The Hala Mosir sports venue in Szczecin played host to five thrilling bouts of WSB boxing on Saturday night as the Russian Boxing Team conjured up a spirited fight back from 2-0 down to beat Rafako Hussars Poland 3-2.
A tight flyweight bout between the Hussars’ German 24-year-old Hamza Touba and Russia’s Ovik Ogannisian saw Touba recover from a slow start to put his opponent on the back foot with a stirring finish, taking a crucial fifth round to give the hosts the early advantage.
The lead was doubled when the experienced lightweight Dawid Michelus – stepping out for his 15th WSB contest – capitalised on a brilliant start against Gabil Mamedov, delivering a controlled performance that put the Hussars one bout away from a precious first Group C win.
Russian Boxing Team’s Albert Karibian had other ideas, showing no sign of debut nerves as he got his welterweight bout against 22-year-old Damian Kiwior off to a flying start. The Polish athlete finished well, but Karibian’s accurate punching and dangerous hooks early on had done enough to earn him the judges’ verdict and make it 2-1.
Another Russian debutant Iaroslav Doronichev then drew the match level, shocking the taller Pawel Wierzbicki with some fierce hooks and taking the contest down to the wire. That left super heavyweights Arkadiusz Szwedowicz and Pavel Silyagin to decide the evening, and despite a quick start from the Pole, Silyagin’s defence remained tight, from which he launched successful attacks that won him the judges’ decision and his team the match in a remarkable turnaround.