It was a good night of boxing action at the Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum in Hannover as German Eagles delighted the packed arena with a comprehensive victory against the visiting British Lionhearts in Group B. 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Veaceslav Gojan, former AIBA Youth World Champion Artur Bril and German World Series of Boxing (WSB) newcomer Emir Ahmatovic were the stars of the show in a match to remember for the home team.
It was very even in the opening two rounds of the Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest between the Eagles’ 29-year-old Moldovan sensationGojan and Welshman Sean McGoldrick. Gojan, who suffered a surprise defeat last time out, was the more offensive of the two boxers and just edged them on the judges’ scorecards. From the third round on, the home boxer was inspired, showing tremendous work rate, mixing it up well and peppering his opponent with a high volume of punches to stamp his authority on proceedings. In the end, it was a classy performance by Gojan, whose constant pressure ensured he won each round to give his team the early lead in the match.
There was a frenetic pace to the Lightweight (57-61kg) bout with 21-year-old Youth Olympic Champion Bril really imposing his style on the Lionhearts’ Joseph Cordina. The young German’s speed had his Welsh rival on the back foot right from the off with Bril connecting with some good body shots and finding his target with that big overhead right of his. The orthodox Bril was unrelenting, working the body well and showing tremendous precision with his punches as he claimed all five rounds on each of the judges’ scorecards to record a flawless victory that gave his Eagles a commanding margin in the tie.
Stefan Härtel made his height advantage and long reach make the difference in the first round of his Middleweight (68-73kg) showdown with Estonian bullKaupo Arro. The 25-year-old German was looking bright and boxed well to take the round before some good work on the counter saws him edge the second. Arro tried hard to move inside but was getting picked off and the tall German stuck to his clever game plan and had enough about him to see off the final rounds to ensure the overall win for his team with his first victory of the season.
The Eagles’ Xhek Paskali and three-time National British Champion Lawrence Osueke were pretty evenly matched in the opening rounds of the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) contest. The 22-year-old German though was boxing well, finding his target with the straight one-twos as he nullified the height advantage of the tall Osueke, who was making his WSB debut. There was not much to choose between the two but the initiative was clearly coming from Paskali with the orthodox Eagles boxer showing good hunger and desire to take the fight to his opponent. Mixing it well, Paskali took each round on his way to his first victory at his new weight.
It began well for the Eagles’ latest Heavyweight (91+kg) recruit in the ultimate contest of the night with 26-year-old Ahmatovic dominant in the first against giant Tongan Uaine Fa. Untested at this level, the German boxer looked assured, alternating between the head and body shots as he imposed his rhythm on proceedings to take round one. The 23-year-old orthodox Lionhearts fighter though stepped up his work rate and with that stiff jab of his, found success in the following two rounds to edge ahead in the contest. Ahmatovic showed impressive stamina and true grit to come back with some good combinations seeing him take the final two rounds to win the bout and make it a sensational score line for the home team.
German Eagles now travel to Almaty to face Astana Arlans Kazakhstan on Friday 1 March in what will be their last match of the season whilst Great Britain host a full-strength Ukraine, which will include pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko, at York Hall that same night.