Russia’s Patriot Boxing Team took on the China Dragons on Saturday night in Kazan, with the hosts looking to keep in touch with Group C rivals Uzbek Tigers in the hunt for the second guaranteed play-off place.
In the opening contest, Russia’s Bator Sagaluev came through a draining contest against the Dragons’ experienced He Junjun. Sagaluev’s greater accuracy secured the unanimous win and a 1-0 lead for the hosts. At Bantamweight (56kg), Russia’s Bakhtovar Nazirov then ensured the Patriots’ second unanimous points win of the night with a strong display against the Dragons’ Wang Long.
It was a less straightforward battle for the Russian Aleksei Mazur, making his WSB debut against a determined Meng Caicheng. The two traded some almighty punches in the opening exchanges as Caicheng looked the sharper early on, but the crowd lifted newcomer Mazur, who showed he clearly has what it takes over five rounds as he edged the split decision win and made the three points safe.
Fourth into the ring, the Patriots’ 2015 EUBC Champion Petr Khamukov made it 12 wins out of 13 at Middleweight (75kg) thanks to a dominant display over China Dragons’ Rio 2016 Olympian Zhao Minggang, before Russia’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Evgeny Tischenko completed the whitewash with a strong return to the WSB against Guo Jin in the final bout of the evening. Jin’s defenses were sound for the majority of the contest but he struggled to get in close enough as Tischenko’s textbook straight right repeatedly found its way through to land unanimous points win from the Judges and complete a 5-0 win that keeps the Patriots in contention for that automatic Play-Off spot.