With both teams still winless after three fixtures, Ukraine Otamans and USA Knockouts will be going all out to claim their maiden World Series Boxing (WSB) victory when they face each other this Friday 14 December (20.30 local time) at the Terminal in Brovary. With home advantage, the Otamans will be hoping their foursome of debutants and Ivan Golub do the business against a team boasting some very experienced campaigners.
Ukraine’s 23-year-old Viktor Gogolyev will be taking to the ring in the first contest of the evening to face uncompromising Mexican Bantamweight (50-54kg) Braulio Avila Juarez. The Knockouts’ orthodox fighter, now in his third season in WSB, is a fast and intelligent operator who relishes a battle at close quarters. Avila Juarez’s 7-4 record could be misleading, when you consider his last two defeats were split decision losses. This one will really test Gogolyev’s mettle.
Volodymyr Matviychuk of Ukraine will also be making his competitive bow during the match; the Otamans Lightweight (57-61kg) orthodox will battle none other than French 2008 Olympic silver medallist Daouda Sow in the evening second bout. The Knockouts’ latest recruit, with a 12-0 record in the pro ranks, has been eager to test himself in this tough league (Read his interview).
The Classy Frenchman told us, “After turning pro following the Beijing Games, I felt a tinge of regret at the fact that I would never be able to relive that experience. Now with WSB, there is a chance that I could qualify for Rio 2016. It gives me so much motivation. The competition is really tough but I know I can get there with hard work”. On the opposition, he added, “Ukraine produces a huge number of quality boxers so the team this Friday is guaranteed to be strong. Without having been able to find much information on Matviychuk, I will focus on my strength and weaknesses and adapt to him”.
The most experienced boxer in the Ukrainian line-up will be Middleweight (67-73kg) Golub following his solitary appearance in the competition, when he defeated German Eagles’ Xhek Paskali over five rounds. The 23-year-old Otamans fighter will be pitted against another southpaw, American Jeffrey Camp.
The Ukrainian was eager to get in the ring, declaring, “We have been training really hard for this one, the sparring has been quality and I feel in top shape. I am very confident in both myself and our gameplan, our team will win and I will beat Jeffrey Camp”.
Two newcomers to the competition will then go toe-to-toe at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) with Denys Solonenko versus the Knockouts’ 27-year-old Bosnian Dzemal Bosnjak. The Ukrainian fought once in the pro ranks and won his contest in style, now he is looking to delight the home fans with his brand of no-holds barred action.
The final contest of the night will see tall Viktor Vykhrest of Ukraine locking horns with 21-year-old Irish Sean ‘Showtime’ Turner at Heavyweight (91+kg). The height and reach of the home boxer should be enough to see off the threat posed by the 21-year-old orthodox fighter from Ireland.
Backed by their supporters, the inexperienced Ukraine Otamans should have enough about them to overcome the challenge posed by the impressive outfit from USA.