WSB 2013-14 Week 5: Russia 5-0 Mexico: The Russian assault gains momentum12 January 2014
The Russian Boxing Team is back where they left off before Christmas, taking names in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV. Last year’s semi-finalists, the Mexico Guerreros, were the next scalp to be collected by the emerging boxing powerhouse from Russia.
The Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) took to the ring to represent their teams this week.
Bout of the match
Belik Galanov took on Jose Zaleta Reyes of the Mexico Guerreros in a fight that really couldn’t have been any tighter if it was done up by a shoelace. The two hard-hitting Light Flyweight orthodox boxers stood toe to toe and banged at each other for the full five rounds. It was good to see that the Mexicans’ seemed to have packed the famous Guerrero “heart” that made them so difficult to beat last season in their suit cases. The Russian however began to claw his way ahead by battering past his opponent over the last two rounds. The Mexican hung in there with real grit and made life very difficult for the local boxer. In the end it was the Russian who took the win.
Boxer of the match
Vladimir Nikitin, the World silver medallist, looked absolutely outstanding against the Guerreros Aaron Alameda, who has the unfortunate record of 1-7. The Russian fighter is an extreme front-foot style boxer. Operating from behind his guard and stalking his opponents completely flat footed, Nikitin eschews any kind of bouncing as though it were something best left for kangaroos. He put the Mexican under extreme pressure in rounds one to three but began to look fatigued himself in round four, which allowed Alameda space in which he could begin to operate. Nikitin must be the hardest hitting Bantamweight in the game though; when his body shots land, you can hear them from the far end of the stadium. So in the end, despite his fatigue, he was able to power his way through an interesting bout.
The turning point
European Champion Armen Zakaryan looked excellent against Frenchman Abdel-Malik Ladjali. The Russian pushed the pace hard and by round three, the Guerrero was struggling to keep up. By round four, the Russian had switched to cruise control as the Frenchman’s resistance began to crumble. In the end, the Russian was happy to coast along and the Guerrero, who was already psychologically beaten, allowed him to.
Evgeniy Tischenko who was making his debut in the WSB, but he is not exactly an ordinary new boy, rather he is the current World silver medallist and the last time he stepped in the ring was in the finals of the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013 in October against none other than Italia Thunder superstar Clemente Russo. Thus when he came out against the Albanian Christian Demaj who competes for the Guerreros and (now) boasts a record of 0-5, the bout was only ever going to go one way. Unfortunately though, after an interesting opening round, the Albanian sustained an injury which forced him to retire in round two. He had clearly been struggling for some time and looked disappointed to have to pull-out so soon.
Elsewhere Artem Chebotarev, the two times European Champion had a walkover against the Mexican Misael Rodriguez.
Coming up next
The Russian team will be sending their highly talented first pick five boxers to local rivals Poland. Emotionally, this is the most important event on the calendar for the Poles, so they will be game for a real war, which should make for excellent viewing for neutrals (and the not so neutral come to think of it). Mexico meanwhile have a tricky trip to group leaders Cuba in Havana, where they will find themselves in front of up to 14,000 passionate fans. Welcome to the lion’s den Guerreros!
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