With home advantage this Saturday 23 February (23:00 local time), Argentina Condors know that in order to have any chance of qualifying for the World Series of Boxing (WSB) knockout stages, they need maximum points versus Russia at the Estadio Norberto Tomas in Bahia Blanca. Their hopes lie with the Argentine trio of Juan Javier Carrasco Herrera, Juan Jose Velasco Chanampa and the undefeated top ranked Light Heavyweight sensation Yamil Peralta to deliver on the night.
The action will begin with the battle between experienced 28-year-old Condors Bantamweight (50-54kg) Ignacio Perrin and fledgling Russian talent Mukhammad Shekhov. The Argentine orthodox fighter has yet to taste success in WSB with two defeats to his name, although these came against 2007 AIBA World Champion Albert Selimov and 2011 WSB Individual Championships finalist Elias Emigdio, so he will be fired up when he faces Shekhov, who has exactly the same record in the competition.
At Lightweight (57-61kg), young Carrasco Herrera will be pitted againstViktor Batalov in what promises to very evenly matched contest. The Argentine 20-year-old knows the competition well with this being his second campaign in WSB whilst Batalov looked an accomplished boxer in his last outing in week three. The orthodox Carrasco Herrera will be banking on his reach and the boisterous support of the local fans to help him achieve victory.
With four fights under his belt already this season, a lot is now expected of the skilful Velasco Chanampa when he challenges 23-year-old Gamzat Gazaliev in the Middlewight (68-73kg) contest. Velasco Chanampa, 25, looked assured when boxing on home turf in week three and his corner will be hoping for more of the same in his fight with the speedy Russian.
Top ranked Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) Peralta has simply been irresistible in his debut campaign, notching four wins from four, and he will be looking to extend that perfect start in his face-off with tough customer Daniel Shved, whose WSB record reads 4-1. This probably represents 21-year-old Peralta’s toughest test to date with the Russian a no-nonsense fighter with a keen tactical mind.
After finding himself on the losing side in the absolute epic versus Hussars Poland’s Mateusz Malujda in week eight, the Condors’ imposing Heavyweight (91+kg) Facundo Cesar Ghiglione will get another chance to showcase his skills when he battles the deceptively fast 24-year-old undefeated RussianMaxim Babanin. This should be another cracker with these two boxers always looking to land that knockout blow.
Argentina need the victory at all cost to stay in the hunt for a quarter-final qualification place and knowing they face Russia again on the 9 March, they will be giving their all to ensure that they have that psychological edge before their next meeting.