Tough first bout for Serge Michel but Byamba impresses
With another day over at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013, we take a few moments to catch our breath and look at this evening's events.
As you would expect at a tournament of this level, there was some top draw boxing on display. None of the shocks and upsets that beset yesterday's boxing repeated themselves today, but there was drama galore nonetheless.
Bout of the session
Tuvshinbat Byamba took on Qiong Maimaitituersun of China in our second epic Asian clash of the day. The Mongolian Welterweight (69kg), heavily supported by the Kazakh audience, came forward very aggressively and was throwing everything he had at the Chinese boxer. This continued throughout the second and the third rounds with Byamba seeming to be yet another Mongolian with knockout power in his hands. In the end he had to settle for a clear 3:0 victory, but he certainly looks dangerous. Credit is also due to the Chinese boxer for making this such an interesting bout, he was certainly no pushover.
The Welterweight match-up between Cuba's Arisnoidys Despaigne and Hurshidbek Normatov from Uzbekistan was another great one today. A technical bout from the beginning, the orthodox Cuban lined up against the southpaw Uzbek. Most of the action took place when the boxers were in close where it was really blow for blow. The Cuban however showed much more aggression coming forward and he insisted on hunting his man down. This was probably what gave him the edge in the judge's minds and he won the bout.
Serge Michel in action against Lago Kiziria
WSB boxer of the session
Light Heavyweight (81kg) Serge Michel of Germany went toe to toe with the tough Georgian boxer Lago Kiziria. Things did not go that smoothly for the Season III German Eagles boxer as he found himself engaged with one of those opponents that just won't back down. By round three, both boxers knew that the bout was dangerously close and only a supreme effort would suffice. German supporters got extremely vocal in the arena as the clock ticked down. With a minute and a half to go, it had clearly become a war of attrition with both boxers almost burnt out. The German seemed marginally more aggressive but got caught a few times by the Georgian on the way in. It was enough to win the bout though, nonetheless the WSB veteran would have hoped for an easier first round than that. Starting with what is quickly becoming a German team slogan, Michel explained: "The first fight is always difficult and the opponent was also very good. He was very hard to box against. We are going to have to go through and take a look at what happened during that fight and eradicate the mistakes".
Welterweight Llyas Abbadi, was in action against a tough Chilean opponent Daniel Tapia. The southpaw, who fought for the Algeria Desert Hawks in Season III looked quick on his feet. He did most of his work in the first two rounds and coming into the third he got on his bike and stayed comfortably out of danger. Landing at will within the last minute, he was clearly the winner in the end despite a difficult start to the bout. Superior physical conditioning seems to have been the most crucial factor in him taking the win. "It was difficult out there but the important thing is that we won the fight", said Abbadi. "I felt that by the third round we had already won the fight and it was important to shut the match down".
Road to Almaty boxer of the session
Ali Ghoussoun of Syria started brightly against Osmar Amador of Nicaragua at Light Heavyweight. He was extremely fast with his hands and hard to hit. Though he didn't seem to have particularly explosive punches, he had the work ethic to continually chip away at his opponent. This resulted in a standing eight count for Amador in round two. He went on to win by TKO in round three. He is another one who could do well depending on his draw.
One to watch
Mbachi Kaonga from Zambia looked good against Brighton Masiyambumbi of Zimbabwe in an all-African clash at Welterweight, which was full of explosive action. The Zambian scored a decisive knock down in round three with 1:49 remaining on the clock to seal the deal. He could be one to keep an eye on through later stages of the competition.
Armenian boxer Aram Amirkhanyan was impressive against Artem Masily of Israel. The Welterweight appeared extremely difficult to hit with tremendous evasive powers. As a southpaw he would sometimes circle a full 180 degrees in a single pivot to avoid the rush of the oncoming Israeli boxer. Whilst accomplishing this matador-like feat he was also peppering the Israeli with his jab and right hook to take an easy 3:0 win.
Quote of the session
"I loved fighting for the German Eagles in the WSB last season. We are discussing next year now and I really hope I am part of the team. That would really please me" - Serge Michel Germany
Upcoming we have Bantamweight (56kg) and Middleweights (75kg) with around 35 bouts across the two weight categories.