Penultimate round of fixtures in this World Series of Boxing regular season and the heat is being cranked up for yet another quality weekend of boxing action. Stay tuned this Friday as four matches invade your screens.
Starting off, we have the clash of the Eastern titans as Dynamo Moscow hosts the Astana Arlans in the Russian capital before a strong Leipzig Leopards face the undefeated Baku Fires. Istanbul Bosphorus will look to assert their authority against the confident Mexico City Guerreros and the Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder team welcome the Bangkok Elephants in Italy as the quarter-finals loom large. Willie McLaughlin of the Illies GG club will be in action for the Milano squad.
Edge of your seat drama, the teams now have only two matches left to decide their final league positions. Crucial time for the boxers too as they run out of opportunities to get those valuable points that will help them make the Individual Finals. High-intensity fights guaranteed. Do not miss any of the action with all matches broadcast LIVE on www.worldseriesboxingtv.com
Match of the week
The Leipzig Leopards have brought out the big hitters for this one as they seek to inflict a first defeat of the season on the impressive Baku Fires. Having started the campaign so well, the Leopards have struggled of late. However with 2010 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist and Lightweight sensation Artur Bril back in action, Stefan Härtel also in the mix and the explosive 23-year-old Light Heavyweight Kevin Künzel taking to the ring, the German based Franchise has what it takes to claim victory and cement second place in Group B. Once more the Baku Fires will line-up some powerful fighters, with experienced Bantamweight Magomed Abdulhamidov leading the charges. With a further three Azeri fighters taking to the ring, including 19-year-old debutant, southpaw Vatan Huseyni, to face Künzel, this match at the atmospheric Maritim Hotel in Halle will have it all.
Fight of the week
Last year’s top ranked Lightweight Yerzhan Mussafirov has a point to prove this season and will look to put his team on the path to victory as he faces the tough Belarusian undefeated southpaw Vazgen Safaryants. This is sure to be one intense battle between two of the most accomplished and well-rounded boxers in that weight division. Dynamo Moscow’s Safaryants will be gunning for victory and a place in the Individual Finals, whereas Astana Arlans’ Mussafirov will be looking to send a clear message to his rivals.
Rest of the action
With three teams in Group A on equal points and two of these going head-to-head this Friday, Dynamo Moscow vs. Astana Arlans will be power-packed as these two Eastern titans battle it out for supremacy. The last time these two met, we had an absolute classic, a real nail-biter that was decided in the last round of the last Heavyweight contest. Such an intense rivalry always guarantees fireworks. Look out for Moscow’s Middleweight Maxim Gazizov; this fleet-footed orthodox Russian is a savvy fighter, very cultured. He will face 21-year-old Miras Bairkhanov who has recorded two TKOs in as many fights this season. Another representative of the Russian outfit will be Light Heavyweight Danil Shved, yet to lose in his first season in the WSB. It could all boil down once more to the Heavyweight contest, which will be a cracker, Moscow’s 22-year-old Vitaly Kudukhov will look to gain the upper hand on Astana’s orthodox Hungarian Istvan Bernath. There will be suspense till the very end with this one.
After suffering two successive defeats, the Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder team will want to bounce back and declare that they are back, and top spot in Group A is theirs. First they must defeat the visiting Bangkok Elephants. The Franchise from Thailand is still finding its feet in the competition and the intelligent Italian squad will have the arsenal to deal with whatever is thrown at them. 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist Veaceslav Gojan will get proceedings under way in the Bantamweight contest against the unknown Thai Apichet Petchmanee. Irishman William McLaughlin, always a crowd pleaser, will put on a show in the Middleweight contest as he tests himself against 26-year-old Anong Artwichian. Recruited from the Miami Gallos, Imre Szello will make his long awaited debut for the Milano Thunder in the Light Heavyweight contest. This hard-hitting Hungarian took a few scalps in his first season and will once again turn on the style when he takes to the ring against Ioannis Militopoulos.
Group B will see a strong Mexico City Guerreros team travel to Turkey to face the resurgent Istanbul Bosphorus. A lot at stake in this one. If the Istanbul Bosphorus can take the win, they will move into fourth position in the Group and qualification to the quarter-finals could become a real possibility. On the other hand, if the Guerreros take all three points then they could guarantee their passage to the knock-out stages. With Lightweight Juan Romero and fan’s favourite Swedish southpaw Kennedy Katende looking to make an impact for the visitors, this will be a very close match. Once again though, many will be looking forward to the Heavyweight contest between two of the most experienced fighters in that division.
Boxer to watch
Elias Emigdio of the Mexico City Guerreros could move up into qualification places for the Bantamweight Individual Final if he defeats his rival this Friday. The 20-year-old orthodox Mexican is as quick as they come and loves to boss his bouts from the first bell. Young and talent, this pocket dynamo has a real bright future ahead of him.
What was said…
“We know we have to handle it. We do feel a very big responsibility for the management, the fans and of course our country. It is very important to keep the boxers calm. I try as much as possible to deflect this pressure and channel it in a positive way, towards achieving results and our goal of becoming WSB Champions”, declared Beibut Yeszhanov on the handling the expectations of their demanding fanbase
The Beijing Dragons vs. Paris United tie has been postponed until 21 February and the Los Angeles Matadors vs. Venky’s Mumbai Fighters tie has been cancelled due to a re-structure of the home team’s management.