Samat Bashenov (KAZ)

Samat Bashenov finished fifth in the Light welterweight (64 kg) rankings of Season V after five wins in the Regular Season, and enjoyed his sixth victory of the campaign after defeating Russia’s Avak Uzliyan in the semi-finals. The 26-year-old Kazakh athlete is a cerebral and intelligent fighter who attacks the weaknesses of his opponents, while negating their strengths at the same time.

Bashenov is the reigning Kazakh National Champion, while his four seasons of WSB experience makes him a veteran members of the Astana Arlans squad. His composed attitude to boxing began after he started the sport at ten-years-old when he lived next to a boxing gym. What began as a hobby soon transformed into a profession, and he rose to prominence in 2010 after winning gold medals at the Grand Prix Usti nad Labem, and the Feliks Stamm Tournament.

Heavyweight icons Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson represent Bashenov’s main boxing heroes, and the Light welterweight athlete can not imagine his life without the sport. As a long-term WSB favourite, he describes the competition as one of the most interesting projects in boxing, and believes the upcoming Finals against Cuba Domadores will produce much excitement.

The Kazakh also carries power in both hands, an attribute which was typified by his stoppage of Kazimierz Legowski this season. Bashenov believes knockout finishes represent the best end to fights, yet despite his ferocity in the ring, Bashenov’s ultimate dream is for there to be no war and peace all over the world.