put on sparkling displays in Tashkent but it was Abduraimov who prevailed via unanimous decision.
With the bout between Vikas Krishan and Lee Dongyun not taking place with the Korean winning via walk over, the other middleweight (75kg) semi-final saw Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul up against Uzbekistan’s Israil Madrimov. With a real contrast of styles there was much intrigue in this contest of 2 young prodigious talents but it was Madrimov who won the unanimous decision and booked his place in the final.
It was then on to the light heavyweights as Uzbek Bektemir Melikuziev took on Chinas Huang Jiabin. Huang proved to be well out of his depth as the Olympic and world silver Medallist dispatched his opponent inside a round in an authoritative manor. Turkmenistan’s Nuryagdy Nuryadyyev faced Kazakhstan’s Yerik Alzhanov in the other semi. Unfortunately an accidental clash of heads brought an early end to proceedings with Alzhanov winning a split decision on the cards.
The supreme Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan was up against Syria’s Alaa Eldin Ghoussoun in the heavyweight (91kg) category. In a pretty quiet opening round Ghoussoun suffered a cut to his right eye and was unable to continue with Levit gaining the unanimous points victory.
India’s Sumit Sangwan squared off against Jakhon Qurbonov of Tajikistan in the other semi. Sangwan peppered Qurbonov with left hands in the opening round and the Indian’s superb foot work saw him continue to dominate throughout round 2. Qurbonov had some minor success in round 3 but it was nowhere near enough and Sangwan was declared the unanimous point’s victor in what was a fabulous display and a real treat to watch.
The second session began with the light flyweights (49kg) as local hero Hasanboy Dusmatov clashed with India’s Amit Kumar. Given Dusmatov’s elite capabilities Kumar was always going to be up against it but the Indian wasn’t to be intimidated and he held his own against the reigning Olympic champion throughout. The defences of both men were extremely good which meant clean blows landed were at a premium in the first 2 rounds. Kumar landed some nice single shots in round 3 but it was the greater clusters from Dusmatov which saw him claim the unanimous decision but Kumar proved his quality and the 21-year-old looks a bright talent for the future.
The other semi was contested between Erdeen Gan-Gankhuyag from Mongolia and Rogen Ladon from the Philippines. The pair traded heavy leather in the opening round with Ladon seemingly getting the better of proceedings with some big southpaw left hands. Gankhuyag responded well in round scoring with some big right hands as neither man refused to give an inch and there were some afters at the bell. The rough and tough nature of the contest continued but the Mongolian landed with the eye catching shots in the final round to earn a split decision in a really physical encounter.
Next up it was the light welterweights (64kg) with Chinzorig Baatarsukh from Mongolia versus Nurlan Kobashev from Kirgizstan. Kobashev was the boxer on the front foot but Baatarsukh countered with ease in the first round and despite Kobashev’s further attempts at pinning his man down the Mongolian remained composed picking off his opponent with quality combinations. The fight continued in a similar pattern with Baatarsukh cruising home to a unanimous decision.
It was a clash of the youngsters as Ikboljon Kholdarov from Uzbekistan went up against Bekdaulet Ibragimov from Kazakhstan. Kholdarov was looking to maintain distance and move around the ring whilst Ibragimov wanted things at close quarters and both had success in the opening stanza. Kholdarov took charge in round 2 and was even on the front foot in a highly entertaining 3 minutes of action. The fast pace continued and it was a real war of attrition as both boxers left it all on the line. At the final bell it was Kholdarov who was awarded the win via split decision in what was an absolute pleasure to have watched.
The welterweights (69kg) then took to the ring with Shakhram Giyasov from Uzbekistan taking on Iran’s Sajjad Kazemzkdehposhtiri. Kazemzkdehposhtiri began brightly, managing to cut off the ring and land on the fleet footed Giyasov. The Iranian attempted to keep up his momentum in round 2 but Giyasov found his range and dug in but the Uzbek was deducted a point for use of the head. Kazemzkdehposhtiri landed a big right hand to start round 3 before a furious exchange took place between the pair. Giyasov then used his greater variety to take a unanimous decision in what was a tough bout for both boxers.
The other semi saw Tuvshinbat Byanba from Mongolia facing Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zhussupov. Zhussupov boxed beautifully in the opening stanza, scoring with southpaw jabs and bringing the left hand in to play in the later stages of the round. Round 2 was far more competitive but clashes of heads became fairly frequent and Byamba was deducted a point leaving him with a mountain to climb. Zhussupov was then docked a point for holding and a cut on the Kazak’s eye brought a premature finish to the contest with the judge’s verdict falling in favour of Zhussupov.
Lastly it was the super heavyweights in action with Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov tackling Mohamad Mulayes. Jalolov obliterated Mulayes, hammering away with straight shots and thankfully the mismatch was stopped in the opening round.
The final bout saw Kazak Kanshybek Kunkabayev square off against Hussein Iashaish from Jordan. The first round was devoid of much action before Iashaish had a point taken off in round 2 for punches behind the head and the Jordanians problems were increased as he was deducted another point for use of the inside of the glove. Iashaish came out needing a KO but a third infringement for use of the head saw him disqualified giving Kunkabayev the victory.
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