Who will be the first team to reach the World Series of Boxing semi-finals? The answer will be given this Friday 29 March (19:30 local time) in Almaty where Astana Arlans Kazakhstan will host the Argentina Condors. Closely but defeated anyway in Buenos Aires last Sunday, the Kazakhs have named an impressively strong line-up to make sure they overcome the Argentinean obstacle.
Still unbeaten this season, Bantamweight (50-54kg) Bagdad Alimbekov will first have to face a tough rival in the shape of Ignacio Perrin. The 24-year-old Arlans southpaw, a WSB boxer since 2010, is well-known for his quick footwork and heavy punches. No matter if his opponent lost to Russian Albert Selimov and Mexican Elias Emigdio earlier in the group stage, every boxing fan remembers how he defeated another hard-hitter from Russia, Mukhammad Shekhov.
Inaugural season’s Individual Champion, Yerzhan Mussafirov will be the host Lightweight (57-61kg) of the evening, facing newcomer Brian Ivan Nuñez. Since his World title in 2011, the Kazakh orthodox fighter has had some difficulties in the league. However this season, he has won his two home outings, for two close defeats away. It will surely be an emotional start in WSB for 19-year-old Nuñez.
Best Israeli boxer, Middleweight (68-73kg) Konstantin Snigur has won all of his three home contests so far. Therefore he might be in a good position to continue his winning path against the inexperienced Henrri David Polanco. The Dominican orthodox has lost both of his WSB contests to date. In order to surpass Snigur’s aggressive style, Polanco will have no other choice than taking advantage of his longer arms and keep the distance.
The Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) battle will put together one of the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan’s best boxer, Ehsan Rouzbahani and Condors Facundo Nahuel Simal, who came back this season from a 11-0 professional career. We do expect an exciting fight here as southpaw Rouzbahani won his last three contests in WSB to prove his world-class skills. The Iranian had also reached the quarter-finals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Last but not least, Roman Kapitonenko will seek a first WSB success at Heavyweight (91+kg) against Angel Daniel Villalba. Kapitonenko’s international experience speaks for himself. But he was unlucky to start his WSB career with a loss to experienced Hungarian Istvan Bernath. Villalba is actually in the same situation, having lost to Chouaib Bouloudinats in his sole WSB bout.
In case Astana Arlans Kazakhstan was to win 3-2 at the Almaty Towers Business Center this Friday, the match would be decided at Middleweight (68-73kg) with Miras Bairkhanov facing Juan Jose Velasco.