Reigning WSB champions Astana Arlans face stiff test against growing force of Uzbek Tigers in Tashkent

This weekend sees the Sport Complex of Uzbekistan host one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of WSB Season VI so far as Uzbek Tigers welcome Astana Arlans Kazakhstan to Tashkent. The reigning champions brushed past Azerbaijan Baku Fires 4-1 in their season opener, but face something of an unknown quantity against a new Uzbek Tigers franchise who demolished Puerto Rico Hurricanes 5-0 in their first ever WSB match before a narrow 3-2 defeat in Baku during Week 4.

Saturday night’s action gets underway with the thrilling prospect of the home side’s Asian Confederation Lightweight Champion Hasanboy Dusmatov taking on Astana Arlans’ Temirtas Zhussupov. Dusmatov was unbeaten during an impressive Season V with Ukraine Otamans, but his opponent will be looking to avenge defeat in Bangkok last year, while his own 7-2 record in last season’s campaign means the crowd can expect fireworks from the first bell.

The evening’s second bout sees Tigers’ 19-year-old southpaw Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov, who controlled his Week 2 contest against Edgardo Rolon, up against two-time WSB champion Meirbolat Toitov at bantamweight. Uzbekistan’s newly crowned National Champion Fazliddin Meliboev is one of the world’s most promising light welterweights, and he will want to maintain his Week 2 form against Askhat Ualikhanov, who again replaces Arlans’ team captain Samat Bashenov in the third contest.

The hosts’ Hurshidbek Normatov had an impressive 5-1 record in Season V with the Ukraine Otamans, including a win over Cuba Domadores’ AIBA World Champion Arlen Lopez, making his bout against Kazakhstan’s rising star Meirim Nursultanov yet another highlight of Saturday night’s card in Tashkent. Finally, former AIBA Junior World Champion Mirzobek Khasanov, who scored a TKO victory over Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ Jose Rosado in Week 2, has a tricky heavyweight contest against Yerkin Mukhametzhan in the last bout of the evening.