Lausanne, Feb 1, 2014: In a magnificent display of class, the Cuba Domadores again underlined why they are title favourites for many pundits this year. The resurgence in the Hussar’s form in the last few weeks counted for little when they found themselves up against the stand-out team in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) this season.
To take nothing away from the ever-hard working Polish boxers however, this was a boxing master class by some of the best in the business as the Light Flyweights (46-49kg), Bantamweights (56kg), Light Welterweights (64kg), Middleweights (75kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) battled it out in Havana.
Bout of the match
Credit is due to the Hussars Piotr Gredke for really chasing his bout at Middleweight. The Polish boxer went after his Cuban opponent Ramon Luis in classic Hussars style and pushed him to 10:9 rounds across the board. This made it the closest fight of the evening and the Cuban certainly couldn’t switch off against such a determined opponent. It was an important win for Luis after he suffered a surprise defeat in Week 5 away to the Azerbaijan Baku Fires. His win today brings his WSB record to 3-1 and will give him confidence going forward. It’s been tough for Gredke though who is clearly a competent boxer, but who is now 0:2 in the WSB, having faced world class opponents on both occasions. At just 23 and already pushing hard in the ring, we may expect him to improve his record with time.
Boxer of the match
Heavyweight Erislandy Savon was in majestic shape and stalked his opponent Lukasz Zygmunt like a panther. There wasn’t much of a bout to report, with the two boxers feeling each other out early on before Savon quickly turned up the heat and knocked the Pole out with a right hook following a barrage of punches in the corner. This happened barely one minute into the bout (1:56 remaining). If you think this was lucky, think again; Savon scored a round one TKO over Frenchman Djabril Coupe of the Mexico Guerreros in his WSB debut, and also delivered the fastest win of the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan where he nailed his opponent Jinho Heo of Korea with an epic left hook that floored the Korean boxer in less than thirty seconds for a TKO victory. Savon isn’t the current WSB number one ranked Heavyweight for nothing, and he takes his WSB record to 4:0 after today’s shift at the office.
The turning point
When Light Welterweight Yasnier Toledo took to the ring against Damian Kiwior, the door was shut firmly on the Hussars chances of claiming an unlikely away victory in Havana. The bout also represented redemption for Toledo following his Week 5 away loss to the Baku Fires. The results brought his WSB record to 2-1. The Pole however put up a scrappy performance and didn’t let the Cuban have it all his own way. The bout was scored 10:9 by all three judges in all rounds, except for the final one. At this point, Toledo really began to turn up the heat on his Polish opponent and the deduction of two points for warnings didn’t help his cause either. The Cuban victory was assured.
Fact/Stat of the match
50% of number one ranked WSB Heavyweight Savon’s matches have not even made it past the first round, with the 23 year old Cuban winning either by TKO or KO early doors. That is a frightening stat if you are drawn against him.
It isn’t particularly fair for Light Flyweight Yosbany Veitia to end up in the wrap up section of the report, but with the presence of Savon and the performance of Gredke, he was unable to break into either of the top two categories this week. This is unfortunate as he has been one of the WSB’s most consistent and leading performers this season, and this is not the first time that he has found himself relegated to the bottom of the page either. His match against Dawid Jagodzinski was a technical boxing masterclass of epic proportions, with the southpaw Cuban tactically supreme throughout.
Marcos Forestal looked solid in his second ever WSB bout against Sylwester Kozlowski at Bantamweight. The Polish boxer now has the unfortunate WSB record of 0-5, but epitomising the spirit of the Hussars team, he was tenacious as ever in attacking his opponent. The Pole possesses an incredibly heavy right-hand, and operating from behind a high guard, he rocked the Cuban early on, catching him off balance and nearly sending him tumbling. Forestal recovered well from that little upset and out-boxed the Pole 10:9 in every round thereafter.
Coming up next
The Hussars will have to regroup before a difficult trip to Baku to face the WSB “Bad Boys” in Azerbaijan. The Cubans meanwhile will travel to Russia in what could prove to be a challenging match. —- WSB