East vs West 12 – 20th April 2024

More than a thousand people compulsively squeeze the armrests of the chairs, the room is full, there are even people standing. Yet this is but a tiny fraction of tonight’s viewers, the vast invisible majority is in front of a screen; the spectacle they are waiting for so spasmodically? East vs West 12, let’s go!

The dances open with the vertan Stoyan Golemanov (BG) making his 105kg debut against Brandon Elsessor (USA) . A great start for Stoyan, who wins a 3-0 win.

We go down 10kg for Betkili Oniani (Ge) against Talgat Aktaev (KAZ), unlike the first match, being in his first appearance on this stage will not bring luck to Talgat; Betkili Oniani 3-0 in a dominant way.

We have the first “war” of the evening with Nugzari Chikadze (Ge) strenuating with Petro Maharint (UKR), despite a 2-0 start for the young Georgian athlete it will be the Ukrainian coming back. 3-2 Petro Maharint.

Sandris Sedis (LV), former WAF 110kg world champion, faces Ibrahim Sagov (RU) .

In this 105kg fight, Sagov will win, the third and final round more fought than the previous ones but still won, 3-0 Ibrahim.

The only women’s match of the evening, sees Fia Reisek (SE) fight Ekaterina Nikisheva (RU) for the women’s world title at 70kg left arm. Fia Reisek really convincingly wins all the rounds, 3-0.

On his first defense at the 75kg title, Mindaugas Tarasaitis (LT) and ready to snatch it from him, Arthur Makarov (RU) . Despite a very promising first round for the Lithuanian high, a foul is restarted after a foul, and the key to the match seems to have been lost. Mindaugas will come within a step of the stop in every round, but it will not succeed. 4-0 Arthur Makarov.

Again on the left arm, Kamil Jablonski (PL) and Tobias Sporrong (SE) put us in the super-maximum category (+115kg) . In an alternation of rounds that will keep us breathless, it will finally be Kamil Jablonski who will win the battle with a hard-fought 3-2.

Remaining at the super-maximum weights, the internet star “schoolboy” Alexander Beziazykov (RU) is the chosen opponent for the debut of the monstrous Leonidas Arkona (DE), which many mistakenly underestimated. The latter will finish the match 3-2 in their favour.

Legend Michael Todd (USA) drops to 115kg for his return after a long recovery against Frank Lamparelli (ITA) . After an initial lead for Frank Michael he finally manages to come back for a 3-1, which is however stained by rounds won by Frank for fouls of the American and then removed, which could perhaps have turned the situation around.

The inescapable Davit Samushia (GE), in his eighth right-wing 85kg defense, clashes with Nurdaulet Aidarkhan (KAZ) . Nurdaulet proves to be the most dangerous opponent so far, and the one who gets closest to snatching the title from the champion. Samushia will finish the match 4-3, but the score does not fully reflect the tens of seconds spent 1mm from the loss for a match that could have ended in the opposite way.

We go up to 95kg for another title match, Sasho Andreev (BG) defends the belt, Irakli Zirakashvili (GE) tries to snatch it. Already once the two athletes had faced each other in the past, and Sasho had triumphed 4-1. However a score that will not be replicated this evening, because Irakli leaves no doubt about his performance and wins the world title with a 4-0 in total control.

Georgi Tsvetkov (BG) is ready to stop Alex Kurdecha (PL) in his return to the world’s top five. But similar to the previous match, it doesn’t seem to be a lucky day for the Bulgarian champions, and it will be the Polish giant that will triumph decisively.

An asterisk on this 3-0 victory, however, is a serious infection in the foot of Georgi Tsvetkov, which leaves us with doubts as to how much this could have affected his performance.

Penultimate meeting of the evening, and prelude to the storm, the slayer Alizhan Muratov (KAZ) 104kg is ready to fight with the gladiator, Ermes Gasparini (ITA) 130kg on his left arm.

Alizhan amazes everyone by dominating the Italian 3-0 with ease despite the difference in weight, the bottomless man continues the climb to the top of the absolute category while weighing tens of kg less than his opponents.

Finally, we arrived at the main event of the evening, Devon “no limits” Larrat (CA), undisputed number 1 in the world following a stronghold that saw him defeat the other contenders at the top of the ranking and Levan “too strong” Saginashvili (GE) . The king of the supermaximum category, and the culmination of the sport returns from over a year of absence and a wrist injury, many are certain of the Canadian’s success, but the word end has not yet been written. To the general astonishment Levan, after an uncertain initial round, won by fouls, which still left everything to decide, it is stated decisively on all the following rounds, raising the score to 4-0 with a disarming ease.

The Georgian giant regains the belt, lost to inactivity, that no mortal seems to be able to snatch from it.

Martino Doni

Martino Doni

SBFI Athlete; Medical Student; Personal trainer; Training Methodologist

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