A knockout by Joe Joyce in the super-heavyweight contest and a superb debut performance by Ekow Essuman at welterweight were the high points of the evening for the British team who gave a strong Otamans team a real scare on their home turf.
The match got off to a difficult start for the Lionhearts as Andrew Selby tasted defeat for the first time in WSB when the referee stopped the flyweight contest after four rounds due to an injury to the Welshman’s left eye which had been caught by a number of solid shots from Azat Usenaliev of the Otamans.
He was followed into the ring by his fellow Welshman, Joe Cordina, who got stronger as the lightweight contest went on however he was unable to convince the judges who awarded the bout to his Ukranian opponent, Oleg Prudkyi.
Next into the ring for the Lionhearts was WSB debutant Ekow Essuman who showed no signs of nerves as he took the contest to his opponent from the first bell.
In his first ever five round contest the welterweight from Nottingham kept the pressure on throughout, landing the cleaner shots and exhibiting superior fitness, to earn a split decision victory over Bogdan Shelestyuk of the Otamans and give the Lionhearts hope.
Sadly it was not to be as the light heavyweight contest saw the experienced Ukranian, Oleksandr Khyzhniak, defeat the Lionhearts’ Aston Brown by TKO in round four to ensure the Otamans won the fixture.
It was a tough baptism for the Scot who emerged with credit from his first contest as a light heavyweight however he did not have enough on the night to trouble an experienced and capable opponent.
The last contest of the night ensured the Lionhearts could leave Kiev with their heads held high as super-heavyweight, Joe Joyce, stopped Viktor Vykhryst of the Ukraine with an explosive performance to narrow the margin of defeat and take his WSB record to nine wins from 10 contests.
Next-up for the Lionhearts is another away fixture against the Morocco Atlas Lions in Casablanca on 30th January 2015.