Still undefeated in Group A and getting stronger, Azerbaijan Baku Fires are leaving nothing to chance for their match against Hussars Poland this Saturday 12 January (19:00 local time) at the Olympic Sports Center ‘Serhedchi’ with two reigning World Series of Boxing (WSB) Individual Champions and one former AIBA World Champion all set to take to the ring. With Gairbek Germakhanov, Ramazan Magomedau and Albert Selimov in their ranks, it should be a big night for the home team.
Last season’s top ranked Bantamweight (50-54kg) Germakhanov will open up proceedings with the 25-year-old scheduled to fight Poland’s teenaged WSB debutant Grzegorz Kozlowski. The Azeri orthodox fighter, with a 8-1 record in the competition, has both the experience and the reach advantage here, so it will be a tough introduction for the young Pole. Kozlowski will have hours of footage of his opponent to study so will probably rely on the element of surprise against one of the league’s toughest customers.
2007 AIBA World Champion Selimov has begun life in WSB in barnstorming fashion, notching up two wins from two in the Lightweight (57-61kg) category without losing a single round on any of the judges’ scorecards. Considering these impressive stats, it is hard to see how 24-year-old Jacek Wylezol can get anything out of this one, having suffered two losses already this season.
Poland’s Wylezol said of his fight, “I feel very well prepared, I know Selimov is a tough opponent, he was a World Champion, but he is southpaw and this is a key for me, I feel better fighting boxers who have an opposite stance to mine”. On WSB he declared, “The quality of boxing is of the highest level and it is an immense experience for me. Our training and preparations are adapting to that level and I feel that I am getting better and better”.
Belarusian sensation Mikalai Vesialou will then returns for Azerbaijan at Middleweight (68-73kg) in his first appearance this campaign after impressing in his three wins last year. The hard-hitting 25-year-old orthodox fighter will battle unknown quantity Dawid Pac. Once again the Hussars will be looking to make the element of surprise count here.
Undefeated Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) king Magomedau, once of the most tactically astute boxers in the competition, will then take to the ring to lock horns with Poland’s tough Ukrainian Serhiy Radchenko. 11 wins and no losses over three seasons make the 27-year-old Magomedau one of the most feared fighters around. Radchenko will have to find something special in order to defeat this colossus.
When quizzed about his upcoming fight, Magomedau told us, “Saturday is an important night with Poland coming to town. I know for a fact that Radchenko is very good tactically so it will be very interesting to see how the bout unfolds”. On his preparations, he said, “I took the time to relax over the festive period with my wife and daughter. As a result, I feel re-energised, ready and eager to take on the rest of the season”.
In the final battle of the night, the Fires will be presenting their promising 23-year-old Heavyweight (91+kg) Uzeypat Ismailov. The strong orthodox fighter will be pitted against the Poland’s slippery Belarusian Yan Sudzilouski. It promises to be very evenly matched in this one so it will be hard to predict which way the victory will go, but with home advantage, Ismailov should have the edge.
With so much firepower lining-up for Azerbaijan, their fans will be expectant of a big result. Poland will have to dig deep if they want to stay in touch with the leading pack in this Group.