Azerbaijan on Fire in clinical win away to Poland (0-5)

It was a sobering night for Hussars Poland as the visiting Azerbijan Baku Fires put in a boxing clinic in their World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group A encounter. All five of the away boxers recorded victories to make it a resounding win for the visitors.

It was pretty evenly matched in the first two rounds of the Bantamweight (50-54kg) battle between polish teenager Sylwester Kozlowski and Azerbaijan’s European Championships silver medallist Elvin Mamishzada. The two orthodox fighters took turns in being the aggressor but the quick hands and speedy combinations of Mamishzada allowed him to just shade the exchanges. Good work to the body and some bright counter-punching ensured the 21-year-old Azeri controlled the next two before claiming his second victory of the season by comfortably seeing out the final frame, giving the Fires the early lead in the match.

Azerbaijan’s Magomedali Ukayev showed an excellent work rate and good movement to frustrate and pick off Adil Aslanov throughout the five rounds of their Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown. The 22-year-old Ukayev was spot on with his tactics against the rangy Pole, cleverly moving on the inside and working the body with some crisp shots. Positive and clever, it was expertly taken by Ukayev, who impressed with his stamina, to record his first ever win in WSB and giving his team a two fight cushion.

20-year-old Ireneusz Zakrzewski’s inexperienced told when the Middleweight (68-73kg) orthodox Polish fighter locked horns with the Fires’ unbeaten Belarusian sensation Mikalai Vesialou. The gulf in class told right from the off as, without ever breaking stride, Vesialou was dominatent in every single department. He was not only good on the front foot but was boxing with elegance on the counter. Zakrzewski tried but was getting picked off every time he moved forward. Vesialou was a cut above his rival and sumptuously cruised to victory, extending his record to 6-0.

Unfortunately for the local fans, it was another quality performance by an Azeri boxer in the next fight with reigning WSB World Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) Champion Ramazan Magomedau completely out-boxing Polish 25-year-old Michal Gerlecki pitted against. The tactically astute Magomedau was too bright, too quick and simply too good for his rival, dominating each and every single round to win with panache.

The Heavyweight (91+kg) contest saw uncompromising Mateusz Malujda come head-to-head with tall Azeri Abdulkadir Abdullayev. The Pole struggled with the height of his opponent with Abdullayev boxing smartly at distance. Showing a good variation in his punches, the orthodox Fires 24-year-old was too slick and powerful as Malujda found himself of the receiving end of some hard punches. A barrage of shots midway through the fourth saw the referee step in the stop the contest to save Malujda from more punishment, Abdullayev winning by TKO.

Poland have one more match to go in this regular season with a visit to Russia this Friday 8 March whilst Azerbaijan will be focusing on their explosive quarter-final first leg showdown away to the impressive Ukraine Otamans on Friday 22 March.