Ukraine Otamans maintained their unbeaten record in Group A of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) with a narrow 3-2 victory over home franchise China Dragons at the Mangrovetree Convention Center in Sanya.
On what was a thrilling evening of boxing, the Otamans and the Dragons produced a topsy-turvy contest and with the score at 2-2, 2006 European Champion Denys Poyatsyka was given the win in the last bout after opponent Li Mingtao was forced to pull out after he sustained an injury in round two.
Earlier on in the match, Uzbekistan's Hasanboy Dusmatov powered to a dominant win over Li Jiahao, but the Chinese outfit hit back in the second bout as Diao Jianhao levelled proceedings by virtue of a superb victory over Mykola Butsenko.
The China Dragons then turned the encounter on its head as Sairike Tuoliaowutayi claimed his first win of the season with a classy display that proved too hot for Ukranian Dmytro Grynchenko to handle.
Testament to the nature of the clash, Ukraine took the fourth bout to set up a tense finale when Hurshidbek Normatov stopped Huang Jiabin in round three.
But the excitement of the evening ended there as the closely-fought match ended in an injury withdrawal to give Ukraine their third straight win.
Elsewhere in the Group, there was another nervy affair as the Morocco Atlas Lions claimed a tense 3-2 win against the British Lionhearts in Casablanca.
Moroccan National Champion Zouhair El Bekkali got the hosts off to the best possible start with a unanimous points victory over Ashley Williams in a light-welterweight contest, before the bantamweight bout between Mohamed Hamout of Morocco and Britain's Qais Ashfaq produced the same result to extend the hosts' lead to 2-0.
But the British outfit lived up to their Lionheart name by battling back into the match as Sam Maxwell pulled one back for the visitors, and a dazzling display from Commonwealth Games gold medallist Antony Fowler, who put Said Harnouf on the canvas three times in the opening two rounds, levelled the contest at 2-2.
Despite the Lionheart's resurgence, Romanian Ionut-Mirel Jitaru couldn't quite follow suit as he suffered a TKO defeat to Lithuanian Vitalijus Subacius as the Atlas Lions took a dramatic win.
The other two matches in the group were much more comfortable contests as the Mexico Guerreros hammered the Algeria Desert Hawks 4-2, while defending WSB champions Cuba Domadores continued their emphatic record with their third straight 5-0 whitewash against the Russian Boxing Team.
In Group B, the USA Knockouts kept up their 100 per cent record to enhance their lead at the top as they secured a 3-2 win over Caciques De Venezuela in Miami.
Three more bouts take place tomorrow, with Rafako Hussars Poland facing Argentina Condors, Italia Thunder up against Puerto Rico Hurricanes and Azerbaijan Baku Fires against Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.
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