The Cuba Domadores went top of the Group of Death in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) tonight with a clinical performance over Group B underdogs, the Hussars Poland. The result will crank up the pressure on defending champions, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan who face a difficult away bout tomorrow to an enigmatic Russian team that could well pose serious problems for the Alpha Wolves.
The Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) graced the canvas for us this evening.
Bout of the match
Sergiy Werwjko of the Hussars took on Yoandi Toirac of the Domadores at Super Heavyweight. This was one of the most competitive bouts of the evening. The Hussars boxer did not look at all out of place in the ring in the opening round. That first round was a tight affair indeed, but the Cuban landed a late combination in the dying seconds to steal it.The bout began to tip in the second however with the Cuban dropping his big Polish opponent with a massive right hand just a second or two before the bell. The Cuban came out looking to finish it and the Pole got a standing eight with just 40 seconds into the 3rd. The Cuban teenager looks dangerous with big right hands and uppercuts and he only got more lethal as his confidence grew. Toirac is perhaps something of a prodigy at just 18 years old. He looked like a mature athlete, winning the bout by TKO against the 25 year old Polish Champion in the third. The emergence of this young boxer amongst so many Cuban stars is why this particular bout had to be highlighted.
Boxer of the match
Mateusz Polski put on a brave performance against the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013 gold medallist Lazaro Alvarez at Lightweight. Although Alvarez won the bout as expected, the young Pole deserves some credit in defeat. As a southpaw, Alvarez looked comfortable early on, but the Polish national champion also managed to land some good shots to the body and a nice hook to the head in round one. Polski also showed some good head movement throughout the bout, but such is Alvarez’ talent that he was still able to land three or four punch combinations in spite of that. Polski regrouped well during each break and was brave in all rounds. The World Champ however remained sublime and wasn’t really required to get out of fourth gear. Nonetheless, given the calibre of the opponent he was in the ring with, Polski deserves praise for his effort; this was a huge jump up on the career ladder for Polski and for that and the way he handled himself against such a high class opponent, he won our unofficial boxer of the night.
The turning point
Welterweight Arisnoidys Despaigne has a different style from the rest of his Cuban team mates, being far more aggressive and insistent on engaging in tear ups. As his World Championships silver medal attests however, the system works well enough for him and there aren’t many in the Cuban camp who would complain. His Polish opponent Rafal Perczynski was initially awkward to get to though. A tall southpaw with a sneaky jab he made himself troublesome, but the experienced Despaigne was great at cutting the angles off so that he could work the body with his hard hooks. In round four the referee gave the Pole a standing eight count after an overwhelmingly aggressive barrage from Despaigne and unhappy with Perczynski’s response in the following seconds, he called time on the bout giving Cuba an unassailable 3:0 win. The match was theirs.
Quote of the match
Our Twitter fan @Silkeyjoe asked if “anyone could stop the Cubans?”
Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder Boxer Patrick Barnes (@paddyb_ireland) jumped in pretty quickly to say (and we suspect only half-jokingly): “Lucky theyare not in our group, they would get knocked out!” Only time will tell if that match takes place in the Playoffs this year.
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Flyweight Grzegorz Kozlowski put in one of the better performances for the Hussars against Gerardo Cervantes. Cuba’s World Championships team member started a little slowly, and at first it looked as though we had a fairly even contest on our hands. The situation began to deteriorate for the Polish boxer however as Cervantes started to hit his stride in round two. By round three it began to look like Kozlowski was running out of answers. Cervantes on the other hand was clearly enjoying his work. With three rounds stitched up in succession for the Cuban, it was time for him to shut the match down. The Pole’s style was very upright and square on, which against this particular opponent didn’t do him any favours, and the Cuban was able to cruise to a comfortable victory in the opening bout of the evening.
Pawel Stepien of Poland had a really rough time against Julio Cesar La Cruz at Light Heavyweight. By the end of round two and after ten unanswered punches in succession, AIBA Best Referee & Judge of the year (2013) award winner Gerardo Poggi from Argentina stepped in to give the young Pole a standing eight count. Like a primary school child working on his maths, Poggi was soon counting again and a few seconds after that count, Stepien was literally saved by the bell. It became a question of when rather than if the bout would be stopped and the corner threw the towel in just a few seconds into the 3rd when it became clear that the pressure from the Cuban was not going to stop.
Coming up next
The Hussars Poland face an absolutely crunch match against the WSB bad boys the Azerbaijan Baku Fires. This will probably be the most winnable of matches in an almost impossible group for the resilient Group B underdogs. Cuba meanwhile will take on the mighty Russians at home for the WSB’s first ever trip to Havana. Both matches will take place on December 6 as next week is the rest week, offering the battle weary fighters some much needed respite.