Russian, Ukrainian boxing teams put aside political tensions

Athletes from the Russian Boxing Team, left, and Ukraine Otamans, right, greet one a nother, before their bouts.

Denis Tyrin/AP

MOSCOW — Boxing teams from Russia and Ukraine put aside political tensions Monday to contest a World Series of Boxing quarterfinal in Moscow, with the hosts landing most of the blows in the ring.

The Russian Boxing Team took a 4-1 lead against the Ukraine Otamans ahead of the return meeting in Donetsk next weekend in a contest that received added attention following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and escalated military buildup on the Ukrainian border.

The Ukrainian team was greeted by polite applause by the crowd of about 500 people at the Arena Moscow, which included Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov and ”International Boxing Association president Wu Ching-Kuo.

Wu said the contest was marked by ”sportsmanship” and that ”the audience has really showed their support for both teams.”

Ukrainian fighter Denys Berinchyk said it was ”a good atmosphere.”