The Russian Boxing Team are enjoying life on the road so far in WSB Season VI. The side kicked off the new campaign with a Week 3 win in Poland, and on a close-run Saturday night of boxing in Vargas, it was the Venezuela Caciques who were the latest victims. A tight 3-2 defeat means the South Americans now have a win and two defeats from their opening three contests.
The hosts’ light flyweight Yonny Calderones made his debut in the opening bout, facing Bator Sagaluev, the Russian with a growing AOB reputation for delivering knockout blows. Sagaluev also showed his lightening speed from the opening moments, leaving Calderones chasing shadows and absorbing quick-fire blows until his defences finally capitulated in the fourth round and the visitors seized the early advantage.
Caciques’ main draft pick for the new season was the Dominican Republic’s Hector Luis Garcia, and he showed how valuable he will be to his new team with an impressive display against Russia’s European Games champion Bakhtovar Nazirov. Southpaw Garcia used the middle of the ring to control Nazirov’s movements in the first three minutes before raising the tempo with some well-judged uppercuts, controlling the final stages to tie the match.
Promising young Venezuelan Jesus Salvador Correa put up a brave fight against the visitors’ tough light welterweight Avak Uzliyan, but the 18 year old was unable to cause an upset and the Russians were ahead once again, before Caciques’ Endry Jose Saavedra took the tie down to the wire with a gritty, hard-fought victory over Russia’s National Middleweight Champion Andrey Kovalchuk.
That left another Venezuelan draft pick, Ireland’s Darren O’Neill, and Russian Team’s Sergey Kalchugin to decide the match. The heavyweights felt the pressure in a tight opening bout, but Kalchugin found his range and rhythm as the bout wore on, sapping the Irishman’s energies with a series of body blows from which he wasn’t able to recover. A unanimous judges’ decision awarded the Russian the bout and his side the match, launching them to the top of Group C ahead of a Week 7 trip to Buenos Aires where they will face Argentina Condors on 26 February.