Posts Tagged ‘Dolce & Gabbana’
By WSB – 03-05-2012
The pinnacle of the World Series of Boxing season saw Dynamo Moscow and Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder battling it out in a packed ExCeL arena in London for the Team Final. Huge crowds had gathered in anticipation for the competition’s debut on British soil as boxing fans came out in force to witness the best of Olympic fighters taking to the ring for five sensational bouts.
Bantamweights Vincenzo Picardi and Vladimir Nikitin kicked-off the action in spectacular style, with the crowd firmly behind them, the two diminutive fighters started off all guns blazing in the first round. 27-year-old Italian Picardi had the better of the opening exchanges as he connected with several classy combinations. It was more of the same in the second as the experienced Picardi pierced Nikitin’s defences with some precise hooks. The Russian orthodox was then cut after his rival caught him with a thunderous uppercut but this seemed to spur Nikitin, who then threw some hard rights to push back his opponent as he took the third.
Nikitin continued on the offensive in the fourth round but in the fifth this suited the Italian who was leaning back, defences tight, soaking up the pressure, waiting for the Dynamo man to open before picking his shots. There was a chorus of ‘Vincenzo, Vincenzo’ from the vast number of Milano fans to which Picardi responded to by unleashing some powerful hooks. It was a quality fight but there had to be a winner and it was Picardi who prevailed and won by split decision to give Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder the early advantage.
Picardi later declared, “It was a tough fight, Nikitin is a great boxer”, before adding, “With my victories in the WSB this season I will go to the Olympic Games full of confidence”.
Adlan Abdurashidov, this season’s top ranked Lightweight then made his entrance as he faced the emerging talent from Serbia, Branimir Stankovic. Dynamo Moscow’s Abdurashidov has such high intensity when he steps into the ring and after five wins this campaign and a place at the WSB Individual Championships confirmed, the young 22-year-old Russian was brimming with confidence here. This showed as he taunted his opponent in the early exchanges. Although the Milano Thunder orthodox fighter might lack the experience at this level, the word from the Italian camp is that the 21-year-old Stankovic is quite a prospect and he demonstrated why he is rated so highly with an accomplished display.
Defying the odds, Stankovic fancy footwork did the damage in the first two rounds, moving with grace and throwing devastating combinations as he completely unsettled Abdurashidov. He took the third in similar style throwing some hard hooks that hit the target as the Russian struggled to contain him. The Dynamo star was running out of ideas, unable to pin the fleet-footed Stankovic down. The young Serb from Milano had by now taking the first four rounds and with the fifth just a formality he registered an emphatic victory that saw the Italian outfit move to 2-0 up in the tie.
Abdurashidov was keen to stress post-match, “With me arriving late in London, my preparations were not the best and I did not feel at 100%, but I will come back much stronger for the Individual Championships in June”.
With Dynamo Moscow now trailing, Maxim Gazizov was given the unenviable task of beating Middleweight supreme king Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who had not lost in his two seasons in the WSB. The first round was a tentative one by both orthodox fighters as they tried to get the measure of each other. As Moscow’s Gazizov tried to apply the pressure in the second, after edging the first, but he was then caught but some solid punches. You could understand why going on the offensive was such a dangerous tactic with Derevyanchenko such an accomplished counter-puncher. Gazizov was ahead on the judges’ scorecards after three rounds following his positive display. The Ukrainian 26-year-old, reigning WSB Individual Champion in his weight category, undefeated in eleven fights, then started to slowly pick his rival apart with some telling shots to both the head and the body. The master technician stayed composed as he dominated the latter stages to take the win, giving Milano the overall victory and ensuring his team mates would hold the Team Champions Trophy aloft at the end of the evening.
Derevyanchenko was delighted with victory, “I am very happy to achieve such a win for my team, it was tough against Gazizov but I boxed well and now we are Champions”.
The growing credentials of Oleksandr Gvozdyk of Dynamo Moscow were once again in evidence as the Ukrainian got the better of the experience Hungarian Imre Szello in the opening exchanges. Szello was in the mood for this one, safe in the knowledge that his team has the title sewn up, but in Gvozdyk he faced one of the competition’s rising stars. The Light Heavyweight Moscow star was in exhilarating form, alternating between head and body shots as he quickly took the initiative. Szello tried to keep his opponent at bay with the jab but Gvozdyk seemed hungry to impress and record a win for his team. Vital points were scored by the 190cm tall 25-year-old as he took the win in style to reduce Dynamo Moscow’s deficit.
The Ukrainian sensation, when asked how WSB impacted on his Olympic preparations, said, “Five rounds is hard but it gets you in much better shape so I will go to London with high hopes following my season in the WSB”.
After his fighting talk at the weigh-in, Dynamo Moscow’s Vitaly Kudukhov was intent on inflicting a first career defeat on reigning Heavyweight Individual Champion Clemente Russo. The Russian started off furiously, getting as close to Russo as possible, throwing all kind of punches in the direction of the Italian. It was far from easy on the eye as Kudukhov was intent on not letting the tactician find his range. The aggressiveness saw both boxers penalised in the first as Russo just could not get to grips with the 25-year-old Russian who took the first two rounds. The Milano orthodox fighter then had to dig deep and spurred on by his corner and the crowd, he started to catch his rival with several body shots as he dragged himself back into the contest. With Kudukhov tiring from his early onslaught, Russo did just enough to edge in the closing stages to win by split decision. It was sheer delight from the Italian when the announcer declared him the winner as he celebrated wildly with corner, with the title in the bag and his undefeated record intact.
Russo, the Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder captain, then lifted the trophy with his team, bringing to a close a fantastic season that saw the Italian squad become WSB Team Champions for the very first time.
Saturday 19 February
Baku Beaten and Top Americas Teams Tied on Points After Week 9
As Paris United and Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder continue to battle for the top spot in Europe, the top two teams in the Americas conference are now tied on points with three weeks to go after Mexico City Guerreros pulled off their fourth consecutive victory and Memphis Force upset the Los Angeles Matadors on Friday night.
In the Asian conference, Baku Fires, who already have one foot firmly in the play-offs, were defeated for the first time this season, by the Pohang Poseidons on Saturday. Helped by a second-round knock-out for light heavyweight Ramzjan Ahmedov the Astana Arlans also took a 4-1 away victory against the Beijing Dragons in Macau on Saturday to close to within six points of conference leaders Baku Fires.
Making his debut for the Istanbulls Herry Saliku Biembe was clearly willing to please the crowd as he entered the ring with a little dance. The Swiss middleweight did not make it easy for his opponent Michel Tavares and taunted him throughout the bout. But the only person he distracted with this was himself, as Tavares kept his concentration to win by unanimous decision.
“He started to show off during the weigh-ins and I wanted to win for that,” Tavares said after the bout. “His style is irritating, but it helped me to remain calm and focused”.
The most important fight of the night pitched number three ranked German Enrico Kolling of the Istanbulls against top-ranked Ludovic Groguhe of Paris United.
Groguhe started the second round with impressive combos of punches to his opponent’s body. He appeared in better shape and his strength led him to win by unanimous decision.
“I usually use my strength, but tonight I used my brain in addition. I think I handled this bout very well,” he said afterwards.
Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder once again beat the Moscow Kremlin Bears and took their fifth consecutive victory in the Palasharp ring on Friday. Four boxers made their debut for the Russian team: bantamweight Rafik Magerramov, lightweight Valery Plyaskin and middleweight Evgeny Myakinin.
The light heavyweight contest between Bosko Draskovic and Zhavlonbek Usmanov did not take place because the Kyrgyz boxer was not issued with a visa in time for the trip to Milan.
World Champion Domenico Valentino climbed to third in the individual rankings at lightweight after beating Valery Plyaskin. Valentino controlled the ring through all five rounds and took a second consecutive victory for Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder.
“I’m very satisfied,” he said, “but in the last two rounds I was a bit tired and had to manage my last energies. Now I’ll rest for some time and then I’ll start training again before going to Paris. I’m not very interested in my personal score, I want the whole team to reach the playoffs”.
Benjey Zimmerman of the Netherlands Antilles took on 19-year-old Sherip Daudov in the heavyweight contest. Zimmerman had a 15 centimetre and 30 kilo advantage over his opponent but Daudov was unfazed by Zimmerman’s power.
The home boxer dominated the contest but picked up warnings in the third and fourth rounds, leaving the final round to decide the bout. By this stage both boxers looked tired but continued to fight very hard, with the home boxer winning out at the end of the 15 minutes.
The 5-0 win for Milan keeps them in step with leaders Paris United and in line to qualify for the play-offs as the best second-placed team overall, since the Thunder are currently three points ahead of their closest rivals in the other two conferences.
After serving as the league’s battering ram for the better part of the season, the Memphis Force finally came out of their season-long slumber to pull off the upset of the year in the Americas conference on Friday. With a dominant 4-1 performance over the Los Angeles Matadors at the DeSoto Civic Center just outside Memphis, the Force added to the Matadors late-season woes, handing them their second-straight defeat.
The Matadors’ loss and another home win by the hard-charging Mexico City Guerreros leaves the two teams deadlocked at 19 points apiece at the top of the WSB Americas conference standings.
Perhaps overshadowed on the evening by the Memphis Force upset, the Guerreros have methodically climbed back into the hunt for the first WSB Americas league crown as they scored their fourth consecutive win Friday night with a decisive 4-1 win over the visiting Miami Gallos at Jose Cuervo Salon in Mexico City.
In Memphis, the Force didn’t look anything like the team that had just one previous win all season. After an opening bout loss that featured World Champion bantamweight Detelin Dalakliev, the Force reeled off three straight victories to take their first win against the Matadors and their first win since a November 26 defeat of the Miami Gallos.
The bantamweight matchup featured a rematch between Dalakliev and upstart Fernando Martinez (Argentina) and once again it was Martinez getting the best of the 2009 World Champion in the most tightly contested duel of the evening. Martinez would prevail with a 49-46, 49-46, 47-48 split decision victory to move to 4-0 on the season, which moved him to second place in the overall WSB standings at bantamweight.
Led by two of their more consistent warriors, Mexico City preyed upon the road woes of the Miami Gallos one more time Friday night. Bantamweight Braulio Avila (Mexico) and middleweight Yamaguchi Florentino (Brazil) helped provide the necessary firepower in leading the Guerreros to their second win in three tries over the Gallos.
The Gallos have struggled away from South Florida having no road wins in five attempts.
While Asian conference leaders Baku Fires fielded a weaker side for their home match to rest key boxers, second-placed Astana Arlans clearly meant business on their trip to Macau to face the Beijing Dragons.
Olympic champion Bakhyt Sarsekbayev’s win by unanimous decision in the middleweight contest was the only one of the evening to go the full distance. His team-mate Ramzjan Ahmedov followed with a knock-out against Wei Zhang in the second round of his light heavyweight bout. Beijing Olympian Ruslan Myrsatayev then closed out the win with a technical knock-out in the fourth round of the heavyweight encounter.
The Pohang Poseidons pulled off the second upset of the weekend with a 3-2 away win in Baku to become the first team this season to beat the Asian conference leaders. The Pohang team, consisting entirely of foreign boxers, was once again led by Algeria’s Abdelhafid Benchabla. The lightweight beat Rizvan Alimuradov to take his fifth straight win of the season and move ahead of Ludovic Groguhe to lead the individual standings on away wins.
“Finally we notched up the victory over the Fires!” Benchabla declared after the match. “It is so pleasant to beat the leader of the conference – the team that did not lose any match before. I am hopeful that we will demonstrate even better performance in the upcoming contests.”
World Series of Boxing action continues next week with the team’s facing the same opponents but with a switch of home and away venues.
Three Top-Ranked Boxers in Action on Week Seven
26, January, 2011
With six match weekends left to determine who qualifies for the play-offs in April, competition in the World Series of Boxing intensifies further this weekend with rematches of the week six encounters. Nowhere is the competition fiercer than in Europe, where Paris United and Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder, separated by only one win, once again face off in Paris on Friday in a match that will feature three of the top-ranked boxers in the competition.
Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder face another crunch match as they travel to Paris to face European conference leaders Paris United on Friday. On the previous encounter two weeks ago, Paris United’s home victory was enough to lose the Milan team the coveted best runners-up spot, which will ultimately decide the fourth and final team to go through to the play-offs.
The Paris squad chosen for this week has an impressive 11-1 WSB record and includes two top-ranked boxers, bantamweight John Joe Nevin and light heavyweight Ludovic Groguhe. Milano Thunder are replying with their own top-ranked boxer, Sergiy Derevyanchenko of the Ukraine at middleweight, and new signing Tommy McCarthy from Northern Ireland at light heavyweight, who becomes the first British national to compete in the World Series of Boxing.
Memphis Force host the Mexico City Guerreros at the Desoto Civic Center on Thursday night and will start week seven oF the competition desperately looking for a win. Their last home victory dates back to November 26 last year, since when they have dropped four events in a row. Yahman Phelps will be looking to make his mark on a rematch of his previous encounter with Angel Gutierrez in the lightweight contest, which Phelps lost by walkover last time.
The Mexico City Guerreros have a young squad in action this week, with an average age of just over 20, and will be hoping to repeat their away win against the Force in week six to move closer to Americas conference leaders the Los Angeles Matadors. The L.A. team has a six-point advantage over their rivals and will face the Miami Gallos at the Avalon Hollywood on Sunday.
Three new Russian boxers will debut for the Moscow team in Istanbul on Friday night, including 2008 Youth World Championships silver medalist Grigoriy Nikolaychuk, who will take on the unbeaten Mehmet Topcakan in the bantamweight opener. The Istanbulls also have a new signing, Ireland’s David Oliver Joyce, making his debut at lightweight. Heavyweight Mohammed Arjaoui from Morocco is the only boxer in action for the Istanbulls on Friday who has lost a bout this season.
The boxers in the Beijing Dragons squad that will host overall WSB leaders Baku Fires in Macau on Saturday have yet to win a bout between them. Baku have brought two boxers for rematches at bantamweight and lightweight, since Magomed Abdulhamidov and Ramal Amanov both beat their opponents for this week in the opening match last November. 22-year-old Abdulkadir Abdullayev makes his debut for the Baku team in this week’s heavyweight contest against 18-year-old Xiangyang Cheng.
Having leapfrogged Milano Thunder into the spot as best runners-up after their last match, the Astana Arlans will be looking to secure their position as they travel to Korea to face the re-baptised Pohang Poseidons in the Pohang Indoor Sport Gymnasium on Saturday. Moldova’s Victor Cotiujanschii will be looking to get off the mark for the home team as he faces a rematch of his week one encounter against Alibi Nurmatov in the middleweight bout. The second foreign boxer in action for the Poseidons is Algeria’s Abdelhafid Benchabla, who will face 2009 AIBA President’s Cup bronze medalist Ramzjon Ahmedov in the light heavyweight bout. Benchabla is unbeaten so far this season and is second in the individual rankings, but his position could be under threat from either of his two closest unbeaten rivals, Enrico Kolling of the Istanbulls and Zhavlonbek Usmanov of the Moscow Kremlin Bears, who face each other on Friday.
The Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana was yesterday unveiled as the title sponsor of the Milano Thunder WSB team. This is the first time that a sports team will carry the illustrious Dolce & Gabbana name.
“This is the beginning of a new adventure for us, but also the start of a new responsibility. Boxing is a sport which requires discipline, willpower and courage: values we firmly believe in and that we try to pour into everything we do. With this project we want to emphasize once more the importance sport has for us, both as a source of inspiration for our creativity and as a very effective vehicle for healthy, real, down-to-earth values,” said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana on the firm’s website.
The whole Dolce&Gabbana Milano Thunder team will wear official Dolce&Gabbana uniforms: their competition uniform will be in white and black, with the logo taking the colors of the Italian flag, and the name of the athlete embroidered on the shorts and the competition robe. The formal uniform will be composed of a black two-buttoned suit and white shirt.
The Milano Thunder team will also train at their own gym, the Thunder Gym in Milan, under head coach Francesco Damiani, who faces the challenge of training a multinational boxing squad to compete over an entire season. “It’s a new challenge that I’m happy to accept and I’m looking forward to taking on with assistants such as Sergiy Korchinskyy from the Ukraine and Gianfranco Rosi. As a trainer, you always have a motivation: this is something new and never seen before. This opportunity of the World Series of Boxing will give the boys media exposure and, to some extent, do them justice, since they are often overlooked. And I’m convinced that Milan will be a perfect stage for this event, given its boxing history”, he said.