Kunlun Fight headed to Tongling, China for the “Elite Eight” of the 2018 KLF 70 KG World Championship.
The event featured some well-matched bouts and entertaining action, with the afternoon’s winners earning a place in the Final Four scheduled for January.
Here are the results.
Marouan Toutouh (MAR) def. Anatoly Moiseev (RUS)-Unanimous Decision (2018 KLF 70 KG World Championship 4/4)
Toutouh pressured and outlanded the smaller Moiseev to earn his place in the Final Four. The pace of the bout seemed to take a toll on the Russian, who appeared to be breathing heavily by late in round two. Scores were 29-28 four times and 30-28 once. Moiseev replaced Superbon, who withdrew from the tournament because of the flu.
Davit Kiria (GEO) def. Nordin Ben Moh (MAR)-KO Round 3 (2018 KLF 70 KG World Championship 3/4)
The resilient Kiria prevailed over Ben Moh in a battle of veteran contenders. Ben Moh backed up Kiria early, throwing quick jabs and inside low kicks while keeping his customary high guard. Kiria started to get into the fight more, and became more active. The fighters took turns, with both men blocking a lot of punches with their gloves. Kiria seemed to have the edge, and in round three the Georgian connected with some good punches. A left hook stunned Ben Moh, who was dropped by another left hook seconds later. Ben Moh couldn’t beat the count, and the tough Kiria is now a 2018 tournament semifinalist.
Feng Xingli (CHN) def. Jonay Risco (ESP)-Majority Decision (2018 KLF 70 KG World Championship 2/4)
In a battle between two technicians, Chinese southpaw Xingli edged Enfusion champion Risco to advance.
Feng opted to fight off the back foot and landed some solid low kicks as Risco applied pressure. The Spanish fighter seemed to have an edge in clean punches landed, and Risco had a good work rate, but the judges gave Feng the nod by scores of 30-29 (twice) and 30-28, while two judges had it even at 30-30.
Dzianis Zuev (BLR) def. Vlad Tuinov (RUS)-Majority Decision (2018 KLF 70 KG World Championship 1/4)
Russian phenom Tuinov, who has gained a loyal following online after a string of exciting performances, was denied a place in the Final Four by veteran Zuev.
Tuinov’s game plan utilized his superior quickness and footwork, as the Russian youngster circled and stopped to throw before moving again. Zuev pursued, and Tuinov was able to slip a lot of Zuev’s head shots and seemed to land the better blows. In the third, Zuev had his best round, landing a good right hook and a hard left.
Kunlun Fight scoring often favors fighters coming forward, and Zuev was awarded the decision by scores of 30-29 on three cards, while two judges scored the bout even at 29-29.
Fans hoping for the talented Tuinov to make a Final Four appearance will have to wait.
Zhu Baotong (CHN) def. Li Shiyuan (CHN)-TKO Round 2 (Body shots)(2018 KLF 70 KG World Championship Reserve Fight)
Zhu got the better of Li in a hard-fought battle that ended the evening’s action. A Zhu knee to the midsection hurt Li, and Zhu looked for another big shot downstairs, connecting with a left hook that hurt Li. Li was given an eight count by the referee, but was shaking his head and signaling with his glove that he couldn’t continue. The bout was halted and awarded to Zhu by TKO victory.
Wang Baoduo (CHN) def. Yiliyasi (CHN)- Decision (2018 KLF 70 KG World Championship Reserve Fight)
Wang was the smaller and quicker fighter, and built an early lead by using effective footwork and outboxing Yiliyasi. Yiliyasi, who moved down from the 75 kg weight category according to the commentator, had a better third round, but it wasn’t enough to over come Wang’s lead on the scorecards.