The Iconic York Hall is expected to be the theatre of some amazing battles this Friday 22 March (20:00 local time) when Great Britain host the Mexico Guerreros in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) quarter-finals. The impressive Lionhearts roster – Andrew Selby, John Joe Nevin, Aston Brown, Joe Ward and Joe Joyce – will give its very best to take a serious advantage before travelling to the Americas next week.
The evening will start at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) with Irish counterpuncher Ward, a boxer already capable of beating anyone in the World despite his tender age (19). Very patient, he’s always waiting for the best opportunities to land his heavy punches. Defending European Champion, Ward has so far won four of his five WSB outings and will therefore be the clear favourite when he battles with Albanian southpawChristian Demaj (0-2).
It is difficult to predict anything from the Middleweight (68-73kg) fight between Scotland’s orthodox Brown and Irishman Conrad Cummings.Brown has so far lost both of his WSB bouts this season and might need to surpass himself if he wants to secure a first success for his first home appearance. Even if his opponent has only made his international debut in 2011, his very promising results speak for himself. Cummings’ style combines strong defence and speedy attacks. An extremely close contest is expected.
Brown stated: “I’ve watched my opponent on tape a couple of times and I think it should be a good bout. He likes to come forward and throw punches whereas I like to stay back and box at range so we have contrasting styles which should make it quite a contest”.
Selby will then step into the ring as the current Bantamweight (50-54kg) WSB boss with five wins, zero losses this season. His motto – and his best enemy -, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing”. But if the “Welsh Wonder” finds his range, no one can stop him. Taller by almost ten centimetres than teenager southpaw Aaron Alameda, the Lionheart is offered the perfect occasion to showcase his talent.
“My next opponent will be tough – like all Mexicans”, said Selby. “But if I maintain my good form and continue to box and move, then I am hopeful that I can come away with a victory and extend my unbeaten run”.
Maybe the best defender in the Lightweight (57-61kg) category, London 2012 silver medallist, Nevin is known for operating with quick counter-attacks. After a clean second term with Paris United in 2011/2012 (three wins, zero loss), the Irish is now at 1-1 this season. He proved to be the only Irish fighter who could win two medals in the history of the AIBA World Boxing Championships and another favourite for the Lionhearts. His opponent, Fernando Alvarez is again a teenager – with a 3-1 record though – and one to watch in the future.
Expected to close the curtains with fireworks, Heavyweight (91+kg) Joyce is, despite his late arrival in the boxing world, promised a bright future. The tall (197cm) orthodox has defeated his first four rivals – including one TKO against former pro Matteo Modugno – until he lost to Ukraine Otamans’ superstarOleksandr Usyk in Week 10. Joyce is currently ranked third in his weight category but will need to stay fully focused when he faces Mexico Guerreros’ strong Serbian Milutin Stankovic (1-4).