Lausanne, Switzerland, 14 December 2012 – The crowds at Earls Court in London were treated to some sumptuous boxing by the home team as the British Lionhearts reclaimed second spot in Group B with a solid win against the German Eagles. Welsh wonders Andrew Selby and Fred Evans as well as Joe Ward and Joseph Joyce helped inflict a resounding defeat on the visitors.
The Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown between Great Britain’s Sam Maxwell and Germany’s rampaging 25-year-old David Oliver Joyce was first. Maxwell’s tactical gameplan was to use his jab to keep the dangerous Irishman at bay but Joyce, with two WSB seasons under his belt, was moving inside well and hitting his target with those swinging hooks of his. The savvy Irishman continued to apply the pressure but Maxwell was settling in and was giving as good as he got. It was very close but in the end it was Joyce who gave the visitors the early lead after winning by split decision.
European and former Youth World Champion Ward then battled 22-year-old German Satula Abdulai at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) with the Eagles’ orthodox fighter coming in as a late replacement for the injured Kevin Künzel. It was a riveting contest between two very good fighters. Abdulai was trying to unsettle the accomplished Irishman but Ward stuck to his tactic and picked his shots to perfection in rounds one and two. The Irish southpaw’s hand speed had the slippery Abdulai struggling as Ward took round three and four on his way to a TKO win after the German who retired injured.
The footwork of 2011 AIBA World Championships silver medallist Selby was sensational in his fight versus French pro boxer Redouane Asloum at Bantamweight (50-54kg). 23-year-old Selby’s elusive style had the Frenchman in difficulty early on. The sublime shot-making skills of Selby had his experienced 31-year-old opponent having to box on the counter but it was all one-way traffic. Selby continued to delight as he showcased his full repertoire of shots to completely bamboozle his rival. Keeping his focus throughout, the Lionhearts star did not let up and his accuracy was faultless as he won each round on each of the judges’ scorecards to give his team the lead in the match.
At Middleweight (68-73kg), it was 2012 Olympic silver medallist and European Champion Evans pitted against German newcomer Vjaceslav Kerber. The Welsh southpaw could not find his rhythm early on with Kerber moving well and catching Evans on the counter. A great screw shot in the third had Evans just ahead on the scorecards before raising his game in the fourth with some delightful combinations to finally show the spectators his class. Kerber put on a solid performance on his WSB debut but Evans was clever in the latter stages as he took the victory to give the overall win to his team.
The show was brought to a close with Joyce facing Philip Grüner at Heavyweight (91+kg). The tall British 27-year-old orthodox boxer was hitting hard in the first, throwing some stinging uppercuts and some deft hooks to impose his style on the German Eagles fighter. Joyce was constantly on the front foot in this one. He got caught by a couple of good counters from Grüner but the taller Brit was always in control, using that stiff right hand to dominate proceedings. Joyce looks like a boxer who could make a big impact in this competition after making two wins in as many matches after beating Grüner.
Lionhearts are next away to Ukraine next when they face the Otamans at the ‘Terminal’ with Germany hosting Astana Arlans Kazakhstan at the Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum on Saturday 12 January.
Poland battle to important win versus Algeria (3-2)
Lausanne, Switzerland, 14 December 2012 – In this intriguing Group A battle, it was Hussars Poland who came out on top after edging past a tough Algeria Desert Haws team at the Torwar Sport Center in Warsaw. Mateusz Mazik got them off to a good start before Sergei Kuzmin wrapped up the show for the home side.
It was the Bantamweight (50-54kg) showdown first with Polish southpaw Mazik and Algeria’s London 2012 Olympian Mohamed Flissi going head-to-head. The away boxer began well, effortlessly moving around the ring before hitting his target with some precise shots to claim round one. Mazik came back strong and, lifted by the crowd, took the second and third after settling on his jab and the quick one-twos. The Algerian went on the offensive in the fourth to go into the final round with two judges scoring the bout a draw. It was Mazik though who raised his game in the final frame to edge it and give his team an important early lead in the match.
The Lightweight (57-61kg) clash then saw Poland teenager Dawid Pawel Michelus make his WSB debut against another of Algeria’s London Olympians, 25-year-old Mohamed Amine Ouadahi. Michelus looked comfortable in the first two rounds, moving with agility and connecting with some solid punches. The unpredictable Algerian came back strong as his raised the tempo of the bout from round three with some sweet shots. It was very competitive but Ouadahi just about did enough in the end to claim the win by split decision and put Algeria back on level terms in the match.
Belarusian Kuzmin was then pitted against Algeria’s Bosnian 31-year-old Darko Kucuk at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg). The home boxer’s reach gave him the edge early on before he exploded into life in the third after he threw a succession of hard combination’s that connected to both the head and body of his opponent. In the latter stages, Kuzmin was unrelenting, throwing lots of shots to his rival’s kidneys on his way to a superb win to give the lead back to his Polish employers.
Poland team spearhead Michal Olas then could not contain the Desert Hawks’ top Heavyweight (91+kg) Chouaib Bouloudinats in the final contest of the night. The 25-year-old Algerian was on fire, moving well and throwing some vicious combinations throughout the five rounds. Olas could just not adjust to the pace of Bouloudinats who was at his scintillating best on the night. Algeria were back in it now at 2-2.
Unfortunately for the fans, Tomasz Jablonski’s opponent, Algeria’s Sofiane Tabi, was unable to make weight for the Middleweight (68-73kg) contest. This resulted in the Hussars claiming their second victory in the WSB this season to move up to third in Group A.
Poland now travel to Azerbaijan to face Baku Fires on Saturday 12 January at the Olympic Sports Center ‘Serhedchi’ with Algeria welcoming Argentina at the Salle Chaalane Hocine