Defending Champions Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder and impressive Ukraine Otamans will meet for the first time this Friday 12 April 2013 (21:00 local time) at the Casino Campione of Campione d’Italia for the first semi-final of this World Series of Boxing (WSB) season.
Italians advanced to the Final Four in a raging style after winning both quarter-final matches against Hussars Poland. Ukraine started the season a bit in the shadow but accelerated the tempo week after week before revealing its full power at the end of the Regular Season and eliminating Azerbaijan Baku Fires in the play-offs.
Italian Bantamweight (50-54 kg) Vittorio Parrinello is known to be very patient, waiting for the slightest opponent’s weakness to attack quickly. His rival will be 23 year old Viktor Gogolyev who defeated Mexico Guerreros’ Braulio Avila in week four. Both boxers have a very similar style but Parrinello will step onto the ring with much more experience.
The Lightweight (57-61kg) bout will come up next with huge anticipation between Thunder’s Branimir Stankovic and World and Olympic silver medallist, Denys Berinchyk. The Serbian will represent the Italian side for the second time in a row in the WSB semi-finals and will most likely try to impose the rhythm in front of his “home” crowd. Berinchyk has always a very aggressive tactic and delivers some of the most punishing hits around. His explosive style will offer the fans a great show.
At Middleweight (68-73 kg), William McLaughlin is expected to bring one point to Italy. The Irishman has so far won six fights in Season II and Season III. He tasted defeat only once, against tough Ukrainian revelation Dmytro Mytrofanov, and might see his fight against inexperienced Ievgenii Barabanov as the opportunity to get back on track. The Ukrainian, the current National Elite Champion, will be making his WSB debuts.
Next up at Light Heavyweight (80-85 kg), Hungarian powerhouse Imre Szello has three years of WSB experience under his belt. Italia’s fighter will be high on confidence when he meets 20-year-old Denys Solonenko. The Ukrainian was defeated three times this season and might have to come up with something really special to have a chance.
The most anticipated bout of the night will come at Heavyweight (91+ kg) with Thunder’s former pro fighter Matteo Modugno scheduled to battle with World and Olympic superstar, Oleksandr Usyk. Modugno can always argue having claimed four back-to-back victories this season, but Usyk remains the clear favourite, mixing sublime technique with devastating power. When questioned about his thoughts on the fight, Usyk declared: “It is crucial for me that our team gives as much as possible a taste of its quality in these semi-finals. And I know that the guys are quite decided about that”.