The opening battle of the WSB weekend took place on Friday night between WSB newcomers Uzbek Tigers and Puerto Rico Hurricanes in Tashkent, with the hosts looking very much at home in the new competition as they join Azerbaijan Baku Fires at the top of Group D. Defeat leaves the Hurricanes still chasing their first points of the campaign and with a tricky match against Astana Arlans ahead in Week 10.
Uzbekistan’s Abrorjon Kodirov enjoyed his first WSB bout in front of the home fans, getting off to a strong start against Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ Colombian flyweight Ceiber David Avila. Kodirov’s pace and accuracy proved too much for his southpaw opponent, and the referee stopped the bout after six minutes to award the home boxer a TKO victory.
The Tigers’ Elnur Abduraimov also looked to immediately imposed himself on his opponent in bout two, landing some heavy left jabs as he worked over WSB newcomer Steven Ruidiaz from close in to ease the hosts in to a 2-0 lead. Big-hitting Dostonbek Turdiev then dominated his welterweight contest against the Hurricanes’ second debutant of the match, Samuel Alexis Cedeno Roman, with the referee calling a halt to the bout in the third round and giving Uzbekistan an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Another of the Hurricanes’ Colombian draft picks, Juan Carlos Carrillo, gave Shukhrat Abdullaev a shock in the opening round of their heavyweight contest with some big combinations, but the Uzbek bounced back in style to dominate the latter stages of the bout and eventually take the judges’ decision. With the win already assured, Tigers’ experienced super heavyweight Sardorbek Abdullaev then completed the whitewash, the visitors’ Lithuanian boxer Mantas Valavicius unable to match his opponent’s sheer speed and size, leaving the home fans eager for the arrival of Astana Arlans Kazakhstan on Saturday night for the top-of-the-table clash.