Baku Fires defeat Astana Arlans
The Azerbaijan Baku Fires made a serious statement of intent in their match against defending champions, the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, when they beat them 4-1 in the Week 6 of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV in Guba, Azerbaijan, AzerTag state news agency reported.
Elvin Mamishzada, the 2010 European silver medalist and London 2012 Olympian, looked sharp against Iliyas Suliemenov of the Arlans at Flyweight. The local boxer was on the front foot from the off. Pressing his debutant Kazakh opponent, he looked good in the opening two rounds, but Suliemenov came back well in the third. The Kazakh boxer was clearly the more accurate of the two with a whipping jab, whilst the Fires boxer liked to scrap. The question would be who was going to dominate the stylistic battle and enforce their game plan onto the match. Going into the final round, this still wasn't clear with both boxers having their moments and the scores all even on the judges' cards. With everything to play for, it was a blistering final round. In the end it was a huge win for the home team as they drew the proverbial first blood of the night.
2007 World Champion Albert Selimov took on Kazakh star boxer Samat Bashenov at Lightweight. Bashenov is a serious boxer; it was he who the Kazakhs sent out into last year's WSB Finals to face arguably the greatest Lightweight in the world at the moment, Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine. But he struggled against the Fires fighter, who was in absolutely phenomenal form. Mixing it up incredibly well, the southpaw Azeri often lead with right upper cuts many of these landed with lethal intent on the chin of his rival. Bashenov was always dangerous, but was unable to take a single round from Selimov who proved to be too much for his opponent in the end. Taking the bout to 2:0 put the hosts in an excellent position against the defending champions could be summed up as a good day at the office in boxing terms.
At Welterweight, a strong looking Yauheni Ramashkevich started very fast indeed against Kazakhstan's Meirim Nursultanov. The Young Kazakh boxer was excellent however in his response and used guile and ring-craft against the extremely fit Azeri, who may be the most explosive athlete in the category this season. The bout went down to the wire yet again, making it a dramatic final few moments. But it was the Fires boxer who took the win in an extremely close affair. This was a big win for Ramashkevich personally and it brought his record back to a more respectable1-1 in the WSB.
The only other team to turn the Astana Arlans over this year has been the Cuba Domadores, who only won 3-2.
The Baku Fires are the only team to take full-points away from a clash with the defending champions so far this year.