With the winter break now over, the World Series of Boxing finally returns with six top quality matches in all four corners of the globe. With quarter-finals firmly in sight, be sure that all teams will be going all out to win as they battle for positions in their respective groups. Following a flurry of transfer activity and with several new boxers taking to the ring this weekend, the action will be full of intrigue as the match-ups become more and more tense.
Non-stop boxing action as WSB gets serious. 2012 is sure to start with a bang as teams line-up their heavy-hitters for boxing fans worldwide. Four matches will be broadcasted LIVE on worldseriesboxingtv.com.
Match of the week:
Two teams that had struggled in the early part of the season now seem to be raring to kick-start their campaigns in Group B with Istanbul Bosphorus, so impressive against Beijing Dragons last time around, facing the resurgent Paris United outfit. Leading the charges at the Bagcilar Olipik Spor Kompleksi in Istanbul will be Light Heavyweight Bahram Muzzafer who has really made his mark so far this season, the 25-year-old is currently ranked No.2 in his division following a string of solid displays. With both teams having done some solid recruiting, the fresh impetus of new experienced boxers will ensure a finely poised contest. With Paris United edging its home leg 3:2 during the first weekend of action, Istanbul Bosphorus will be looking to extract revenge, expect the action to be close with all eyes then turned to the mouth-watering final face-off as two Heavyweight colossus go toe-to-toe. The fight of the evening will see unbeaten Belarusian Viktar Zuyev take on the awesome proposition that is the giant Filip Hrgovic, who at only 19 has already a full WSB season under his belt, fireworks are sure to fly when these two meet.
Fight of the week:
Still seething from his defeat in his last contest, fans’ favourite Kennedy Katende will look to continue his assault towards the top of the rankings by delighting the home crowd at Foro Polanco as he faces the tough young German orthodox fighter Enrico Kölling when the Mexico City Guerreros welcome the Leipzig Leopards. This battle will be of epic proportions with both fighters always putting their bodies on the line in search of victory. A clash of styles with opposite stances, the boxers each have a multitude of weapons in their arsenals and both are always keen to move forward during their bouts. They will be looking to exploit each other’s eagerness to cause maximum damage so expect this to be a bruising encounter.
Rest of the action:
Unbeaten at home, the Mexico City Guerreros are irresistible on home turf and this will be a tough ask for the visiting Leipzig Leopards. Kicking-off the action this weekend, this contest will be unrelenting with so much experience in both squads. Most importantly though is the battle for positions in a very tight Group B. Having started off the season so well, the German outfit has suffered back-to-back defeats and their second place in the table will be in serious jeopardy if they cannot get a result at Foro Polanco. The vastly experienced Guerreros line-up will be keen to wow the crowds and once again send their supporters home happy; however with some quality boxers taking to the ring for the Leipzig Leopards, the home team will not have it all its own way. Braulio Avila Juarez will look to set the tone in the Bantamweight contest when he faces two-time Nordic Champion Dennis Ceylan before the impressive Mladen Manev locks horns with Dutch sensation Danyo Stephen in the much anticipated Middleweight contest of the night.
The pace-setters in Group B are the irrepressible Baku Fires who travel to China to face the Beijing Dragons. Can anyone stop the all-conquering Azeri team who once again has armed itself with some top-drawer fighters? The Fires team has included the undefeated duo of Bantamweight Gairbek Germakhanov and Light Heavyweight Ramazan Magomedau who never take any prisoners. The hopes of the home team rest on the shoulders of the tall Dongxu Shang and 23-year-old orthodox fighter Qingxian Mai, whose hand speed is just frightening. Beijing Dragons Heavyweight Joseph Parker will be seeking to turn potential into wins as he faces inexperienced southpaw Haji Murtuzalieyev.
Group A will once again revive the intense rivalry between the Astana Arlans and the Los Angeles Matadors, with no love lost between these two after meeting in last season’s semi-finals in which Astana came out on top. The Matadors then edged out their first encounter during the first weekend of action this season; however with the Daulet Sports Complex in Astana sure to be packed to the rafters, this match is sure to be a completely different proposition for the visiting American Franchise. The Arlans are gunning for maximum points in front of their expectant fans, lining up boxers with a combined 30 bout experience which includes three KOs and six TKOs. Keep your eyes on Kanat Slam and Ruslan Myrsatayev, both demolition specialists.
Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder continue to set new standards in this enthralling competition, not only remaining unbeaten so far but showcasing some of the best boxing talent around. How will the Venky’s Mumbai Fighters fare against such tough opposition? Milano have the savvy Ukrainian southpaw Vitaliy Volkov opening proceedings in the Bantamweight contest against Jitender Kumar, before powerful Frenchman Ludovic Groguhe takes on Croatia’s Marko Calic. The main attraction of the night will be the Pride of Poland Michal Olas (read more about him) who has been training for weeks now in preparation for his fight with hard man Mihail Muntean. Olas has been sparring with the great Clemente Russo in order to be in top condition for his second outing under the Italian outfit’s colours.
The frighteningly good Dynamo Moscow welcome the Bangkok Elephants in the final Group A encounter. This will be another opportunity to witness the skills of Lightweight Vazgen Safaryants and more importantly the rangy Uzbek Ramzjon Ahmedov who was so good in last season’s Team Finals. Bangkok will be relying on the strength of Greek powerhouse Ioannis Militopoulos to impress. The venue for this clash will be the Moscow Dynamo Basket-ball Hall in the heart of the Russian capital, this cauldron of noise is sure to make the hairs on the back of the visiting team’s necks stand up.
Boxer to watch:
With a star-studded cast this weekend, it was hard to choose one single candidate but we were very impressed with Dynamo Moscow’s Aleksandr Ivanov who looked so composed when defeating Kanat Slam in his last bout. Fearless and always willing to move forward, the 26-year-old orthodox fighter has quickly established himself as one of the Middleweight contenders.