Tension and excitement is expected all over the 7000-seater Palace of Sports in Kyiv this Friday 22 March (20:00 local time) when Heavyweights (91+kg) superstars Oleksandr Usyk and Magomedrasul Medzhidov will step into the ring for the fifth and final bout of the Ukraine Otamans vs. Azerbaijan Baku Fires World Series of Boxing (WSB) quarter-final.
Defending AIBA Super Heavyweight (91+kg) World Champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, Medzhidov was awarded Best AIBA Elite Man Boxer in 2011 while AIBA Heavyweight (91kg) World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Usyk received the same honour a few months ago after his impressive performance in London. Their upcoming battle is expected to be one of the most exciting bouts in the history of WSB.
Ukraine Otamans superstar started his sporting career in football but switched to boxing on a whim at the age of 15 after receiving a red card in a match. The 190cm tall southpaw was one of the stand-out performers of the London 2012 Olympic Games where he claimed the title in style. After his triumph at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011, he delighted fans worldwide with his all-action displays and his ‘Hopak’ dance celebration.
Hugely charismatic, technically gifted and deceptively fast, the 26-year-old is Simferopol’s pride and has so far a clean 3-0 record in WSB. Following his victories over British Lionhearts’ Uaine Fa, German Eagles’ Eric Brechlin and Lionhearts’ Joseph Joyce, Usyk is hungry for an additional success on his home soil. But for that he will have to face probably his biggest foe to date.
Medzhidov embraced boxing relatively late at the age of 19 and grew as a fighter and developed an impressive technique following a successful inaugural season in WSB with Azerbaijan Baku Fires. The orthodox fighter was undefeated in seven bouts during the Regular Season thus qualifying for the Individual Championships where he was narrowly beaten by Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder poster-boy, Clemente Russo.
Just a few weeks later, he was reaching his career highlight in front of his home crowd after winning the AIBA Super Heavyweight World title in the Azeri capital. This season, he was just too strong for Russia’s Vitaly Kudukhov and Mexico Guerreros’ Alex Rivera. Altogether, his WSB record shows a massive 8-1 with more than 50% of his fights finishing before the final gong.
Two heavy-hitters in a potential decisive bout, in front of a 7,000-seater packed venue… You won’t have any excuse to miss that one