The eleventh edition of East vs West, held on January 20th, kicks off 2024.
Event characterized by numerous left-handed matches, many of which for their respective world titles.
So let’s get started, Aymeric Pradines ( FRA ) takes on American Robbie Topie on the left arm. Unfortunately, the overseas athlete has no answer for the lightning speed of Aymeric, who wins 3-1, losing a round due to fouls.
We go down to 85kg, where the former 75kg champion, Nurdaulet Aidarkhan (KZ) tries to prove himself also in this new category for him. His challenger, Valiko Ichkiti (GEO), immediately made a good impression by winning the first round, but Nurdaulet defeated him in a comeback, dominating the following 3 rounds.
The veteran Marcio Barboza (BRA) against the promising Oleg Petrenko (UKR); Will experience or youth prevail? We can’t make it a general rule, but in this match it was definitely youth! With a solid 3-0 for Oleg Petrenko, never in difficulty.
Let’s move on to a compatriot and namesake of Petrenko; the very famous Oleg Zhokh.
Oleg, WAF 80kg champion on the left arm, clashes with the very young Avtandil Tutberidze (GEO), WAF 85kg champion. In contrast to the previous match, experience will prevail, with a 4-0 victory for Oleg Zhokh.
For the most impetuous match of the evening, Matt “Wild Horse” Mask (CA) vs Wagner “earthquake” Bortolato (BRA). Despite a promising start for Wagner, a chest strain affected his performance, and allowed Mask to manage the flow of the match.
3-1 for the “Wild Horse”, who thus achieved his first victory on the Istanbul stage.
An athlete who has accumulated many victories now enters the scene….Davit Samushia (GEO) in his 7th defense of the 85kg right arm title against Vladimir Mairov (DE).
We can say with certainty that Vladimir, especially having started training again for a very short time, was the one who put Davit in difficulty the most.
More, but not enough. Samushia retains the title for the seventh time thanks to 4 pins despite losing just one round.
Another title is up for grabs at 75kg between Mindaugas Tarasaitis (LT) and Daniel Procopciuc (MDA), current holder of the same.
Daniel opens the match by easily winning the first 2 rounds (remember that title matches are best of 7, and therefore 4 rounds are needed for victory), but Mindaugas surprises everyone by reversing the situation in the third round. Which is followed by another 3, which see the Lithuanian athlete increasingly in control. Final score, 4-2 Mindaugas Tarasaitis, new 75kg world champion.
Back to the left, for Artem Taynov ( RU ) and Zurab Tavberidze ( GEO ), who are competing for the world title at 95kg. And Artem Taynov leaves no doubt as to who deserves this title, with four pins to zero, in a match in total control.
Irakli Zirakashvili (GEO) goes against Paul Linn (USA), the winner will win the right to a title match for the 95kg right-hander. Honor that will go to the young Georgian athlete, who outclasses Paul Linn with three quick victories for a final score of 3-0.
Again on the left arm, Rino Masic (HR), WAF 110kg world champion against Ivan Matyushenko (RU), 115kg world champion. Rino Masic will be able to do better than Ivan’s previous opponents, taking a round away from the Russian champion. One round compared to the four needed to win, which will be Ivan’s, who ends the match at 4-1.
At 105kg the legend John Brzenk (USA) competes with Krasimir Kostadinov (BG), who, with three hard-fought but in relative control rounds, finally wins 3-0. At 60 years old, John is no longer what he once was, but he still manages to provide exciting matches.
In what, on paper, was a match that could go either way, Alizhan Muratov ( KZ ) made a decisive breakthrough. Despite a promising start for his opponent, Evgeny Prudnik (UKR), Alizhan impresses more and more with each round.
In the fourth and final round, allowing Evgeny to attack, holding him back with ease and demonstrating clear superiority.
Alizhan Muratov new champion at 105kg for the left arm.
The final match of the evening, for the world super heavyweight title on the left arm, sees the return of Alex Kurdecha ( PL ), in a great shape at 165kg, against Artyom Morozov ( KZ ) 130kg who defends the title in his possession.
In a match full of surprises, both athletes will show versatility and unexpected technical skills, in a continuous swing of victory and defeat that finally ends in 4-2 for Artyom, what a match!