After whitewashing Italia Thunder 5-0 in the first leg of their World Series of Boxing (WSB) quarter-final, Russian Boxing Team confidently finished the job in the second leg with a 4-1 win in Moscow.
Despite losing 9-1 overall, the Italian team never gave up and can be proud of an outstanding season where they entertained many boxing fans with their wonderful style and hard work.
This result moves the Russian team to the semi-finals of this year’s competition, where they will meet Astana Arlans Kazakhstan over two legs.
The second leg began at Flyweight (52 kg), and Russia secured the one victory they needed to win the quarter-final as Karen Arutiunian defeated Gaurav Bidhuri.
Due to the magnitude of this match, it was a scrappy affair, as both men battled head injuries in a contest which lasted until a minute into the third round when the doctor was forced to stop the fight due to Bidhuri’s bad injury.
As per WSB rules, the decision was based on the scorecards of the judges up to that point of the stoppage, and the fight was awarded to Arutiunian by a single point on all three cards.
Another bout that did not go all five rounds occurred at Lightweight (60 kg) when 1-1 Artur Subkhankulov caused a stoppage of Italy’s 2-2 Donato Cosenza.
Subkhankulov controlled the fight from the outset, and was the more skilled boxer throughout the first three rounds, before Cosenza was pulled out because of a head injury early in round four.
The one-sided victories for Russian continued with a dominant performance from 7-0 Welterweight (69 kg) Radzhab Butaev who lived up to his reputation as one of WSB’s most feared fighters with a wide points success over current Italian National Champion Alfonso Di Russo.
Butaev was excellent from the very early stages of the contest, and utilised a tight defence with frequent and accurate shots which left Di Russo incredibly frustrated, especially after he was deducted two points for various infringements.
All three judges awarded the decision to Butaev with scores of 50-41, 50-42 and 50-43 showcasing just how flawless the victory was.
More Russian points success followed at Light heavyweight (81 kg) where debutant Eduard Yakushev opened his Season V account in magnificent style against Simone Fiori.
Yakushev won every round, and switched effortlessly from southpaw to orthodox throughout the contest, with his punch output and stamina superior to Fiori’s.
Italy claimed back a deserved triumph in the last fight of the quarter-final, when Super heavyweight (91+ kg) Guido Vianello earned his fourth win of the season after five tough rounds with Russia’s 3-2 Maxim Babanin.
Vianello used his height advantage to great effect in the opening rounds, and though Babanin worked his way back into proceedings, the judges preferred the work of the Italian three rounds to two.