It was an emphatic win for the defending World Series of Boxing (WSB) Champions, the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan over the emerging powerhouse Russian Boxing Team. The Russian visitors will need to go back to the drawing board and will leave Almaty, fortunate to hang onto their third place in Group B after the Azerbaijan Baku Fires slipped up in Mexico.
In the ring were the Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg).
Bout of the match
Vasilii Levit of the Arlans had a fantastic match with Aleksei Egorov of Russia. It was the Russian’s debut but he put on a great show. Whilst Levit has been the sensational find of the season so far for the defending champions, Egorov, who looks very much like every fighter’s worst nightmare, stole the first round by split decision. The huge Heavyweight forced his Kazakh opponent to get on his bike with his dominance on the inside. The second round was very active indeed with both boxers really getting stuck in. Levit looked to end it quickly but with the Russian having a solid chin, the bout became a slug fest as the Arlans boxer was in danger of getting sucked into Egorov’s preferred game plan towards the very end of the round. Words must have been said by Head Coach Sergiy Korchynsky and soon after, Levit was back on the outside looking sharp. Egorov was unable to match his speed and gradually slipped off the pace. It was a good win for Levit, who now goes 4-0 in the WSB.
Boxer of the match
Sergiy Derevyanchenko made his twenty second appearance in the WSB against Russia’s Petr Khamukov at Middleweight. The Kazakh crowd immediately began cheering on their Ukrainian legend. It was an interesting opening round with the Arlans boxer taking his time to figure out his opponent in a game of chess. The young Russian got his fair share of shots of in round two, but the physical presence of Derevyanchenko always seemed to dominate the entire ring-space. As our commentator said, with the Russian up on his toes and bouncing around to stay safe, it was like Khamukov “was tap dancing through a minefield”. He managed to open a cut above the Ukrainian’s eye with a good left hook in the third, but the result was only that the beast was awoken, and within a few seconds, the Russian was taking a standing eight count. Khamukov did well to hang in there, but there was only ever going to be one winner here.
The turning point
Askhat Ualikhanov took on Maxim Dadashev of the Russian Boxing Team at Light Welterweight. Both boxers came into the ring with 2:0 records in the WSB so someone was going to be sent home with the first loss of his WSB career. The southpaw Ualikhanov made excellent use of his foot work, despite boxing at close range. The orthodox Russian just seemed a little out-worked and forced onto the defensive by the local athlete, and it was he who found himself with a smirch in his record book.
Quote of the match
“If you hit Sergiy Derevyanchenko in your dreams, you had better wake up and say sorry” – Commentator Will Vanders appropriately adapts a Mohamed Ali quote.
Mardan Berikbayev of the Arlans against Belik Galanov of Russia was an interesting bout with the southpaw Kazakh facing a complex guard and stance from the Russian who at times stood deep and looked to counter, and at other moments rushed in unpredictably. It became a very scrappy affair but also a very closely contested one that went right down to the final bell, but it was the Kazakh who won it on a split decision.
Elsewhere, two debutants went toe to toe when Kazakh Madi Shulakov of the Arlans faced Nikita Fedorchenko of the Russian Boxing Team. The Arlans fighter dominated the early stages against the southpaw Russian by coming forward and backing his opponent up. However the Russian began to show some excellent foot work. This would have been the tactical battle for the whole bout, had Shulakov tactically spoiled Fedorchenko’s work. In round two, the Russian was penalised for a head butt, which got the crowd in the Almaty Sports Palace booing. In the end, the Kazakh boxer was too much for him in what was an exciting but messy bout.
Coming up next
Kazakhstan will be travelling to Mexico next week for a tough away match, whilst the Russians will be at home for their biggest match of the year so far against the Cuba Domadores.
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.