Venezuela Caciques power into play-off contention with devastating 5-0 defeat of Rafako Hussars Poland in Vargas

Venezuela Caciques moved to the top of Group C following their 5-0 whitewash of Rafako Hussars Poland on Saturday night. It was another strong display from the South American franchise and sets up what is planned to be a thrilling finale to the preliminary rounds on 1 April against a Russian Boxing Team who still have three group matches to go.

The Caciques’ South American Youth Games winner Franklin Jose Gonzalez led the line in style on Saturday, the flyweight going out first against tough Russian Hamza Touba and, after a tricky first round, delivering a stirring finish to earn a unanimous points win.

The evening’s second bout was a closer affair that saw Christian Palacio eager to justify his selection in the squad ahead of compatriot Luis Angel Cabrera. A solid first round charge against the Hussars’ experienced 2015 European Games bronze medalist Mateusz Polski was halted as the Polish lightweight came back into the bout, but the judges’ split decision eventually went to the home boxer by the narrowest of margins and the Venezuelans established a 2-0 advantage.

After a well-balanced first round, the eagerly awaited duel between the Caciques’ Hungarian pugilist, European Confederation Champion Balazs Bacskai, and Rafako Hussars’ Irish star Steven Donnelly became a more one-sided affair, Bacskai knocking the Irishman down three times in the final two rounds to earn his side a comfortable match win.

Venezuela’s Argenis Espana went into his light heavyweight bout with considerably less WSB experience than his opponnet Mateusz Tryc, but after a slow start he soon found his rhythm to take a unanimous points triumph. That left the Caciques’ new super heavyweight talent, Brazil’s Henrique Dos Santos Nascimento, to wrap up the action with a superb debut against the Hussars’ experienced German draft pick Florian Schulz. Nascimento’s victory completed the comprehensive 5-0 win for the home side who will travel to Moscow for their final group match on 1 April against Russian Boxing Team.