Following a brilliant win over Russia’s Patriot Boxing Team in Week One, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan welcomed the Uzbek Tigers for Saturday evening’s Group C encounter, and delivered a convincing display of WSB prowess for their fans. A strong Tigers line up struggled to break down their opponents, and the visitors find themselves still chasing an elusive first win in Season VII after two matches.
If the crowds were expecting a high-octane night of boxing, the opening bout duly delivered, with the Arlans’ Rio 2016 Olympian Olzhas Sattibayev facing the Tigers’ Aborjon Kodirov at Flyweight (52kg). Kodirov assumed the early advantage with some lightning-fast combinations, but Sattibayev began to control the tempo from round three, delivering some crisp punches to deservedly claim what had looked like an unlikely triumph after two rounds.
It was a marginally more straightforward manner of victory for the hosts’ Zakir Safiullin, unanimous points winner over the Tigers’ Murodjon Akhmadaliev in the second bout of the match at Lightweight (60kg). The depth of Safiullin’s WSB experience served him well against Uzbekistan’s in-form Rio 2016 bronze medallist, and despite a slight wobble in the third, the Arlans veteran controlled the bout.
At 2-0 up, Aslanbek Shymbergenov had the chance to secure all three points when he met Shakhram Giyasov at Welterweight (69kg), but the Uzbek dominated the first two rounds, the Tigers looking like they could be battling their way back into the match. Shymbergenov found another gear in the third, however, and the crowd lifted him as the punches began to hit their target with more frequency, and an incredibly close final round saw the Arlans safely over the line for the win.
The Tigers’ Bektemir Melikuziev powered past the hosts’ Nurdaulet Zharmanov to make it 3-1 on the night, but there was to be no bonus point for the visitos as Kamshybek Kunkabayev then unpicked WSB debutant Bakhodir Jalolov’s defences to earn a unanimous points victory and an impressive 4-1 triumph for the Astana Arlans and send the Taldykorgan crowd home happy