London’s York Hall was rocking on Friday night after the British Lionhearts put on another imperious display of WSB boxing for their fans. In maintaining a 100% record at home this season, the team booked a place in the Semi-Finals for the first time in its history, and now looks likely to meet Astana Arlans Kazakhstan after the two-time champions’ 4-1 first-leg win over Venezuela Caciques.
The 4-1 demolition of Ukraine Otamans was a repeat of Thursday’s first-leg result, and it was the hosts’ German draft pick Ronny Beblik who set the ball rolling with a dominant display against the Ukrainian southpaw Denys Shkarubo in the opening flyweight bout. That left one half of the British Lionhearts’ impressive McCormack twins, lightweight star Luke, to settle the quarter-final once and for all with a sublime display in the fourth and fifth rounds against Otamans’ lightweight Vitaly Solyanik, the unanimous win making it 2-0 on the night and 6-1 overall.
There was plenty of boxing left in the tie, though, and Ukraine Otamans’ 20-year-old southpaw welterweight Serhii Bohachuk gave the visitors’ fans something to cheer as he took a brilliant contest with British Lionhearts’ powerful Ekow Tabiri Essuman that ebbed and flowed and lit up York Hall with pure boxing prowess. Another draft pick, Lionhearts’ Bulgarian heavyweight Radoslav Pantaleev returned from injury to take a tough win over Denys Solonenko, leaving the hotly anticipated bout between Frazer Clarke and Vladyslav Sirenko to wrap up a memorable Quarter-Final.
With the tie in the bag, Clarke adopted a patient approach, settling in to a comfortable distance and landing some heavy uppercuts to which his opponent could find no answer. Sirenko grew into the bout, but Clarke always looked one punch away from the win and it eventually came in the fifth, the referee awarding the TKO and a fitting finale to a commanding play-off performance from the British outfit.