THE Kazakh team have won the third season of the World Series of Boxing, defeating the Ukrainian Otamans over two legs at the Saryarka Velodrome in Astana, Kazakstan from May 10-11.
The team match went to the wire. With nothing to separate the two after 10 bouts, the championship was decided by a tie-break bout on the last day between the Kazakhstan Arlans’ Bagdad Alimbekov and Alexandr Riscan, a Moldovan on the Ukrainian franchise at 54kgs. Alimbekov took a unanimous decision 50-45 twice and 49-46.
The Otamans fielded two of their stars on the first day, Olympic champions Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk at 61kgs and 91&kgs respectively. Lomachenko, typically assured, dropped Samat Bashenov with his southpaw left in the first round and took a unanimous win, 49-45 on two cards and 50-44. Usyk had Romania’s Mihai Nistor, who has a victory over Anthony Joshua in the 2011 European championship on his record. The Ukrainian contained Nistor, taking it 49-46 for all three judges. The Otamans franchise still lost the first leg 3-2. Sergiy Derevyanchenko has become a WSB specialist. Though Ukrainian he had signed with the Arlans franchise and shut out his countryman Ievgenii Barabanov 50-45 on all three cards. Tall southpaw Meirbolat Toitov beat the Ukraine’s Viktor Gogolyev on the same scoreline at 54kgs, as did the Arlans’ Hrvoje Sep versus Sergiy Lapin.
The advantage going into day two was with the Kazakh team and Miras Zhakupov extended their lead with a win, 49-46 twice and 48-47, over Mykola Butsenko at 54kgs. Though Eric Donovan, an Irishman on the Arlans’ franchise at 61kgs, started brightly, Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn got to him eventually, triumphing 49-45 twice and 49-46 to claw back a crucial win for the Otamans.
With 73kgs Dmytro Mytrofanov beating Konstantin Snigur, 50-45 and 49-46 twice, and the Ukraine’s 85kgs Oleksandr Gvozdyk halting Ehsan Rouzbahani, the Arlans’ Iranian, with a left hook in the third round, the Otamans were ahead. The Arlans were kept in it when the final bout went to their 91&kgs Ruslan Myrsatayev. The rough Kazakh was docked a point in the fourth round for a headbutt and for one judge finished 48-46 behind the Ukraine’s Rostyslav Arkhypenko. One judge had it for Myrsatayev by the same margin, so Michael Gallagher, who’d scored them 47-47, had to pick a winner. He plumped for the Kazakh, which put the Arlans into the tie breaker that Alimbekov ultimately secured for them.
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