In an important night’s boxing in Group A of the World Series of Boxing (WSB), the Argentina Condors secured an impressive home win over the Algeria Desert Hawks to see them leap frog the German Eagles and go into third place in the table.
With all three teams behind them all having matches in hand, it was important for the Condors to get the points on the board if they are to make it through to the Playoffs. It was bad news for Algeria though, with competition for the fourth place spot really intensifying at the bottom of the group.
In this match we had the Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) competing in the ring.
Bout of the match
Middleweights Carlos Gabriel Ozan of the Condors and Nordine Samoudi both made their WSB debuts last night, but both boxers were also recruited from the professional ranks and thus came with some experience. Samoudi from France has a good record of 9-1-2, yet it was Ozan who ran the show. The Argentinian, who is 10-0 in the pro ranks, got a warm response from the local crowd, having been born in the city of Mendoza, where the bout was staged. Like Brian Castaño, he appears to have been a fantastic find from for the Condors. The tall orthodox boxer took to the centre of the ring early and began dominating the bout quickly. Using the full vocabulary of punches available to him in his expressive style of boxing, the new Condors man knocked Samoudi to the floor just a minute into round two. But Samoudi came back well in round three to get himself back in the game. Ozan was back on the front foot from there on out though, giving his man a standing eight count in round 5. And with just 15 seconds left on the clock, the referee stopped the bout in favour of the local lad.
Boxer of the match
Bantamweight Alberto Melian took his record to 5-1 in the WSB, which makes him one of the Condors statistically most successful boxers. His performance against Farid Kennouche, who was making his debut for the Desert Hawks, was an excellent one. Melian is an aggressive front foot boxer who is always looking to bring the action to his opponents. In Round two, the Argentinian landed an enormous long range left hook which sent the Algerian flying into the turnbuckle, which resulted in a standing eight count. As the commentator noted, Kennouche frequently made the mistake of boxing at mid and short range with the shorter Melian, rather than making use of his range. The Algerian was overwhelmed in the end and his corner pulled him out at the end of round 3.
The turning point
Coming into the final bout, the Hawks still had the chance to walk away with a point from the match if they could win this last encounter to bring the score line to 3:2. World bronze medallist Yamil Peralta, was the obstacle that Desert Hawks veteran Chouaib Bouloudinats had to get past at Heavyweight. The two London 2012 Olympians traded some serious leather with each other but it was Peralta who scored the more telling blows. A series of heavy hooks left the Algerian star wobbling around like a new-born colt before he crashed to the canvas halfway through round two. Chouaib is an experienced boxer though and he regrouped sufficiently to prevent Peralta from capitalising on the situation, but he was unable to reverse the flow of the bout, or indeed the match. Thus it was Peralta who walked away with yet another win in his WSB record book.
Fact/Stat of the match
Gabriel Ozan, was not only the home town favourite, but he also has boxing history in the city of Mendoza as well. Eight of his ten pro bouts were fought and won in the fourth largest city of Argentina, which lies in the North East of the country on the Eastern side of the Andes mountains.
Yamil Peralta meanwhile extends his unbeaten run in the WSB to 7-0. He was the surprise number one ranked Light Heavyweight last year (in the old 80-85kg WSB weight group), and is on track to be high up in the list again this year.
Elsewhere in the most surprising fact of the day, (if you can bring yourself to believe it), is that although the match was staged in the Mendoza’s open air “Greek Theatre”…It wasn’t the Ancient Greeks that built it.
Abdelkadir Chadi got some consolation for the Desert Hawks with his win at Welterweight over Alberto Palmetta. Chadi, who has now competed in every season of the WSB, took his record to 6-3-1, making him one of the Hawks most effective boxers. He looked solid as an orthodox boxer against the less experienced southpaw Palmetta in a very physical bout in which both boxers were docked points for various misdemeanours. Chadi hung tough however, to give the Hawks a consolation win.
Elsewhere, there was a walkover at Light Flyweight for Leandro Blanc, whose opponent was forced to withdraw at the last minute.
Coming up next
After the Christmas break, the Condors will take a difficult trip to Germany in a bid to secure their spot in the table, while the Desert Hawks host group leaders the Ukraine Otamans in what will surely be a difficult match. Can the Hawks bounce back from today’s defeat?
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