At the packed Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum in Hannover, German Eagles found themselves unable to stop Group B table-toppers Astana Arlans Kazakhstan from recording another win this season. David Oliver Joyce gave early hope to the German outfit after victory in his contest against compatriot Eric Donovan but the powerful Kazak outfit was too strong on the night with Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Hrvoje Sep and Filip Hrgovic all contributing towards an important win for the visitors.
The highly anticipated all-Irish showdown between the Eagles’ Joyce and Donovan began at a frenetic pace with the two Lightweights (57-61kg) from the same St Michael’s Athy Boxing Club looking to stamp their authority early on. Fast and furious, the two were going toe-to-toe and throwing a lot of punches in the first two rounds, and as predicted there was nothing to separate them after six minutes of highly charged action. Joyce then cranked up the pressure in the third and his speedy combinations were starting to hit their intended targets as he claimed the round in style. The home boxer continued to throw from all angles and his aggressiveness ensured he claimed the win in the end. It was great advert for both WSB and Irish boxing.
Two-time WSB Middleweight (68-73kg) Champion Derevyanchenko then extended his unbeaten WSB record to 16-0 after classily dispatching of Germany’s Xhek Paskali. The sumptuous 27-year-old Ukrainian had to work hard to get passed the long reach and stiff jab of his rival but his clever movement was giving him some good openings as he unleashed several telling combinations to outscore Paskali in the first three rounds. The young German was boxing well but unfortunately he was facing one of the competition’s most accomplished fighters. Derevyanchenko in the end won all rounds on each of the judges’ scorecards to record another victory in the competition.
Germany’s technically gifted 24-year-old Serge Michel found himself in a real battle when he faced Kazakhstan’s experienced Croatian Sep in the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) contest. The orthodox Michel was not being allowed to get into his stride with the Croatian orthodox fighter in inspired form. Sep rose to the occasion and constantly moving inside, dominated the fight after drawing Michel in to box at close quarters. It was a real slug-fest and a real treat for the fans in the packed arena. Sep was sublime and delighted with that triumph.
Eric Brechlin of German Eagles was given a tough introduction to life in WSB by Heavyweight (91+kg) Champion Hrgovic in the last contest of the night. The 20-year-old Croatian sensation, boasting a 13-2 career record in the competition, was too strong, too fast and technically more accomplished than the German southpaw. Hrgovic was constantly on the front foot, unloading successions of strong one-two combinations throughout the five rounds on his way to another win to add to his record, cementing his place at the top of the individual rankings.
The Bantamweight (50-54kg) bout between Germany’s 22-year-old Romanain Nicolae Andreiana and Kazak southpaw Bagdad Alimbekov had earlier been declared a walk-over after the Eagles fighter was unable to make weight.
Germany next host Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder at the EWS Arena on Friday 18 January whilst that same day Kazakhstan welcome Ukraine at the Almaty Sports Palace.