Argentina loses in Russia but keeps play-offs spot (4:1)

In the last match of this 2012/2013 World Series of Boxing (WSB) Regular Season, last year’s finalists used their experience to surpass the Condors’ obstacle with style. But no matter this last-minute success, Argentina keeps fourth spot in Group A thanks to a lower number of walkovers.

In the Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest, two WSB debutants gave a superb battle to the audience of the Konti Sport Recreation Center in St Petersburg. Russia’s 22-year-old Nazir Balaev and Argentine orthodoxKhalil Alan Luques Castillo impressed the judges with their very offensive style. Each of them won a round unanimously while the rest of the scoring was split. The decision finally came when Balaev received a warning in the last three minutes of the bout, leaving to his opponent the first point of the evening.

Following on was supposedly the toughest fight of the night with Maxim Dadashev going head-to-head with Argentine teenager Ronan Nahuel Sanchez at Lightweight (57-61kg). However the Russian, who had previously won his only WSB contest to date, clearly dominated after two pretty even first rounds. Sanchez’ speed and agility was not enough and the bout went to the home team with a 3:0.

Facing classy Russian Maxim Koptyakov at Middleweight (68-73kg), untested 18-year-old David Benitez received a pretty tough induction to WSB. Koptyakov showed his power, poise and precision all the way winning each of the five rounds unanimously. The young Argentinean was even sent to the canvas in the third round. With this second success of the evening, Russia was getting one step closer to the play-offs.

The Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) contest couldn’t have started off worse for Argentine Isaias Ezequiel Torglele. Unable to escape from the strong punches of Aleksander Khotyantsev, the Condor was already very much behind his opponent on the scoreboard when the referee declared a TKO for an eyebrow injury in the third round.

With the overall victory already assured, Heavyweights (91+kg) Maxim Babanin and Facundo Cesar Ghiglione could take the ring with a more free state of mine. This rematch of week nine offered a final fourth point to the Russians with Ghiglione knocked-out at the beginning of the third round. Quite a performance from Babanin considering that the Argentinean had unanimously won their first encounter.

Argentina will now face a strong Astana Arlans Kazakhstan side in the quarter-finals. The Russians exit the competition not even a year after having reached Season II Final.