With five wins out of five this season, WSB’s number two ranked Lightweight (60kg) goes into the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Team Finals only 11 points behind the Ukrainian icon Vasyl Lomachenko. The 25 year old has improved massively in this season’s rankings having finished 15th last year, but Bashenov, the 2011 Kazakh national bronze medalist will have a fight on his hands if drawn against the more experienced Ukrainian.
He will need to use all his poise, skillful footwork and silky evasion skills if he is to cause an upset but his record is encouraging.
“For me our best match of the season was against Mexico”, explains Bashenov, “We had one step left to the finals and we took it. My last bout against Vazgen Safaryants [Mexico Guerreros] was my best too I think. Vazgan has a lot of experience in WSB and was very motivated. I anticipated his aggressive style and was ready to stop him.”
The match against the Mexican was a real crowd pleaser with both fighters landing some extraordinary shots. The physical Safaryants really made life difficult for the young Bashenov, putting him under all kinds of pressure, but the young Kazakh fighter looked well up to the challenge and in the end it was he who landed the more accurate shots.
Samat is hoping that vocal home support will help his side win the Finals this season. “Holding the finals in Astana puts a lot of responsibility on our shoulders”, he explains. “On the other hand we will be fighting at home and I hope the support of our fans will help us to win the trophy”.
In terms of training he is confident that the team is on course. “Everything is going according to plan”, says Bashenov, “from training to sparring it is all going well, we are even able to relax a little; but we are fully concentrated on the finals”.
Check out Samat’s bout vs. Safaryants in the Semi-finals