Group A of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV kicked off with the Dolce & Gabbana taking an impressive looking win away from home in Mar del Plata against the Argentina Condors. The star-filled Italian squad has been very busy acquiring new talent in the off-season and now looks set to stamp its authority on its Group in a bid to recover the title it lost last season to the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.
In an exciting evening of boxing in Argentina, we had the Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) in the ring. Here is an overview of the action.
Bout of the match
Andrew Selby of Wales looked great in his debut for the Italia Thunder. With the British Lionhearts not competing this year, Selby seems to have found the perfect team to fit his flamboyant expressive style of boxing. Choosing to box most of the match in an orthodox stance, the Flyweight would still switch as needed to cause his opponent confusion and to facilitate his excellent evasive skills. Christian Eduardo Rodathe man sent in by the Condors to face Selby is still only 20 years old and making just his second appearance in the WSB. Taking on last year’s number one ranked Bantamweight (50-54kg) was not the easiest of tasks for the young man. However he fought gamely and looked almost Mexican in his style as he relentlessly pushed forward, boxing from the heart. Selby, who took an AIBA Open Boxing (AOB) World bronze medal just a few weeks ago, managed the bout well from start to finish. Once it was clear he was safely able to dominate, he focused on shutting the match down for the victory.
Boxer of the match
Welterweight Brian Castaño of the Argentina Condors deserves this accolade despite the fact that his team lost. The Condor’s poster boy won both his bouts last season and made it 3-0 in the WSB last night with his triumph over a very serious opponent in thirty year old Ricardo Pintaudi. Although Pintaudi was making his WSB debut, he has a professional record of 8-0 and was widely expected to make an impact in the Italian squad. With an incredible work rate, Castaño out-paced his opponent and ground him down. The Argentinian let loose a continual barrage of blows with lethal accuracy across the five rounds to earn a well-deserved victory over the Italian, who performed strongly himself.
The turning point
With so many big names on display, it was easy to overlook Peter Mullenberg of Holland on paper. The 25 year old Light Heavyweight was making his WSB debut last night, but as the current European AOB bronze medallist, he has the calibre to mix it in the ring. This he proved with emphatic fashion with a 4th round knockout (at 2:16) of fellow WSB new boy Brian Suarez.It was a huge left hook that did the damage, and with the scores at 2:1 going into the bout, it was this victory that assured the win for the Italia Thunder. Mullenberg looks very big for a Light Heavyweight; he has the body of a tree yet moves like a tiger in the ring. He is a good find for the Italian team and it will be interesting to see how they use him this year.
Fact/Stat of the match
No Italian boxer actually won last night despite the fact that the Thunder came home with the win. If that doesn’t show the usefulness of a strong international contingent in your team, nothing will. Also, one of our twitter fans (@nanoalende) pointed out that three out of the five Argentinian boxers selected had the name of Brian!
If you have a stat or fact for us, get in touch on @WSB_Boxing and use the hashtag #WSBIV.
At Lightweight, Former World Champion and current world silver medallist Robson Conceicão from Brazil made his WSB debut against Brian Ivan Nuñezof Argentina, who was also turning out for the first time. The gap in experience showed and the Brazilian Italia Thunder boxer cruised to a 3:0 points victory by a comfortable margin. This was a tough introduction to the WSB for Nuñez, who notably was awarded 9 points by all three judges in almost every round. With Conceicão capable of challenging for the number one slot in the Individual Rankings this year, perhaps it is a little premature to judge the Argentinian’s performance just yet.
At Super Heavyweight, Mihai Nistor took the bout in the second round after his opponent Facundo Ghiglione suffered a cut and couldn’t continue. That was a shame because until that point, the two WSB veterans were involved in an interesting contest. It would have been nice to see how it developed, nonetheless by that stage the Italians had already wrapped up the match and Ghiglione could have done nothing to prevent the European team taking the points.
Coming up next
Argentina Condors travel to the USA for an important match against the Knockouts on November 22. They will need to recover very quickly psychologically after this home defeat or risk getting pined to the bottom of the table. Italia Thunder meanwhile head south to Algeria to face the Desert Hawks in a match that, by contrast, could see them pull clear at the top.