Astana Arlans Kazakhstan made it six wins from six in Group B this season with an expertly taken victory at home versus Ukraine Otamans at the Almaty Sports Palace. Kazak team Captain Ruslan Myrsatayev and his compatriots Miras Zhakupov and Samat Bashenov all defeated their opponents whilst Iranian star Ehsan Rouzbahani added to that tally to make it a comprehensive score-line with his maiden World Series of Boxing (WSB) win.
Tall 23-year-old Bantamweight (50-54kg) Zhakupov got proceedings underway as he faced the Otamans’ Moldovan southpaw Alexandr Riscan in the night’s first contest. Using his range to good effect, with the jab and the quick straight one-twos, Zhakupov looked comfortable throughout the five rounds. The home boxer was light on his feet, constantly on the move and picking his opponent apart with some precise shots on his way to his third victory this season, taking each round on each of the judges’ scorecards in the process.
At Lightweight (57-61kg), Kazakhstan’s Bashenov was another of the Arlans boxers to use his extra height to gain the upper hand. The 25-year-old was solid on the front foot and intelligent on the counter, as time and time again he repelled the attacks of Ukraine’s Dmytro Rudenko. The fleet-footed Arlans’ boxer relied on his experience, taking each round, to extend Kazakhstan’s lead in the tie.
Season revelation Ivan Golub of Ukraine Otamans was then pitted against Kazakhstan’s Israeli hardman Konstantin Snigur in the Middleweight (68-73kg) contest. The 24-year-old heavy-hitting Ukrainian southpaw had really impressed in his previous two outings in the competition, and once again showcased his growing credentials as he mixed it up well in this one. He took the first but Snigur continued to move forward, and looking to unsettle his rival by working him on the inside, the Arlans man claimed the second. Upping the intensity, the classy Ukrainian then outmanoeuvred Snigur in the remaining rounds to record a hard-fought victory, which in turn reduced the deficit for the visitors.
It then began at frenetic pace in the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) showdown between London Olympian Rouzbahani and 24-year-old Ukrainian Sergiy Lapin, with the two throwing a lot of punches in the first. Rouzbahani did enough just to edge it but Lapin came back strong to take the second after drawing his opponent in the fight at close quarters. The Arlans’ Iranian orthodox fighter composed himself as he connected with several good straights and hard hooks to take the third. From then on Rouzbahani was clearly in the ascendency, and from there on there was no looking back as he powered to his first career WSB win that guaranteed his team’s victory on the night.
The Heavyweight (91+kg) battle saw an inspired Myrsatayev completely overawe the Otamans’ Anatolii Antoniuk with his endeavour and superior work rate. Controlling each and every round and throwing some big punches, 2012 Asian WSB Boxer of the Year Myrsatayev just had too much about him as he cruised to a comfortable victory to make it two wins from two for himself this season.
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan now travel to the USA to face the Knockouts at the Yost Theater on Thursday 31 January whilst Ukraine host Germany at the Acco International Exhibition the day after as the race for quarter-final qualification hots up.