The Russian boxing team were in ruthless form today, as they firmly shut the door on World Series of Boxing (WSB) rivals the Azerbaijan Baku Fires and narrowed the gap on defending Champions the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in the Group B table.
The Russians showed that a top two finish is not beyond them, thanks to their Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg), who were impressive today.
Bout of the match
Alexander Besputin ofRussia looked very strong against Yauheni Ramashkevich at Welterweight. The Azeri did have some early success with a long range left hook but Besputin responded well. He opened up totally, meaning both boxers engaged in prolonged exchanges in which defence did not seem much of an issue for either of them. With both athletes dropping bombs on each other you felt that control of the match could swing either way at any time. Besputin is a relentless and aggressive boxer with very fast hands and tons of power, whilst Ramashkevich was more calculated, cleaner and with better footwork. This was an excellent debut for the young Azeri boxer, who looks like a class act indeed. But the experience of Besputin gradually shone through and the Russian took the bout.
Boxer of the match
World Champion Misha Aloian had an exciting bout with WSB debutant Rauf Agayev. The Azeri was certainly not overwhelmed by the calibre of his opponent and was very aggressive in the exchanges. The Russian took the first three rounds, despite a strong third for the Fires boxer. It was a scrappy bout which was good for the Azeri, but by the end Aloian was comfortably ahead. He started to look comfortable and took full control of the bout for another win in the WSB, to take his record to 3-0. But credit is definitely due to Rauf Agayev, who is a good find for the Fires.
The turning point
Light Heavyweight Dmitriy Bivol of The Russian Boxing Team brought his 2-0 record into the ring against the debutant Mikhail Dauhaliavets from Belorussia. Round one was a frenetic affair with the debutant scoring hard and early. He seemed to gas later in round two, and he became slightly sloppy going into round three while Bivol remained focused. As the Azeri began to fade, the Russian scored ever more frequently and the more the Azeri threat waned, the clearer the writing on the wall became. Bivol was excellent and his win took the bout to 4-0, firmly shutting the door on any hope of the Fires coming home with a point. How important could this bout be then for both teams as the season progresses?
Quotes of the match.
“If you think about all the amazing footwork Misha Aloian has used during the opening two rounds, it’s not surprising that his boot laces have come under pressure” – commentator Will Vanders forgives the World Champ for needing to get his boots tied mid bout.
“Alexander Besputin has just rampaged his way through this like a Rhino in Kevlar” Commentator Will Vanders
Adlan Abdurashidov, who had a 9-4-1 record coming into this bout took on another fairly experienced WSB boxer in Hurshid Tojibayev of the Baku Fires at Lightweight. The Russian landed some very good left hooks early on to open a cut on the Azeri, but the Fires boxer regained his composure and fought back well. Round two was a far more tightly contested affair, but the Russian was able to hang on. As the bout wore on, despite the fact that it remained competitive, it was Abdurashidov who maintained control for the win.
Sergey Kuzmin of the Russian Team was able to show his extreme power when he faced Haji Murtuzaliyev at Super Heavyweight. The Azeri came in with a 5-4 record and is now entering his third season. Though faster, he was much smaller and lacked the strength of the bigger man. Some of Kuzmin’s shots later on in the bout were so slow that Nostradamus could have predicted them and the bout became a little ragged, but just as we foresaw after his last bout with Filip Hrgovic, Kuzmin is proving to be a difficult opponent for all but the best to face.
Coming up next
The Azerbaijan Baku Fires face the high-flying group leaders the Cuba Domadores at home, whilst the Russians face the Mexico Guerreros in a match where they can further cement their chances of moving through to the Playoffs.
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