Following a morale-boosting victory over China Dragons on the opening weekend of Season VI, Türkiye Conquerors went in to Saturday night’s home match against Cuba Domadores full of belief, but the visitors proved too strong in Istanbul’s Bagcilar Olympic Sport Complex, snuffing out the challenge to win 5-0.
The opening bout saw Türkiye Conquerors’ experienced 28-year-old Ferhat Pehlivan making his WSB debut against Domadores’ talented 19-year-old Frank Saldivar. The Cuban southpaw’s speed and energy left Pehlivan tiring in the final two rounds, earning a unanimous win for the hosts.
At 1-0 up, Cuba Domadores were able to call upon three-time AIBA World Champion and WSB Team Champion Lazaro Alvarez. Yasin Yilmaz made a valiant effort to unsettle the Cuban star in the opening round, and the crowd came to life as the two southpaws embarked on an entertaining bout, eventually awarded to Alvarez in a unanimous decision.
Turkey’s 19 year-old welterweight Serhat Guler faced a similarly stiff challenge in the form of Domadores’ lightening-quick Roniel Iglesias, and the reigning Olympic champion never looked in trouble as Cuba marched into a commanding 3-0 lead on the night.
Türkiye Conquerors’ National Light Heavyweight Champion Nadir Unal made his competition debut against three-time AIBA World Champion and WSB Team Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz, and the Cuban adopted his usual flamboyant counter-attacking style to give Unal a WSB masterclass and take the match to 4-0. The whitewash was completed in emphatic fashion when double Olympian Bahram Muzaffer was knocked out in the first round by Cuban youngster Yohandi Toirac, completing an impressive night for the Domadores who once again look like the team to beat in Season VI.