Amateur boxing Cup wraps up in Moscow

Russian fighters were represented in four of eleven weight categories as the amateur World Cup boxing championships came to a close in Moscow. The event has confirmed the Russian and Cuban amateur boxing schools as by far the best on the planet.

Russian and Cuban boxers have dominated the amateur sport in recent years, and 2008 brought no surprises.

At the Moscow World Cup finals, the Cuban team was represented by eight and Russia by four qualifiers.

In the 51 kilogram category, Misha Aloyan faced Hernandez Laffita. Aloyan, the 20 year old Russian fighter, whose style is often compared to that of Roy Jones Jr., took a three- point lead in the first round. Havana native Laffita managed to get two points back in the second but Aloyan continued with a multiple series of punches extending the lead to five.

The Russian's consistency brought him a well deserved gold medal – the first one of the night for the national team. The next bout was between two time Russian champion Sergey Ignatiev and Cuban champion Idel Toriente.

Both fighters tested each other in the first two rounds with the score being 5-4 in favour of Toriente half way through the bout.

In the third round, the boxers began to open up a little but the score remained at a one point difference. In the fourth and final round, the Novosibirsk native brought the first disappointment of the evening to the home crowd. Toriente out boxed the Russian champion with the final score of 12-8.

“Many of our fighters have still not experienced large-scale competitions. Even as juniors they would not travel further than Russia. Besides, we must work more on their tactical and technical mastery,” explained Russian head coach Aleksandr Lebzyak.

In light weights China's Qing Hu was up against the 2007 world champion Albert Selimov. Grabbing the bull by its horns from the opening seconds, the Russian took a 3-0 lead. But twenty-two- year old Hu recuperated immediately and the first round ended in a draw. The taller Chinese fighter was not able to use his height advantage throughout the bout and the Russian champion claimed victory with two late points.

Finally, the 2007 world champion Abbos Atoev fought against his world championship opponent Artur Beterbiev. Beterbiev, the 2007 silver medallist, threw a number of punches in the first round but landed only two because the Uzbek Atoev kept his gloves close to his face for almost the entire round. But that strategy showed no dividends for the world champion and the Russian had no problem crashing open his defence. The referee stopped the fight in the third round to give Atoev the count.

But the 22-year-old continued and even tried to win some consolation points in the fourth but the score remained a devastating 17-7 in favour of Beterbiev.

The undisputed champion of the world Kostya Tszyu was also on hand to cheer for the Russian team.