World Series Boxing: GB beat Kazakhstan to qualify

Joe Joyce of the British Lionhearts en route to victory over Filip Hrgovic

British Lionhearts guaranteed a place in the World Series of Boxing play-offs after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan.

Croatian Hrvoje Sep gave Kazakhstan an early lead at London's York Hall with a points win over Swede Babacar Kamara.

England's Sam Maxwell levelled the contest before Welsh Olympians Fred Evans and Andrew Selby won their bouts to put the Lionhearts into a 3-1 lead.

Unbeaten Joe Joyce defeated WSB champion Filip Hrgovic to make it 4-1.

The result moves the Lionhearts a step closer to winning the one million euro first prize and is revenge for last December's 5-0 defeat in Almaty.

Unbeaten at home, the team lie third in Group B and have two bouts remaining, away to Germany on 23 February and home to Ukraine at York Hall on 1 March.

Of the two groups of six franchised teams, the top four from each group go through to the quarter-finals, which are staged over two legs next month.

Rob McCracken, performance director of the British Lionhearts said: "That was very good win against an extremely tough Kazakhstan team.

"We still have a couple of hard fixtures to go against Germany and the Ukraine but we have every right to feel confident as we look towards the next phase of the competition."

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