Astana Arlans Kazakhstan and Cuba Domadores meet this weekend in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season V Finals, and while the event represents a two-legged clash featuring 20 of the greatest boxers in the world, one match in particular has gripped the boxing universe with rapt attention and interest.
“The standout match [in the Finals] should be between undefeated Heavyweights Vasiliy Levit and Erislandy Savon. In any form of boxing, that looks sensational,” commented Ron Lewis, Boxing Correspondent for The Times.
Both Kazakhstan’s Levit (14-0 in WSB) and Cuba’s Savon (16-0 in WSB) have dominated the WSB Heavyweight (91 kg) division over the past two seasons, with each fighter amassing an undefeated record to rival any streak in sport.
“It’s going to be one of the most interesting and exciting fights of the Finals. Savon is a good and experienced boxer, while Levit is in good physical condition,” said Astana Arlans Head Coach Marat Jakiyev, while Cuba Domadores supremo Rolando Acebal added: “The bout between Savon and Levit should be a great fight, and Savon should take the victory.”
Crucially, their meeting will be the last match of the WSB Finals first leg, and could carry huge ramifications for the overall result of the event.
Levit began his WSB career at the start of Season IV, and finished with a 6-0 record at the end of the campaign, and he achieved one TKO finish in those six matches.
The Kazakh star clearly worked on his power prior to the fifth edition of the competition, as he has won eight consecutive matches this season, with five TKO victories included in that phenomenal record.
Only one of Levit’s opponents has lasted all five rounds in Season V, as two more of his rivals were disqualified before the final bell.
At 27-years-old, Levit is enjoying the best form of his career, and his versatility is his main weapon in the ring, as he boasts power in both hands, plus an outstanding tactical brain which spots openings very quickly.
Erislandy Savon, his opponent in the WSB Finals also made his debut in Season IV, and was awarded the Boxer of the Season trophy after winning all eight of his matches, with two bouts being won by TKO.
Savon, the nephew of three-time Olympic Gold medalist Felix Savon has clearly inherited the family trait for boxing, and has continued his undefeated record into Season V with a further eight victories.
His power has improved too, with five TKO wins clearly displaying the dynamite he possesses, particularly in his hooks which are often used from out of nowhere.
Despite both competitors winning all of their matches in the Regular Season and amassing the same amount of points in the process, Levit finished first because of his superior TKO record, and he was awarded the Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota as a result.
The two boxers dominated their semi-final matches, with Levit winning his clash against Russia’s Vitaly Kudukhov via a fourth round disqualification, while Savon stopped Julio Cesar Castillo Torres after a brutal right-left combination.
After two years of planning and anticipation, both boxers will have five rounds to attempt to use their skills and heart to achieve complete supremacy.
Savon tends to start the first round slowly in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents, while Levit often begins fast as he seeks quick finishes.
The Cuban star has excellent stamina for a Heavyweight however, so Levit will have to be wary not to use too much energy in the opening stages, and instead conserve some power for the latter course of the fight.
This truly is a clash between the immovable force vs the irresistible object, and the two perfectly matched fighters should produce a battle that will live long in the memory.