It’s Cuba all the way at AIBA World Championships

In front of a packed and exuberant house at the Sporthalle, the Cubans were simply unstoppable.

Evgeny Tishchenko (left) of Russia looks dejected after lsing against Erislandy Savon of Cuba.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Cuban boxers ruled the ring at the 19th World Championships, grabbing five gold medals and two silver medals to finish on top for the second successive time.

In front of a packed and exuberant house at the Sporthalle here, the South American boxing giants were simply unstoppable.

Cuba walked away with half of the world titles on offer with Joahnys Argilagos (49kg), Yosbany Veitia (52kg), Andy Gomez Cruz (64kg), Julio La Cruz (81kg) and Erislandy Savon (91kg) claiming the top honours in their respective categories.

Lazaro Alvarez Estrada (60kg) and Roneil Iglesias (69kg) got silver medals.

For Savon, the nephew of three-time Olympic gold-medallist — the legendary Felix Savon — it was his first world title in five championship appearances.

And for his maiden gold, Savon got the the better of reigning Olympic champion Evgeny Tishchenko in a split verdict despite the Cuban’s clear dominance in the bout. Savon had finished with a silver in the 2015 edition of the championship.

Another Olympic champion to go down to Cuban might was Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmetov (49kg). He was also beaten in a split decision in a closely contested bout against Joahnys Argilagos.

Frenchman Sofiane Oumiha, the Rio Olympic Games’ silver-medallist, was among the few to stand up to the Cuban storm as he took the lightweight title, beating Lazaro Alvarez Estrada.

Ukraine also got a world champion in Oleksander Khyzniak, who took the middleweight crown with a unanimous verdict over Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul.

Among the four Uzbeks in the finals, it was just Shakhram Giyasov who finished at the top with his light welterweight title triumph over Roniel Iglesias.

Kazakhstan took the bantamweight (56kg) gold after 2013 bronze-medallist Kairat Yeraliyev upgraded his performance to beat American Duke Ragan in a split verdict. Ragan had defeated India’s Gaurav Bidhuri in the semifinal.

The super heavyweight crown went to Azerbaijan’s Mahammadrasul Majidov. Majidov defeated Kazakhstan’s Kamshybek Kunkabayev to pick up his third world championship gold after triumphs in 2011 and 2013.

Uzbekistan finished a distant second in the event one gold, three silver and a couple of bronze medals.

India’s campaign had ended in the semifinal stage with Gaurav bagging the country’s lone medal, a bronze.

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