At the Yalong Bay Conference Center in Sanya the China Dragons took on the Patriot Boxing Team.
The first bout of the evening saw Yong Chang take on Ovik Ogannisian at flyweight (52kg). There really was very little to separate the pair and going in to the last round the contest was up for grabs. The Russian showed good movement throughout the bout and landed some nice shots in the final round but it was Yong who prevailed via split decision in a fight that really could have gone either way.
At lightweight (60kg) talented Rio Olympian Shan Jun met WSB debutant Shahriyor Akhmedov. Akhmedov came out with plenty of intent but some balance and defensive frailties allowed the man from China to land the better punches through the first 2 rounds. The visitor continued to take risks to try and land his wide punches with Shan countering with more orthodox straight shots. Akhmedov showed some improved head movement in round 5 but Shan seemed to have done more than enough to claim the victory however, rather surprisingly the away man was awarded the split verdict in what was a thoroughly entertaining encounter.
With the scores now level it was Hu Richabilige against Artem Zaytsev at welterweight (69kg). Hu was on the front foot early on forcing his opponent on to the ropes and shading the opening round. Zaytsev then began to really grow in confidence and his work was far more accurate and eye catching than Hu’s. Despite attempts to up the tempo from the Chinese boxer Zaytsev’s greater variety won him a deserved unanimous point’s victory giving the Patriots a 2-1 lead.
If the Dragons had any chance of claiming their 2nd WSB win Light heavyweight (81kg) Shi Guojun simply had to overcome Danil Shved. Shved totally dominated proceedings from start to finish and the Patriot’s now had an unassailable 3-1 advantage.
The final bout was at super heavyweight (+91kg) as Wang Leilei faced Maxim Babanin. A height disadvantage didn’t prevent Babanin from constantly getting in to range and Wang’s poor work rate and stamina allowed the Russian to dictate terms and coast to an easy points win, giving the Patriots a 4-1 away victory and securing their first WSB win of the season.
Over at the Zhastar Sport Palace in Taldykorgan the Astana Arlans squared off against the Uzbek Tigers. The home side were looking for their 2nd straight win whilst a strong looking Uzbek side were aiming for their 1st victory in WSB 7.
In what looked an evenly matched bout on paper at flyweight (52kg) Olzhas Sattibayev faced Aborjon Kodirov. Kodirov was quicker out the blocks and won the first 2 stanzas with some rapid fire combinations however, Sattibayev wasn’t deterred and took control from round 3 and won a unanimous decision to get the Kazaks off to the perfect start. At lightweight (60kg) experienced WSB campaigner Zakir Safiullin took on Olympic Bronze and world Silver Medallist Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Akhmadaliev, who was moving up in weight never got going at all and was thoroughly outboxed by Safiullin who put in a fantastic display to put his side 2 nil up. The visitor had a brief moment of success in round 3 but it was nowhere near enough to thwart Safiullin from taking the spoils.
In now a must win situation, welterweight (69kg) Shakhram Giyasov took on Aslambek Shymbergenov. Similar to Kodirov, Giyasov was dominant over the first 2 rounds but was pegged back leaving the fight in the balance after 4 rounds. In an incredibly tight final 3 minutes it was Shymbergenov who got the nod via split decision and the points were now safely in the bag for the Kazaks.
At light heavyweight (81kg) Nurdaulet Zharmanov was up against Olympic and world Silver Medallist Bektemir Melikuziev. Melikuziev, who was also moving up in weight was in total control of the bout and won a unanimous decision to get the Tigers on the board. The chance of grabbing a point for the away side was snuffed out as Super heavyweight (+91kg) Kanshybek Kunkabayev overcame WSB debutant Bakhodir Jalolov via a unanimous decision to give the hosts a 4-1 victory, leaving them with 2 wins from 2.
Next up for the Arlans is another home tie against the China Dragons and the Tigers have their first home bout against the Patriot Boxing Team.
A huge thanks to Marcus Bellinger for this guest article, for those interested in following Marcus his twitter handle is @marcusknockout