With only one day to go before the start of the 2013 World Series of Boxing (WSB) Team Finals boxers from the two finalist teams, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan and the Ukraine Otamans have now weighed in.
The finals will be divided across two days; Friday 10th and Saturday 11thMay 2013 and will feature ten boxers from each team. Five will go head to head on each day to determine who has the greatest team in the world of pro-style boxing. The finals will be taking place in Astana Kazakhstan.
The five athletes on each side who are competing on Friday (at 20:00 local time – GMT + 6) all successfully made weight today.
The main excitement around both camps was caused by the announcement that 2012 Olympic Lightweight Gold Medallist and two-time World Champion Lomachenko will be available for the Otamans’ team after earlier being ruled out with an injury. His return sets up a dream match for fans against the Arlans team captain Bashenov. Bashenov, who is undefeated this season, is one of the most skilful boxers in WSB and is one of the few credited with having the potential to defeat the dangerous Ukrainian.
Despite a ferocious rivalry in the ring both teams actually share very cordial relations. The Ukraine Otamans General Manager Dmitriy Gaistruk explained: “We are very proud to be here in the WSB Team Finals for our very first season in the competition. We thank Kazakhstan for its warm welcome. We respect the Arlans, they have a great team. However I can ensure you that we came here to win, and only to win”.
Meanwhile, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan General Manager Bolat Mankenov also saluted his opponents: “We congratulate the Otamans for their performance this season. We already faced them twice and we know they will be hard to beat. But we are very confident”.
In their previous meetings during the Regular Season the Astana based team destroyed their Ukrainian opposition but the Otamans were not fielding their strongest side, which they inevitably will do during the finals.
Moreover, despite a poor away record this season Mankenov hopes that the travelling Otamans supporters will lift his team. “We know that our fans will help us. The team has promised me a surprise for this week. I hope it is the WSB Championship Trophy”.
How they Line up