With London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist and national icon Serik Sapiyev in attendance, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan produced a scintillitaing display at the Daulet Sports Complex to outclass the USA Knockouts. Alimbekov, Bashenov, Sep and Myrsatayev were all in fine form on the night and backed by a fervent crowd, delivered on all accounts to record a resounding victory.
Bagdad Alimbekov got the show under way in the Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest and did not hold back, the speedy southpaw was dominant from the onset, using some brisk one-two combinations to outsmart the Knockouts’ 22-year-old American Joe Gregory Perez. The Kazak southpaw winning the bout on points with his opponent unable to continue after being cut above the left eye in round four.
The Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown between Samat Bashenov and the Knockouts’ 25-year-old AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011 bronze medallist Anvar Yunusov saw the home boxer put in a boxing clinic. Dictating the tempo from the centre of the ring, Bashenov, a promising southpaw, let fly from all angles with his Tajik opponent was unable to respond. Winning each round on each of the judges’ scorecards, Bashenov was electric, earning his team a 2-0 lead in the tie.
The all-Croatian match up between Astana Arlans Kazakhstan’s Hrvoje Sep, recruited over the summer from Paris United, and Marko Calic was a real tight affair with both fighters giving their all in the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) bout. Eager to impress his new employers, Sep’s tactical approach against his much taller rival paid dividends, moving inside to good effect to notch up another with for the hosts.
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan’s brawny Heavyweight (91+kg) Ruslan Myrsatayev fed off the electric atmosphere inside the stadium against former teammate Istvan Bernath of Hungary. The powerful 27-year-old worked tirelessly to dominate the USA Knockouts’ orthodox fighter, constantly mixing it up to keep his opponent guessing. Myrsatayev’s workrate was tremendous, his win putting the gloss on an outstanding collective victory.
With the USA Knockouts’ Clarence Joseph unable to make weight for the Middleweight (68-73kg) contest, the home fans went home delighted with their team top of Group B.
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan return to action in a fortnight’s time when they host the British Lionhearts at the Almaty Sports Palace on Friday 7 December. Still seeking their win in the competition, USA Knockouts travel to Germany to face the Eagles at the EWS Arena that same night.