Lausanne, Switzerland, 24 November 2012 – A packed Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum in Hannover witnessed a stunning comeback from home team German Eagles who turned the tide in a tight match to inflict defeat on Ukraine Otamans. Artur Bril, Kevin Künzel and Erik Pfeifer came up with the goods and made the difference in this gripping Group B encounter.
Erik Pfeifer (L) of German Eagles
31-year-old Redouane Asloum was given a tough introduction to life in WSB in the night’s opening contest after his switch from the pro ranks, with the Ukraine Otamans’ Aleksandr Riscan of Modlova stunning the home crowd into silence with victory against the Bantamweight (50-54kg) Frenchman. Riscan’s experience of the competition last season had him brimming with confidence as he dominated all five rounds to give the visitors the lead.
2010 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Artur Bril then restored parity in the match after a dominant display against the Otamans’ Pavlo Ishchenko in the Lightweight (57-61kg) contest. The 20-year-old German orthodox fighter looked accomplished, moving with grace and pouncing with some stinging one-two combinations at various points during the bout to inflict defeat on the Ukrainian London 2012 Olympian.
Southpaw Ivan Golub then gave back the advantage to the Ukraine Otamans after coming out on top in his Middleweight (68-73kg) battle with 22-year-old German Xhek Paskali. These two evenly matched boxers played their part in a thrilling contest that had the spectators on the edge of their seats but Golub did enough do edge it.
Kevin Künzel then extended his unbeaten record in the competition after a hard-fought Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) showdown against the Otamans’ Sergiy Lapin. The German hard-hitter began well, dominating the first round with the good use of the jab but Lapin then applied the pressure to take control in rounds two and three. 24-year-old Künzel stemmed the tied to re-assert his dominance and edge the fight to get the German Eagles back on level terms with one contest left in the match.
Multiple National Champion and 2011 AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Erik Pfeifer turned on the style in the final bout of the evening as the German Heavyweight (91+kg) beat the Otamans’ Anatolii Antoniuk. The 24-year-old Ukrainain took a standing eight-count in the third after being caught by a stinging right hook in the third and from then on Pfeifer grew in confidence, unloading several hard combinations that wore his rival down. In the fifth, the technically gifted German peppered Antoniuk and the Ukrainian corner threw in the towel to give the Eagles the overall victory.
The German next welcome USA Knockouts at the EWS Arena on Friday 7 December before Ukraine travels to Italy to meet the reigning champions at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan the following night.