The USA Knockouts scored a major coup by becoming the first team in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) this season to take a point from Group leaders, the Ukraine Otamans. Moreover they achieved it with a squad of WSB debutants. With the match going right down to the wire, it was a tough evening for the Season II runners-up before unlikely hero Denys Poyatsyka came to their rescue.
We had the Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) in the ring today as the two teams battled it out.
Bout of the match
19 year old Lu Bin of China made a spectacular WSB debut for the Knockouts at Light Flyweight against fellow 19 year old Vadym Kudryakov. Bin, a switch-hitter chose to operate from a southpaw stance against the naturally southpaw Ukraine Otamans boxer. Both athletes looked very good with solid defence, excellent attacking combinations and far more experience and ring craft than you would expect for boxers their age. However the USA Knockouts really pulled the rabbit out of the hat with the young Chinese fighter, who dug deep to edge the win in a very close bout.
Boxer of the match
The Otamans Heavyweight Denys Poyatsyka looked like a machine against his Chinese opponent Xuanxuan Wang who was boxing for the Knockouts. The orthodox boxer stalked his southpaw opponent from the opening bell, with the Chinese fighter seeming unable to contain him with his jab. The Chinaman had a better second round but Poyatsyka caught him with a hard right hand to drop him in the third. It took a few seconds for the full force of the blow to take effect with Wang even able to land a decent looking counter punch before his legs began to do a Bambi impression. He dropped to one knee and there he remained for the full ten counts to give the Otamans the win via TKO.
The victory was personally important for Poyatsyka; not only did he save the night for the Otamans, but he also took his record to 5-4, which will make him look like a slightly safer bet for Head Coach Valentyn Sobolyevskyy, who may now ease him into more bouts of this type to help him build his experience.
The turning point
With the match at 2:1 in favour of the USA Knockouts, Ukraine called out their big guns in the guise of Middleweight Ivan Golub.The Otamans’ southpaw, who stepped in at the last minute for Dmytro Mytrofanov, has often been kept out of the starting line-up by the Ukrainian great, buthe has nonetheless clocked up an impressive record of 5-0 in the WSB across two seasons. His opponent Marlo Delgado Suarez from Ecuador however looked extremely confident in the ring for a man who was making his first appearance in the WSB. You could immediately see why he was picked up by the US selectors with his beautiful classic orthodox style, so closely matching the American school of thought on the art of boxing. He was good enough to win the first and last rounds 10:9 on all three judges’ scorecards, but the battling Ukrainian’s experience came through in the end to take the three crucial rounds in the middle of the bout. This was a big win for Golub in tough circumstances. The result levelled the scores, but full credit to Delgado Suarez who could be a force in the future for the Knockouts.