Kazakhstan is a country of great boxing prestige, and the Astana Arlans team are a continuation of that rich history, taking their name from the region’s native wolf. Starting out life in the inaugural WSB season, the Arlans duly made it to the finals at the first attempt, narrowly losing out to Paris United 6-4. One year later, the team again promised great things but was eliminated in the semi-finals by Dynamo Moscow.
Season III proved to be third time lucky, however, with the Arlans putting together an enviable roster of talent that produced some memorable performances, not least the gripping tie-break win over Ukraine Otamans that saw them crowned WSB champions for the first time.
Established as the team to beat, an experienced squad led by middleweight Sergiy Derevyanchenko in his last season romped to the semi-finals in Season IV before eventually being undone by their great rivals Baku Fires in Azerbaijan. The Ukrainian star finished his WSB career with an incredible 23-1 record.
Among those on the roster going in to Season V were the amassed talents of AIBA World Champion Daniyar Yeleussinov, super heavyweight Olympian Ivan Dychko, Kairat Yeraliyev, Temirtas Zhussupov, Olzhas Sattibayev and Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, but it was National Champion Meirim Nursultanov who emerged as one of the heroes as they surged towards the final. Eventually defeating Cuba Domadores in a thrilling encounter in front of their own fans, the Arlans became WSB’s first double champions.