The Azerbaijan Baku Fires made a serious statement of intent this evening in their match against defending champions, the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, in the Week 6 of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV.
We enjoyed watching the Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) as the Fires staked their claim to a place in the Playoffs and heaped pressure on the Russian Boxing Team ahead of their away match in Poland later tonight.
Bout of the match
Elvin Mamishzada,the 2010 European silver medallist and London 2012 Olympian, looked sharp against Iliyas Suliemenov of the Arlans at Flyweight. The local boxer was on the front foot from the off. Pressing his debutant Kazakh opponent, he looked good in the opening two rounds, but Suliemenov came back well in the third. The Kazakh boxer was clearly the more accurate of the two with a whipping jab, whilst the Fires boxer liked to scrap. The question would be who was going to dominate the stylistic battle and enforce their game plan onto the match. Going into the final round, this still wasn’t clear with both boxers having their moments and the scores all even on the judges’ cards. With everything to play for, it was a blistering final round. In the end it was a huge win for the home team as they drew the proverbial first blood of the night.
Boxer of the match
2007 World Champion Albert Selimov took on Kazakh star boxer Samat Bashenov at Lightweight. Bashenov is a serious boxer; it was he who the Kazakhs sent out into last year’s WSB Finals to face arguably the greatest Lightweight in the world at the moment, Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine. But he struggled against the Fires fighter, who was in absolutely phenomenal form. Mixing it up incredibly well, the southpaw Azeri often lead with right upper cuts many of these landed with lethal intent on the chin of his rival. Bashenov was always dangerous, but was unable to take a single round from Selimov who proved to be too much for his opponent in the end. Taking the bout to 2:0 put the hosts in an excellent position against the defending champions could be summed up as a good day at the office in boxing terms.
The turning point
At Welterweight, a strong looking Yauheni Ramashkevich started very fast indeed against Kazakhstan’s Meirim Nursultanov. The Young Kazakh boxer was excellent however in his response and used guile and ring-craft against the extremely fit Azeri, who may be the most explosive athlete in the category this season. The bout went down to the wire yet again, making it a dramatic final few moments. But it was the Fires boxer who took the win in an extremely close affair. This was a big win for Ramashkevich personally and it brought his record back to a more respectable1-1 in the WSB.
Fact/Stat of the match
The only other team to turn the Astana Arlans over this year has been the Cuba Domadores, who only won 3-2. Thus the Baku Fires are the only team to take full-points away from a clash with the defending champions so far this year. An excellent performance.
Tweet of the match
The Baku Fires (@TheBakuFires) correctly judge the mood in the dressing room
Iranian Light Heavyweight Ehsan Rouzbahani seemed to struggle early on against Samir Magomedov, but managed to overwhelm the Azeri debutant at 2:58 of the second round to earn a TKO victory. This takes him to a very respectable 5-2 in the WSB.
In an epic final bout at Super Heavyweight, two WSB veterans collided in the shape of Haji Murtuzaliyev of the Baku Fires against Ruslan Myrsatayev of the Astana Arlans. It was an excellent clash, and it was close to being the bout of the night (which without being too self-congratulatory, we predicted perfectly by the way, so don’t miss our previews next week…). In the end it was the superior physical conditioning of the Azeri that took the bout, but not before an immense scrap had ensued. This one is worth watching again on www.AIBAboxingTV.com!
Coming up next
Kazakhstan will be hosting the dangerous Russian Boxing Team on the last weekend of the month, whilst Azerbaijan will want to take their current outstanding form with them when they travel to take on the Mexico Guerreros.
Don’t miss out on anything with our new service AIBAboxingTV.com! Highlights are provided with commentary shortly after each match so that you can keep up with the season as it unfolds