Uzbek Tigers looking back to their best as they secure 5-0 win over China Dragons in Tashkent

The Uzbek Tigers hosted China Dragons in a packed Tashkent arena on Saturday night, the home team looking to make amends for their 3-2 Week One defeat in Sanya and stake their claim on second place in Group C. A convincing victory for the hosts served as a reminder of their strong Season VII title credentials, as they look to go better than last year’s Semi-Final appearance. The China Dragons will now need to find a big Week Nine win in Moscow if they are to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Season VII Play-Offs.

The match began with an intense battle between the Flyweights (52kg) Abrorjon Kodirov and Yong Chang, both boxers using the whole of the ring as they launched some effective attacking raids and deft evasive manoeuvres. It was the greater speed of the hosts’ Kodirov that proved decisive over the five rounds, and despite a late rally from the resilient Chang, it was the Uzbek who secured a unanimous points win to set his team on its way.

With Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov watching from the stands, a powerful display from Lightweight (60kg) Murodjon Akhmadaliev then doubled the hosts’ lead. The Uzbek stood his ground to keep Sen Wang at bay whilst unfurling some huge blows and force his resilient opponent onto the back foot for much of the contest.

In the third bout of the evening, Shakhram Giyasov was able to put the match beyond the Dragons’ reach, earning a first taste of WSB victory against China’s more experienced WSB operator Wei Liu at Welterweight (69kg). Giyasov stalked his solid opponent across all five rounds, scoring freely with rapid-fire combinations and the Tigers were looking good value for their 3-0 lead.

In the battle of the Light Heavyweight (81kg) southpaws, both boxers looked to deliver the decisive blow early on with little success, but it was Bektemir Melikuziev who was eventually able to find the target with some big rights. Once his radar was engaged, there was no way back into the bout for Dragons’ Jiabin Huang, and the Referee halted the bout halfway through to make it 4-0 to the Tigers.

Bakhodir Jalolov then completed the whitewash against China’s Haipeng Mu, the hosts’ Super Heavyweight (+91kg) repeatedly breaching Mu’s defences in the opening round to move into the lead from where there was no return, two counts in round three for the Chinese boxer forcing the Referee to halt the bout.