The Salle Hocine-Chaalane in Blida will host the intriguing World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group A clash between local team Algeria Desert Hawks and Mexico Guerreros this Friday 8 February (19:00 local time) with the visitors assured of their place in the knockout stages with a win. The Hawks will be fighting for pride and with two-time Olympian Abdelkader Chadi, up-and-coming Ilyas Abbadi and hard-hitting Malian Aboulaye Diane in their ranks; they have high hopes of recording their first victory this season.
The action will get underway with the Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest between the Hawks’ 22-year-old Algerian orthodox Mohamed Flissi and Mexican pro fighter Cristian Jesus Torres Becerra. It should be very evenly matched. Flissi is at a slight height disadvantage so will have to move inside if he is to gain the upper hand in the exchanges whereas Torres Becerra will be looking to make that reach of his count.
The mouth-watering Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown will see vastly experienced Algerian Chadi, WSB Team Champion with Paris United in season one and multiple times African Champion, pitted against 2012 WSB Individual Champion Juan Romero. The two met last campaign in a heated affair which saw Romero prevail by split decision. The 23-year-old orthodox Mexican is now unbeaten in his last two seasons in the competition and just seems to get better and better so, unfortunately for Chadi, is the odds-on favourite for victory in this one.
After a confidence-boosting win in week five, Algeria’s Abbadi will be looking to build on his impressive performance last time around when he faces Juan Antonio Mercado at Middleweight (68-73kg). Both are the same age and have about the same height so it should be very evenly balanced in between the two. Abbadi however will be keen to impress the local fans and with two bouts under his belt already this campaign goes into the fight with a slight psychological edge with his Mexican 20-year-old rival not having competed in WSB for over a year.
At Light Heavyweight (80-85kg), it will be 28-year-old Algerian Nabil Kassel, still to record a victory this season, and hard-hitting Croatian southpaw Bojan Miskovic battling it out for supremacy. Miskovic was a real revelation last year, claiming two sumptuous wins for the Guerreros, so he will be keen to remain undefeated against a tricky opponent.
The last contest of the night will see the Hawks’ no-nonsense Diane locking horns with tall 23-year-old Serbian Milutin Stankovic. The Malian will have no doubt gotten tips from teammate Bouloudinats who inflicted defeat on Stankovic in a thriller last season and after claiming victory against a much taller rival last time around, Diane will once again feel that he can overcome the challenge posed by the Guerreros orthodox fighter.
A win for Mexico Guerreros would see them progress to the quarter-final stages with second place in the Group almost secure. Algeria have been unlucky with the way results have gone this season but with such a strong team, will surely cause the visitors a few problems.