Mumbai: Indian franchise Mumbai Fighters slumped to their fifth defeat in seven matches and their third on the trot, when they were beaten 3-2 by Dynamo Moscow in the World Series Boxing contest at the Inorbit Mall in suburban Malad.
The Fighters began on a promising note when Indian WSB debutant Gaurav Bidhuri scored a split 2-1 (48-47, 48-47, 46-49) verdict over his bantamweight rival Vladimir Nikitin. Three out of five rounds went in favour of Bidhuri.
But, thereafter it was the visiting outfit that held sway in the next three bouts. Adlan Abdurashidov outclassed India’s showman Siddharth Varma 3-0 in lightweight, Sanjit-Pol Vrgoc of Mumbai Fighters went down in similar fashion against
Dynamo’s Maxim Gazizov and taller southpaw Vladimir Sheles outclassed his shorter rival Leanid Charnabayeu of the Fighters in light heavy to give the Dynamos a winning 3-1 advantage.
In the last bout between heavyweight rivals Vaine Fa Junior, fighting his first bout for his franchise Fighters after landing in Mumbai at 2 am early today, and formidable Russian Arslanbek Makhmudov, the former earned a creditable and unanimous 3-0 verdict to bring some cheer to the home side camp.
Fighters, who were thrashed 5-0 in their away leg by the Moscow franchise, thus failed to avenge that defeat and will find it difficult to qualify for the quarter finals with three more matches in their hand. They could take satisfaction that they avoided a second whitewash.
But the night had commenced in a very promising fashion for the Fighers. Bidhuri, a bronze medallist at the 2011 President’s Cup in Jakarta and a quarterfinalist at the 2009 World Juniors, adopted an open stance against the close guard put up by his rival Nikitin, last year’s runner-up at the China Open.
Nikitin tried to go for the body as well as the face of his Indian rival while Bidhuri concentrated mostly on the face and landed some straight punches and upper cuts to earn the verdict, albeit a narrow one, in his favour. He had opened up a cut under his rival’s left eyebrow too.
Adlan Abdurashidov brought Dynamo on even keel with a unanimous 3-0 (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) verdict over the unorthodox Siddharth Varma in the lightweight contest.
The Russian, quarter finalist at the 2010 China Open packed too much power for the comfort of the Indian who started off in impressive fashion before fading away.
Mumbai fighters secured one point from the defeat to take their tally to eight and remained in 5th position in six-team Group A.
Midway through the first round of this bout, Varma who showboated initially and dared his rival to hit him, stood back in his corner and struck right-left combination blows to his rival’s face to surprise Adlan but that was all he could do as he trailed clearly in the rest of the contest.
All three judges gave a 10-9 verdict in all five rounds in favour of the Russian national champion who had a 4-3 record in WSB history before the fight. Varma, who had impressed in his first two appearances in the League and went into the fight with a 1-1 win-loss record, was clearly outclassed.
The visitors went 2-1 ahead when Maxim Gazizov, the bronze winner in the Russian national championships last year, earned a unanimous 3-0 (48-47, 50-44, 50-44) verdict over Fighters’ rival Sanjin-Pol Vrgoc After a close first round, which Sanjin won 2-1, the Russian came out strongly in the second to level scores. In the third Gazizov forced his rival to take a standing eight count with a straight right to the face that opened up a cut below his rival’s left eye.
Gazizov won that round clearly and continued in the same vein in round four with telling uppercuts and straights to his rival’s face. Sanjin fought on bravely but was clearly fighting an uphill battle.
In the fourth bout in light heavy class, Southpaw Sheles, from Moldova, proved too good for his Belarus rival. Charnabayeu, the 2010 World Youth Championship quarter finalist representing the Fighters and carved out a 3-0 (49-45, 50-44, 49-45) verdict.
Only the first two rounds were close as one judge gave them in favour of the home team boxer while the other two awarded them to his visiting rival. Thereafter it was the Molavan who held sway with Charnabayeu even warned once in the third round.
With the match already lost, new Fighers boxer Junior from New Zealand fought fearlessly against Makhmudov who had knocked out Trent Rawlins - the Australian fighter representing the Mumbai franchise in the first leg clash, to earn a unanimous 3-0 verdict. Junior won 49-46, 49-46, 49-46.
Results Mumbai Fighters lost to Dynamo Moscow 2-3:
Bantamweight: Gaurav Bidhuri bt Vladimir Nikitin 2-1
Lightweight: Siddharth Varma lost to Adlan Abdurashidov 0-3
Middleweight: Sanjin-Pol Vrgoc lost to Maxim Gazizov 0-3
Light heavy: Leanid Charnabayeu lost to Vladimir Sheles 0-3
Heavy: Uaine Fa Junior beat Arslanbek Makhmudiv 3-0.