The Hussars Poland at last got the point they have chased for the last six weeks in the World Series of Boxing (WSB). The team has been painfully close before but the ever courageous Poles finally got their well-deserved point on the board against arch rivals, the Russian Boxing Team.
That shouldn’t take away from another excellent Russian performance that sees them seriously ramp up the pressure on the defending Champions, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, tying them on points, in their bid to wrest second place to the Playoffs from the Alpha Wolves.
Tonight we had the Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) battling it out in Poland.
Bout of the match
Dawid Michelus started well against Konstantin Bogomazov in an intense but clean opening round. But the Russian was relentlessly aggressive in round two and pressed continually despite taking some significant punishment on the way in, this was to be his tactic throughout. The Pole took the round but the question was would he be able to hang in there in what was clearly going to become a difficult battle of attrition. The Russian made it interesting by taking round three. But the Pole battled back and in a nail biting finale, the crowd in Poland finally had something to cheer about as Michelus’ hand was raised at the end of the bout. This was only Poland’s second win all season, but it also made it two wins in two weeks with three bouts still to go. Importantly it showed the rest of the team that it was possible.
Boxer of the match
World Champion Misha Aloian took on Grzegorz Kozlowski who came into the bout with a 0-3 record. But if Aloian hoped that the Pole would be beaten before he walked through the ropes, he was mistaken. An under-discussed truth that is well known by fighters is that often the superior boxer may feel under more pressure than the less-skilful one. He feels he needs to not only win, but win clearly and in a stylish manner, whilst the other is unburdened by such baggage. Kozlowski took to the ring like a boxer who was aware he had nothing to lose and started brightly. The Champion however soon brought his experience to bear on the situation. His footwork was sublime, with his ability to switch-hit making him so mobile in the ring. He was a genuine pleasure to watch and it was a beautiful win. Aloian really is one of the most exciting boxers in the WSB on a pound for pound basis at the moment.
The turning point
With the score-line at 3-1, it was left to Super Heavyweight Sergiy Werwejko to keep the Hussars hopes of scrapping their first points of the year alive. For such a big man, his opponent Ivan Veriasov moved extremely well and had very fast hands. The Russian was possibly the better technical boxer but the Pole was clearly the fitter. Nonetheless the Russian was economical and controlled the distance well. This was yet another match that was very even early on, the question here was going to be: could the Russian stay sharp as the rounds wore on or could the Pole wear him down sufficiently to take the lead? Soon enough we had our answer with the increased hugging from the Russian a sign of increased fatigue. The Pole battled hard and hung in there to get the Hussars an important first point.
Fact/Stat of the match
30 bouts and 3 wins gives the Poles just a 10% win record this season. But three from the last 10 boosts them to a more respectable 30%. If they can hold this, it we will start to see some solid performances from the resilient Group B underdogs.
Zhora Simonyan was brave but out-gunned against Alexander Besputin, who nailed the Pole for a count in the first round. Somehow the Pole made it through to the last round, but was utterly dominated all the way, effectively in survival mode the full distance. However, that in itself must have required some serious discipline and fortitude. It was clear he wouldn’t win but he toughed it out and ended with a serious attacking flourish in a last moment of defiance. That clearly earned the respect of Besputin who embraced the young man when the bell rang a few moments later.
Light Heavyweight Kasjusz Zycinski of Polandtook on Aleksander Khotyantsev in a bout that the Pole was close to win. It was a pivotal win for the Russian for the final outcome of the match.
Coming up next
Hussars Poland head to their most difficult match of the season against the Cuba Domadores, while the Russian Boxing Team also face a difficult away trip to defending Champions Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, who are likely to put on a display of force to atone for today’s loss against Azerbaijan. That should make it a particularly interesting affair.
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