Azerbijan Baku Fires were in fine form in their Group A encounter with Mexico Guerreros at the Olympic Sports Center ‘Serhedchi’ with their boxers putting on a good show for the spectators. Magomed Kurbanov, Albert Selimov, Nurudzinau and current 2011 AIBA World Champion Magomedrasul Mezhidov all claimed victories to make it three wins from three for the home team this season.
It was the Bantamweights (50-54kg) who got proceedings underway with 22-year-old Russian Kurbanov showing his pedigree against Mexican debutant Cristian Jesus Torres Becerra. The orthodox Kurbanov was once again impressive for Azerbaijan, displaying his full repertoire of shots and mixing it up well throughout, both upstairs and downstairs, with some clever punches. The home boxer was so fast and too unpredictable for his opponent and Kurbanov took all five rounds on all judges’ scorecards to give Azerbaijan the lead in the tie.
2007 AIBA World Champion Selimov then went head-to-head with the talented Mexican teenager Fernando Alvarez Diaz in the Lightweight (57-61kg) contest. Selimov was simply irresistible in this one, unloading some quality shots during five entertaining rounds of boxing. Some of the Russian’s uppercuts were just a joy to watch. When Alvarez Diaz did move forward, Selimov would counter with perfection precision, with the left hook hitting its target time and time again. You could not fault the work rate of the Guerreros fighter but Selimov was just too good.
There was an explosive start in the night’s Middleweight (68-73kg) bout with Azerbaijan’s Belarusian southpaw Nurudzinau sending Conrad Cummings crashing to the canvas with a huge left hook within the first minute of round one. The 21-year-old Irishman battled on and found some success in rounds three and five, however the damage had been done early in the fight and the experienced Nurudzinau took the victory to send his team 3-0 up, with the overall win now sealed.
At Light Heavyweight (80-85kg), the showdown between Gadzhimurad Nasrudinov and Mexico’s 20-year-old orthodox fighter Isaac Munoz Gutierrez turned into a bit of a brawl with the two going toe-to-toe for most of the five rounds. The Mexican boxer moved better and picked some more effective shots to notch up his second win in as many matches this season to reduce the deficit for the Guerreros in the tie.
Heavyweight (91+kg) superstar Mezhidov then announced his return to the WSB ranks by flooring 22-year-old Mexican Alex Rivera with a hard straight left within 90 seconds of the first bell in the last bout of the evening. Once the heavy-hitting orthodox fighter had unloaded that huge punch, it was clear that Rivera would be no match for the London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist and the Mexican’s corner threw in the towel. It was short lived but the crowd certainly enjoyed seeing their star man knock his rival down, putting the gloss on another impressive performance from the Azeri team.
Azerbaijan will be boxing at home in their first fixture after the winter break with Hussars Poland scheduled to come to Olympic Sports Center ‘Serhedchi’ on Saturday 12 January. Mexico welcome Russia at fortress Foro Polanco that same weekend.