There was a raucous atmosphere at the Salle Hocine-Chaalane in Blida to see Algeria Desert Hawks claim a maiden World Series of Boxing (WSB) win in Group A against Mexico Guerreros. Mohamed Flissi, two-time Olympian Abdelkader Chadi, up-and-coming Ilyas Abbadi and hard-hitting Malian Aboulaye Diane all put in star performances on a night to remember for the home team.
The action got underway with the Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest between the Hawks’ 22-year-old Algerian orthodox Flissi and Mexican pro fighter Cristian Jesus Torres Becerra. The home fighter’s boxed well in the opening two rounds, throwing some good solid jabs before unloading some good left hooks. Moving well, Flissi was looking in a confident mood as picked his opponent off on the counter to claim the third before the 22-year-old upped his intensity to also take the fourth. Torres Becerra tried hard but could not get to grips with an inspired Flissi, who went on to triumph to put Algeria in the lead.
It was fast and furious in the Lightweight (57-61kg) head-to-head as the vastly experienced Algerian Chadi, a WSB Team Champion with Paris United in season one, was pitted against 2012 WSB Individual ChampionJuan Romero. The Mexican’s reach advantage and speedy combinations had him dominant, and showing a quality variation in his punches, he claimed the first two rounds in style. Chadi came back strong in the third and fourth, putting some good punches together with the body shots doing the damage as he clawed his way back into the fight to go into the final frame level. The 23-year-old orthodox Mexican looked lethargic and struggled against the endeavour of Chadi who claimed the fifth round to take the victory and put his team 2-0 up on the night.
Algeria’s Abbadi made it a second win on the trot after the 20-year-old put in a dominant display against Juan Antonio Mercado at Middleweight (68-73kg). Using his range and some good one-two combinations, the fledgling Algerian star was fired up during each of the five pulsating rounds. His Mexican rival played his part in a frenetic contest but the victory belonged to Abbadi after he put in an assured display which guaranteed the Desert Hawks their first victory of the season.
At Light Heavyweight (80-85kg), 28-year-old Algerian Nabil Kassel was involved in a scrappy affair with hard-hitting Croatian southpaw Bojan Miskovic. The two orthodox fighters were throwing a huge volume of punches at each other right from the off, but once again it was the home boxer who was dominant as time and time again his choice of shots and solid combinations saw him get the nod from the judges. Kassel, who had underwhelmed in WSB until then, had found an extra gear for this fight and you could not fault his work rate as he recorded his first win in the competition, delighting the vast number of supporters in the arena.
The last contest of the night saw the Hawks’ no-nonsense Diane put tall 23-year-old Serbian Milutin Stankovic to the sword at Heavyweight (+91kg), unloading some punishing shots on his opponent to claim the first. The Malian looked hungry for victory right from the onset, moving well and getting past the long reach of his opponent to work him on the inside. Diane’s power was sensational as he dominated Stankovic for most of the five rounds to make it two wins from two this season and making it a sensational night for the Desert Hawks.
Algeria welcome Russia at the Salle Harcha Hassan next Friday 15 February (19:00 local time) in a match postponed from week 6 whilst Mexico welcome Azerbaijan Baku Fires at fortress Foro Polanco on Friday 22 February (21:00 local time).