Ukraine 4-1 Italy: Otamans ease past the Thunder


In a great night of action in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season III, finalists the Ukraine Otamans proved they are still a force to be reckoned with as they ease past the highly rated Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder team to top the group.

The Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg), were the ones in the ring, providing us with the entertainment this evening in Brovary, Ukraine.

Bout of the match
Heavyweight World Champion and Italia Thunder captain Clemente Russo looked determined when he took to the ring against Siarhei Karneyeu of the Otamans. At this stage, the Ukrainian Franchise had already taken the match 3-1, but Russo had the chance to give the Italians a point if he could pull the match to 3-2. Karneyeu, a former LA Matadors fighter making his return to the WSB after missing last season, had other ideas however. He was determined to make life difficult for the Italian star. In some ways the Italian’s flamboyant style assisted him in this, but Russo is talented enough to get away with it on most occasions. The 31 year old is in exceptional shape and should have been the more physical of the two, as well as the most experienced, but going into the 5th round the bout was hanging by a thread. The young Ukrainian’s work-rate and dogged persistence saw him make a stunning return to the WSB by taking out its biggest star.

Boxer of the match
In truth this bout and the one above are practically inter-changeable since both feature surprise results from very tightly contested bouts. In this case EvaldasPetrauskas, the 21 year old Lithuanian, took on Italia Thunder’s Branimir Stankovic of Serbia in an impressive bout at Bantamweight. Petrauskas, a former AIBA Road to Dream boxer, made an excellent WSB debut against the three season veteran Stankovic, but then again he is the current Olympic bronze medallist. He is another Ukrainian who operates from a tight guard and is not the kind to tap away at his opponents. Indeed, he only opens his defences to throw shots with the potential to knock his opponents spark-out in one go, usually via massive long range hooks and overhands. By round four the bout was extremely close and Stankovic was told emphatically by his coach to “go to work”, but he was unable to pull ahead despite his best efforts. In the end Petrauskas did enough to steal the win, inflicting only the third defeat on the Serbian in his three seasons in the WSB. It was a truly excellent debut.

The turning point 
Michael Tavares was the second Frenchman to take to the ring for the Italia Thunder this evening. The Middleweight southpaw had his hands full in the Otamans’ star boxer Dmytro Mytrofanov. The bout was a critical one with the Otamans 2:1 up at this stage. This meant that Italia Thunder needed a win to stay in the match, whilst of course Mytrofanov could win the whole match for his team. The Ukrainian made really good use of a short lead left hook, which he was able to sneak in at very odd moments, and it was he who took the opening two rounds. This required a response from the Frenchman but try as he might Tavares was unable to provide one. Mytrofanov began to take ever greater control of the fight and with the Italia Thunder star fading, Mytrofanov had become totally dominant by the end of the fifth round. It was another good win for the Ukrainian.