Benefiting from the World Series of Boxing (WSB) huge experience of four of their boxers, defending Champion Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder has taken a clear advantage over its Polish opponents after this quarter-final first leg at the Hala Osir in Zawiercie. Considering that their line-up will probably be as strong next week, the Italians have one foot in the semi-finals.

Clearly considered as the underdog in the opening Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest, Hussars Poland Mateusz Mazik has put all of his strength in his battle against experienced Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Vincenzo Picardi. Showing a very aggressive style during the entire bout, Mazik was however not touching much, having to deal with a very dodging Italian. Although the Pole won the last two rounds, that was not enough to prevent the first point from going to the other side.

Two very similar boxers were then going head-to-head at Lightweight (57-61kg). Capable of being patients before landing some quick combinations, Adil Aslanov and Branimir Stankovic have offered the crowds a pretty tactical fight. In this context, Stankovic’s past seven bouts in two WSB seasons made the difference as the Serbian won each and every round in the opinion of the three judges, giving his team a clear advantage.

The most anticipated bout of the evening was coming at Middleweight (68-73kg), with the obligation for Hussars’ best boxer and poster-boy Tomasz Jablonski to come on top of strong Frenchman Michel Tavares. That encounter has not disappointed any boxing fan. Fast and furious, both men landed punch after punch, Jablonski getting even cut in the second round. Equal in the views of two judges before the fifth round, the Polish bravery was in the end not rewarded, because of an impressive last three minutes from Tavares. And the Italians had already won this first leg.

With 14 wins for only three losses in his WSB career, Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder Abdelhafid Benchabla was considered the favourite in his Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) bout against Mateusz Jerzy Tryc. Even if the Pole won the second round and demonstrated some promising skills, the London 2012 Algerian flag bearer used his experience to dominate the rest of the fight.

Closing the curtains at Heavyweight (91+kg), Mateusz Malujda has put all his power to clear his team’s name against league’s newcomer Emanuele Leo. Coming from the pro ranks with an impressive 7-0, the Italian however never found this so special WSB rhythm. Overwhelmed from the beginning and all the way until the final gong, Leo was therefore unable to offer a clean victory to his team, leaving a bit of hope to the Polish.

Travelling to Campione d’Italia next week for the return leg, Hussars Poland will have the tough mission to win all of the five remaining bouts to win this match. In case of a draw on aggregate, an additional Bantamweight fight will decide the semi-finalist. Any other result will qualify Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder.

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