An excellent away performance in London resulted in the second win of the week for Russian Boxing Team as they defeated British Lionhearts in an entertaining World Series of Boxing (WSB) battle.
A respectful and immaculately dressed Black Tie crowd enjoyed the action despite the loss of the home team.
Although the overall 4-1 score made the evening look one sided, many of the bouts were close and the British Franchise can be proud of their spirited performance.
Perhaps the most disappointed man on the night was the number two ranked Super heavyweight (91+ kg) Joseph Joyce, who lost his first match of the season against Maxim Babanin by split decision.
The 5-1 Lionheart Joyce was looking for a sixth straight win to potentially topple the number one ranked Filip Hrgovic, but his ambitions to qualify for Rio 2016 through WSB may be over following this defeat.
This was the penultimate match of the Regular Season for Joyce whose Olympic destiny is now completely out of his hands.
Babanin impressed from the beginning, and won 49:46 and 48:47 according to two judges, while the third scored the contest 48:47 in Joyce’s favour.
Russia’s Radzhab Butaev tops the Welterweight (69 kg) rankings, and all but confirmed his Olympic place after beating 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Scott Fitzgerald.
Although Butaev won the contest and took his Season V record to 6-0 in the process, Fitzgerald was tenacious and talented throughout the contest and was awarded the fight 48:47 according to one judge.
Butaev’s class was evident however, and the remaining two judges scored the bout in his favour.
The Russian is now ten points ahead of third ranked Steven Donnelly, which leaves the Irishman needing two big wins to have any chance of catching Butaev.
Britain’s lone win of the night occurred in the first bout at Flyweight (52 kg) when José Kelvin de la Nieve Linares triumphed over Russia’s 3-1 Vasiliy Vetkin on points.
Lightweight (60 kg) Adlan Abdurashidov then dominated Lionheart Oualid Belaoura en route to a convincing points win.
A fourth triumph for Russian Boxing Team was secured at Light heavyweight (81 kg) as 4-0 Pavel Silyagin edged a close contest against Joshua Buatsi.
British Lionhearts host Cuba Domadores next week, while Russian Boxing Team visit Ukraine Otamans.