The German Eagles will be riding high after their last fixture when they battled back from 2-1 down to win against a tough Ukraine Otamans side. This Friday 7 December (20:00 local time), the German outfit will once again seek to make home advantage count in Group A when they host an intriguing USA Knockouts line-up at the EWS Arena in Göppingen. The hosts will be banking on the quality of Veaceslav Gojan, Serge Michel and 2011 AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Erik Pfeifer to make the difference on the night.
In the night’s opening contest, Bantamweights (50-54kg) Gojan of German Eagles and the Knockouts’ American World Series of Boxing (WSB) debutant Shawn Simpson will do battle. After his scintillating performance in week one, when he defeated former teammate Vincenzo Picardi, the experienced 29-year-old orthodox Moldovan Gojan should have the measure of his opponent.
Next up will be the Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown between promising German talent Kastriot Sopa and orthodox Texan Eric ‘Fearless’ Fowler. Sopa has won several National Youth Championships and many within the Eagles’ squad expect him to come of age this season. The USA Knockouts’ Fowler is now in his third WSB season, with nine bouts to his name, so will represent a stern challenge for the 20-year-old German.
Fowler was bullish about his fight, declaring, “I feel great, been training really hard over the past few weeks. Went back to my hometown of Houston, Texas, and got back to the basics, which included great sparring. Every fighter within the WSB is a great opponent, so facing Kastriot Sopa is just another day at the office for me. I feel strong going into this fight, a lot better than the first week and hope to put on a great show for everyone, including the US Military that are stationed out in Germany”.
22-year-old Xhek Paskali is another promising German coming through the ranks but in his first WSB outing in week two, the Middleweight (68-73kg) struggled to contain his rival. This time around, he will hope to have learnt a great deal from his first foray in the competition when he is pitted against the Knockouts’ William Williams. The American was hailed as the next big thing when he made his breakthrough three years ago but his career has not yet taken off. This contest will be an intriguing one with it being vital for both boxers to make their mark.
Serge Michel, who defeated 2011 WSB Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) Champion Abdelhafid Benchabla in his first appearance for the Eagles, will be charged with taking down the threat posed by one of the competition’s heavy-hitters, Swedish southpaw Kennedy Katende. The 24-year-old German will be looking to use the element of surprise against his savvy opponent, with the objective being to claim another famous scalp. The unpredictable Katende is the outstanding boxer in the Knockouts’ squad and he will want to lead his troops by example.
Box office Heavyweight (91+kg) Pfeifer will then bring the show to a close when he locks horns with the visitors’ tall Hungarian 23-year-old Istvan Bernath. The German orthodox fighter delighted the crowds when he last took to the ring with a classy TKO victory, and now the fans at the EWS Arena will be hoping for more of the same. Bernath however is a strong fighter who can beat anyone on his day.
London 2012 Olympian Pfeifer told us, “I watched a few of Bernath’s fights online and I was impressed. It also gave me the opportunity to devise my tactical plan for the bout. I am feeling in great shape and the video analysis also helped me focus, I feel well prepared for this season”. On the opposing team, he added, “The USA Knockouts have travelled with a strong team but we do not fear them, in fact we are relishing this encounter”.
Tickets are still available for this event and with the German Eagles always certain to put on a great show; this is one that should not be missed