Puerto Rico Hurricanes salvaged some much needed pride with a 3-1 win over Azerbaijan Baku Fires on Saturday night, their first victory of a difficult Season VI campaign.
With neither team able to reach the playoff places in Group D it was the Puerto Rican franchise who appeared hungrier despite economic considerations forcing the home tie to be relocated from Puerto Rico to Aguascalientes in Mexico.
Both teams are to be applauded for agreeing to the change of location, which ensured the integrity of the WSB competition was maintained and there was no adverse effect on the eligibility of any of the boxers involved to qualify for the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Tournament scheduled late June.
The unfamiliar ‘home’ surroundings certainly did not seem to have an undue effect on Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ multiple medal-winning light heavyweight Juan Carlos Carrillo. The Colombian, who won the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, maintained control throughout his contest with Azerbaijan Baku Fires’ London 2012 Olympic Games competitor, Soltan Migitinov, winning all five rounds.
Azerbaijan Baku Fires’ Belarusian boxer Yauheni Ramashkevich got his franchise on the scoreboard in the second bout with a rapid victory against WSB debutant, Jimmy Sanchez. The experienced Belarusian welterweight was dominant from the start and won by KO in round three.
Tall southpaw Jose Rosario was next up for the Puerto Rico Hurricanes and the confident lightweight always had the edge on the Azeri Khasan Arsunkaev. Regularly landing bigger punches, Rosario won four of the five rounds to put the Puerto Rico Hurricanes 2-1 ahead.
It was down to classy Colombian Ceiber David Avila to seal his franchise’s first win of Season VI. The Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championship flyweight quarterfinalist settled into a good rhythm early on against Azerbaijan Baku Fires’ Magomed Ibiyev and won on a unanimous points decision.
The super heavyweight contest did not take place with boxers from both franchises unable to compete due to health reasons. The final 3-1 scoreline meant Puerto Rico Hurricanes took three points and Azerbaijan Baku Fires a single point.