Posts Tagged ‘Milano Thunder’
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.
Irish Boxing News
By Bernard O’Neill
London 2012 Olympian John Joe Nevin came from behind to beat Branimir Stankovic on a split decision to help the Parisians beat Willie McLaughlin’s Milano Thunder 3-2 in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) in Paris last night.
Cavan BC ace Nevin was trailing on points after the second round against the Serb in United’s first leg quarter final clash with Thunder.
But the Irish Elite champion, who has qualified for the Olympics at bantamweight but who is boxing in the WSB at lightweight, edged ahead after claiming rounds three and four.
Stankovic won the fifth and final frame, but that wasn’t enough to stop Nevin, who has now won three on-the-trot for United this season, securing a (47-48,48-47,48-47) points win at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
Donegal’s Willie McLaughlin, lining out for Thunder in last night’s match, stopped Joe Mulema of the Cameroon to record his fourth straight win in the WSB this season.
McLaughlin ran away with the first three rounds before the middleweight duel was stopped on a 4th frame TKO after Mulema suffered a facial cut.
The Illies GG clubman was the only boxer on the Italian side to record a win last night as their only other victory came via a walkover.
Both sides will meet again in Milan on March 9th. The quarter-final is being decided over ten bouts.
Thunder will need to win the March 9 match 4-1 or 5-0 to advance to the semi-finals. A 3-2 victory will leave both sides locked on five wins each.
Any sort of a victory will be enough for United, who claimed the inaugural WSB Team Championships last year, to progress to the last-four.
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 – Switzerland, Lausanne
In the much anticipated showdown between last year’s champions Paris United and the classy Italian outfit Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder, there were some riveting encounters between two of the most exiting teams in this season’s WSB competition. It was a real nail-biter right until the very end but once again home advantage made the difference in this one.
After failing to make weight, Geoffrey Dos Santos was unable to present himself for the Bantamweight contest, giving Milano the walk-over and the early advantage in the tie. Irish record breaker John Joe Nevin quickly restored parity with a hard fought victory in the Lightweight battle after dominating 21-year-old Serbian National champion Branimir Stankovic. Nevin has been in fine form this season, extending his unbeaten record to three wins no losses, but this triumph did not come easy with Stankovic mounting a strong fight back. Though in the end it was too little too late as the Irish 2009 AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist took the fight by split decision.
Milan were back in front in the match after their Irish Middleweight William McLaughlin cut Cameroonian 29-year-old Joseph Maluma in their contest and was awarded the win by TKO. It was a quality performance that had him ahead on all three judges’ scorecards. McLaughlin is really making a name for himself this season with his fourth win of an excellent campaign for him.
Frenchman Ludovic Groguhé, who was transferred during the summer from Paris to Milan and is one of the stars of the WSB, has somehow lost him way of late and had looked out of sorts following two successive defeats. His battle against Hrvoje Sep was an opportunity to set the record straight and make him a hero with his new team. However the Croatian Light Heavyweight had other ideas, starting this fight with real intent. Groguhé began brightly, dictating the tempo of the bout from the centre of the ring but Sep, with the raucous support of the crowd, somehow turned the fight on its head in the latter stages to snatch a deserved win and drag Paris level at 2-2.
All to fight for as once more the Heavyweight face-off doubled up as the decider. Step into the ring the giant Filip Hrgovic against Polish rising star Michal Olas. At 19 years of age and measuring 198cm, Hrgovic is an imposing figure and with his experience it was a tough ask for the orthodox Pole. Clearly lifted by his compatriot’s win in the Light Heavyweight contest, Hrgovic looked hungry and in no mood to take prisoners as he completely overawed Olas from the first bell. With his opponent in real trouble in the early stages, Hrgovic stamped his authority to win by TKO in the second round, thus handing the 3:2 win to Paris United on the night.
Once again this action did not disappoint and it will be on a knife-edge for in the return leg in Italy.
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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.
Irish WSB Contingent Gears up for National Championships
The break in World Series of Boxing action this week is perfectly timed for the Irish boxers in the series, who will be heading back to the Emerald Isle for the national championships, which start at the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday.
The 2011 Championships arrive in the Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s Centenary year but have a further significance, since the winners will be part of the Irish men’s squad going forward toward the AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan in September.
Six Irish boxers, including defending champions Ken Egan and John Joe Joyce (Miami Gallos) and John Joe Nevin (Paris United) will be competing in the national championships alongside Tommy McCarthy and Eamon O’Kane (Milano Thunder) and David Oliver Joyce (Istanbulls).
AIBA Youth World champion Joe Ward will be competing at light-heavyweight, a move which could see him come up against Ken Egan, who will be aiming for an unprecedented 11th Irish Senior title in a row. Egan, who won silver for Ireland at the last Olympics, says he wants to qualify for the London Games and go one better than his silver medal from Beijing. However, if Egan drops his 81Kg title – and Tommy McCarthy and Davey Joe Joyce, both 2008 AIBA World Youth bronze medalists, are also strong contenders in this class – then the door could be slammed shut on his Olympic dream.
Dominic O’Rourke, the IABA Director of Boxing, believes that the Elite Championships could produce a few surprises:
“There is quality in every weight division and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few shocks as the Championships unfold. Everyone knows what is at stake here. The defending champions will be looking to retain their titles, but they will be facing stiff competition in every weight category. It promises to be a very exciting Championships.”
The finals will be held on Friday February 25th and the winners can look forward to the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Baku in September.