There will be a lot riding on the result of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group A match between hosts Algeria Desert Hawks and Hussars Poland this Sunday 24 February (19:00 local time) at the Salle Hocine-Chaalane in Blida. Algeria know that they can afford to slip up with maximum points needed to keep them in contention for a quarter-final place. After all recording wins in week eight, the home team have once again turned to speedy Mohamed Flissi, two-time Olympian Abdelkader Chadi, the up and coming Ilyas Abbadi and the experienced Nabil Kassel to get them that all important result.
With an impressive maiden win in the last round of fixtures, 23-year-oldFlissi will be brimming with confidence coming into his Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest versus Polish teenager Dawid Pawel Michelus. The Algeria orthodox fighter seemed to relish being able to box in front of his own fans so the spectators will be expecting a repeat of his last performance this weekend. Michelus, a 2010 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist, enjoyed a solid victory last time out so it could prove to be highly entertaining encounter.
At Lightweight (57-61kg), Desert Hawks star boxer Chadi will look to extend his unbeaten run to six fights when he locks horns with 25-year-old Polish WSB debutant Damian Wrzesinski. The vastly experienced Algerian, multiple times African Champion, will be favourite once again for this one with his endeavour and know-how surely set to be too much for his opponent.
After recording two wins on the trot, 20-year-old Abbadi is slowly starting to fulfil his early promise and with a sumptuous performance a fortnight ago, the young orthodox will be fired up to once again wow the fans on home soil. Power and precision have been his hallmark this season and his corner have said that he is only getting better and many predict that his Middleweight (68-73kg) meeting with Dawid Pac will show that he is made for the pro format.
It promises to be extremely tough for Kassel in the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) contest with the 28-year-old set to face the Hussars’ Belarusian sensationSergei Kuzmin, who boasts three victories from three this season. The Algerian will have to take his boxing to the next level if he is to match the quality shot-making skills of his rival. 24-year-old Kuzim is a hard-working power-puncher who enjoys wearing down his opponents by working the body so Kassel will have to be at his counter-punching best if he is to get anything out of this one.
33-year-old Algerian veteran Kamel Rahmani will then be making his WSB debut at Heavyweight (91+kg) with the orthodox fighter set to battle Yan Sudzilouski. It will be very interesting to see how the 2011 All-Africa Games Champion fares against the Belarusian, who has yet to taste victory in this competition. These two are big burly fighters who enjoy a good scrap so it should make for compulsive viewing.
With so much at stake for both teams, expect it to be tight throughout. Hussars need a win to guarantee quarter-final qualification whilst Algeria have to claim the three points to remain in contention.