The genius that is Astana Arlans Kazakhstan’s head coach Sergiy Korchynsky came up trumps again tonight after taking a gamble on his team selection in Poland.
The defending champions fielded a youthful side which nonetheless delivered the goods in Warsaw. There was however good news for Hussars Poland as captain Tomasz Jablonski managed to secure the team‘s first win in Season IV of the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
Tonight we enjoyed watching the Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) as the C1 category took to the ring.
Bout of the match
Light Welterweight Damian Kiwior of the Hussars Poland took on the southpaw Askhat Ualikhanov of the visiting Arlans team. The Kazakh boxer took to the centre of the ring and fired several right jabs and useful looking body shots from the get go. The Polish athlete however was certainly not outclassed or intimidated and he returned fire with a vicious right hand and the occasional left hook. Round two started brightly with the Kazakh coming out fast and the Pole refusing to back down. In round three, the Polish boxer went on the front foot and in so doing found a winning formula. He began to land heavy body shots and hooks from behind a tight defensive shield. Boxing in a Russian style and on the inside, he began to nail his Kazakhstan opponent like a carpenter’s hammer and the bout became significantly closer. The crowd began to warm to their tenacious young athlete and yelled their support. Unsurprisingly, Kiwior stuck with the tactic into round four. He also began to show his supreme physical conditioning and was now pushing the pace of the bout. The Kazakh meanwhile was starting to look tired and in a reversal of fortunes, it was he who was now the most pleased to hear the bell ring. This was one of the first times this season that a Polish boxer had won a round unanimously. The man in the ascendancy was clearly Kiwior, but the question was could he do enough with just one round to go to steal the bout from the Kazakh athlete? In the end it was not to be. This was unfortunate because it was an impressive display and may have even won Kiwior “Boxer of the match”. For Ualikhanov however, it was a gutsy performance in which he had to dig deep to hang onto his lead.
Boxer of the match
Middleweight Jablonski was the Hussars main hope of the night against Yerik Alzhanov but after two rounds, the bout was even with one apiece. Jablonski made good use of his right hand and classic one two combinations against what proved to be a very talented WSB debutant. By this point in the match, a win for the team was unattainable, but were Jablonski to poach a victory, there would still be an opportunity to claim at least one point from the match. The Pole was cut above both eyes during round two and his corner worked extremely hard to put him back together in time to get him out again for round three. But embodying the tenacious spirit of the Hussars Poland, team’s captain Jablonski bravely battled on and for the first time in the WSB Season IV, a Polish boxer was ahead at the end of round three. Moreover, this was new territory for the Kazakh who had never previously boxed beyond three rounds. Jablonski continued to hang tough and despite suffering from his injuries, he was willing to get stuck in against his Kazakh opponent. This resulted in an outstanding win and a victory which may carry a significant psychological benefit for the rest of the team going forward.
The turning point
This moment came when Lukasz Zygmunt of the Hussars took on the super talented Vasilii Levit of the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan. Along with Erislandy Savon of Cuba, Levit really is one of the most exciting new heavyweight boxers in the WSB this year. He dropped his Polish opponent in the fourth round with some absolutely stunning body shots. Whilst the Pole was fortunate to make it through to the end of the round, Levit by stark contrast looked as fresh as a daisy. Indeed the Heavyweight division in general is starting to shape up to be an exciting category for the WSB this year, including as it does current World Champion Clemente Russo from Italy, the highly talented Mihai Nistor from Romania and several other world class athletes. Levit denied the host team the potential to walk away from the match with a point and sealed the deal for the visiting Arlans. His performance was arguably one of the most dominant in the WSB history for any bout that has gone the whole distance, though this perhaps also says something for the resilience of his opponent. Nonetheless Levit is an exciting prospect for the future.
Fact/Stat of the match
Jablonski’s win was the first in 24 bouts for the Hussars Poland. Although other Polish athletes had come close, none had yet managed to scrape past the finishing line. This was a desperately needed moment of celebration and it will surely have important psychological implications for the team.
Bantamweight Marek Pietruczuk put on a brave performance against Meirbolat Toitov of the Arlans. However the Kazakh boxer completely dominated his Polish opponent. He dropped him twice with massive left hooks to the body and gave his opponent a standing eight count all within the first round. Somehow the Pole survived to make it to his stool.
However Toitov began to come off the gas from round two on and it was clear he was choosing to tactically shut the bout down rather than go for the kill. The Arlans boxer was graceful as he bounced around the ring using his lead right and occasionally leading with his left cross. Despite the emphatic nature of Toitov’s win, the young Hussar should be commended for his spirit, especially given his young age of just 19. He certainly didn’t go down without a fight.
Elsewhere Dawid Jagodzinski wasoutgunnedby Arlans boxer Mardan Berikbayev atLightFlyweight. The Kazakh took their bout on points 3:0 after dominating every round 10:9. The Polish boxer fought gamely throughout but was unable to break through.
Coming up next
Hussars Poland will be hoping to continue the positive momentum going from Jablonski’s win and tonight’s performance into their next match with the lethal Russian side at home in Warsaw. Kazakhstan meanwhile will be back on the road and will face the WSB Bad Boys, the Azerbaijan Baku Fires.
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