The World Series of Boxing (WSB) match between the Azerbaijan Baku Fires and The Russian Boxing Team was so close this week that it went right down to the very final round. In another stunning evening of boxing the Azeri team managed to secure their grip on the middle of the table, creating a three point gap over the Russians, who now lie in fourth place.
The Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) were contesting the match this evening.
Bout of the match
With the score tied at 2-2 we had an amazing bout between Heavyweights Abdulkadir Abdullayev of the Fires and Aleksei Egorov of the Russian boxing team. The pace was absolutely blistering from the opening bell with control of the bout swinging back and forward like a clock pendulum. By round four both boxers were exhausted; but still they attacked. In the end the whole encounter between the two teams came down to the very last round of the bout. Egorov shouldn’t have even still been in the contest on paper, his one previous WSB bout had ended in defeat in Week 7 whilst Abdullayev boasted a 7-2 record over all four WSB seasons. Nonetheless the Russian’s resilience and skill was praiseworthy and it shows the depth of quality available to Europe’s boxing super-power. In the end he couldn’t quite do enough though and both the bout and thus the match went to the Azeri by the slimmest of margins.
Boxer of the match
Veteran Middleweight Mikalai Vesialouof the Baku Fires is a stylish boxer and had a 7-1 record coming into this bout against Russia’s Petr Khamukov. Khamukovwasn’t without experience himself ad came in with two wins and a forgivable loss to Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Nonetheless, on paper it seemed as though the Azeri had the bout in the bag. The height and reach advantage was also with the local boxer. Things started out according to expectations with the Fires boxer taking round one. However In round two the Russian came back with some huge shots that really rattled his opponent. After three rounds there was only one point between them and suddenly this bout was not going according to the script. The hard-hitting 22 year old Khamukov was causing the local boxer some serious difficulties, and so it continued until the final bell. At that point we found out that Khamukov had secured a major victory for his team and now must be taken extremely seriously by everyone else in the category.
The turning point
Light Welterweights Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev and Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev had an interesting contest. With the tide of the match flowing very much in the direction of the Baku Fires, Dadashev’s victory put the Russians back into contention. The two front foot orthodox boxers didn’t seem particularly interested in worrying about evasion and instead chose to batter each other in the middle of the ring. The Azeri fighter came into the bout with a 3-0 record whilst his opponent was 2-1. This made them very evenly matched in terms of experience too. The bout was a long way from being pretty, in fact with the two boxers opting to simply stand there head to head and trade from behind tight guards it became a grinding war of attrition. The contest was to remain close all the way to the final bell but in the end it was the Russian who won to keep his team in contention.
Quote of the match.
“Khamukov is a natural fighter and I think we are going to hear a lot more about him in the WSB in the future” – Our commentator Will Vanders praises the Russian boxer.
Neither Magomed Gurbanov of the Fires nor Nikita Fedorchenko of Team Russia had a WSB win to their names before coming into their Bantamweight bout and had just three fights of experience between them. The orthodox Azeri boxer was on the front foot against his southpaw Russian opponent for much of the bout. The Russian meanwhile was extremely elusive but unable to do enough offensively to sway the judges.
Khamza Nametov of the Baku Fires took on Bator Sagaluev of Team Russia in a very tight match at Light Flyweight. It really was tit for tat throughout the five rounds with both boxers’ work rates being absolutely relentless. Going into the final round there was just two points in it with the Azeri only marginally ahead. Nametov got a cut with less than a minute left and with the pressure really mounting on him he stepped up to the plate and delivered the necessary final performance to guarantee the win.
Coming up next
The Azerbaijan Baku Fires are heading to Cuba for a huge encounter with the Domadores whilst the Russian Boxing Tem are also heading across the Atlantic, this time to Mexico.