Uzbekistan Tigers got their first World Series of Boxing campaign off to a flying start as they subjected Puerto Rico Hurricanes to a 5-0 whitewash in San Juan on Saturday night. The hosts could find no answer to the new franchise’s boxing prowess at the Coliseo Pedrin Zorrila.
Following an unbeaten Season V with the Ukraine Otamans, Uzbek light flyweight Hasanboy Dusmatov looked determined to get his native country a first WSB win under their belts, the southpaw going straight onto the attack against 20-year-old Anthony Ortiz. A strong left hook had Ortiz on the canvas in the opening round, but he recovered well, taking Dusmatov right down to the wire before the judges awarded the Tigers a precious first WSB win.
The two young bantamweights Edgardo Rolon and Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov then put on a frenetic and entertaining display of boxing in match two, Rolon landing some strong body shots early on before Tigers newcomer Sharakhmatov found his rhythm and length to dominate the latter stages and give the visitors a surprise 2-0 lead.
That left Hurricanes debutant Jorge Martinez with the huge task of upsetting Uzbekistan’s newly crowned National Champion Fazliddin Meliboev if the hosts were to salvage anything from the tie. Sadly for the home fans, Martinez, up against one of the world’s most promising light welterweights, was second-best from the outset, Meliboev jabbing effectively throughout and sealing an incredible debut victory for the Tigers.
With the hosts deflated, the whitewash was completed as first the young middleweight Ulugbek Khakberdiev’s brushed aside Raul Sanchez and then former AIBA Junior World Champion Mirzobek Khasanov beat Jose Rosado by TKO, rounding off a comprehensive victory for Uzbekistan Tigers on a night the Puerto Rico Hurricanes will be keen to forget.