New World Series of Boxing (WSB) franchises endured mixed results tonight, with Puerto Rico Hurricanes securing a 3-2 victory over Rafako Hussars Poland while Caciques Venezuela lost 5-0 to Season III winners Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.
On a night where four Group B fixtures took place, the Puerto Rico Hurricanes raced into a decisive 3-0 advantage, with Garibaldy Gomez's first round knockout of Marek Pietruczuk sandwiched between points victories for Anthony Ortiz and Rivera Jan.
Rafako Hussars Poland's remaining boxers gave the overall score line respectability with a technical knockout in the middleweight division third round and a first round knockout in the over 91 kilograms heavyweight clash, but it was too late to have an effect on the outcome.
Meanwhile, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan gave an early warning to the rest of the WSB competitors, delivering a comprehensive 5-0 victory, with their first three boxers winning by unanimous decisions from the judges, while technical knockouts in the middle and heavyweight categories added further gloss.
But the result also comes after a message on the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation website revealing that Almat Serimov, one of the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan fighters, has removed from all tournaments for the next two years having failed a drugs test.
The International Boxing Association has not yet responded to insidethegames' request for a comment, although it has been claimed the failure was a result of ignorance rather than deliberate cheating.
"He did not break any rules," Marat Jakiyev, head coach of the Astana Arlans told website Vesti.kz.
"He just did not know the rules.
"He was ill before the Championship, and had high blood pressure, he took pills and they contained prohibited substances, that were indicated in the list of doping agents.
"If he had notified us about this before the test, then nothing would have happened to him, but he didn't say anything."
In the other fixtures the Italia Thunder Boxing Team got off to a good start as their Irish boxer Patrick Barnes earned victory in the light flyweight division in Baku, but the Azerbaijan Baku Fires fought back to win 4-1 on the evening.
The USA Knockouts earned victory over the Argentina Condors with Francisco Martinez, Tyrek Irby and Anthony Campbell winning their bouts, while heavyweight Joshua Temple was given a walkover.
The WSB returns on January 23, with the British Lionhearts facing the Ukraine Otamans in Kiev and the China Dragons hosting the Russian Boxing Team in two Group A fixtures, while the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan will hope to replicate their opening performance as they face Rafako Hussars Poland away.
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