Boxing - Lionhearts end Kazakhstan's run

The British Lionhearts became the first team to defeat Kazakhstan's Astana Arlans this season in the World Series of Boxing with a 4-1 win at London's York Hall.

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Boxing - Lionhearts end Kazakhstan's run
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Joe Joyce of British Lionhearts (R) in action with Filip Hrgovic of Astana Arlans Kazakhstan during their 91KG+ bout during the World Series of Boxing between British Lionhearts and Astana Arlans Kazakhstan (Scotty Heavey)

Despite going one down after Croatia's Hrvoje Sep claimed a unanimous decision over Swede Babacar Kamara - a controversial light-heavyweight clash which saw the judges erroneously mark the scores in favour of Kamara at first before correcting their mistake - the hosts went on to win four straight bouts.

Sam Maxwell earned his maiden WSB victory at the third attempt after weathering a late fightback from Yerzhan Mussafirov to take a split decision at lightweight for 1-1, before Olympic silver medallist Fred Evans put the Brits in front after an equally-tough split victory over Miras Bairkhanov in the middleweight category to remain unbeaten in three.

Fellow London 2012 Olympian Andrew Selby made certain of the Arlans' first defeat of 2012-13 with an assured bantamweight performance over WSB debutant Meirbolat Toitov, which kept his own unblemished record in the competition alive at 4-0. Though Selby had won every round in the eyes of two of the three judges, the third had Toitov a round up for another split decision.

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But the best performance was saved for last as heavyweight Joe Joyce also made it four WSB wins from four with a split win over Croatian Filip Hrgovic, the 2010 world youth champion and last year's individual champion. Joyce's win denied the Arlans a bonus point - awarded to those who lose a match by three fights to two - and saw the Brit move to the top of the competition's heavyweight rankings.

The 4-1 win ensured the Lionhearts' participation in the end-of-season play-offs. They will next be in action on February 23rd when they visit Germany before finishing their Group B fixtures on March 1, when they attempt to preserve their undefeated home record against Ukraine back at York Hall.

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