This week’s key battle in Group A looks set to be the stylish Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder taking on Group leaders, the Eagles of Team Germany, at home as the C2 weight group featuring the Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg), takes to the ring.
Will the German’s impressive start to the season continue or can the Italia Thunder and Ukraine Otamans reel them in? Will the USA Knockouts get back to back wins with a team of veterans or will Algeria get their first points on the board? We discuss this and more.
Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder vs. Team Germany
Despite all the pre-season talk being focused on the Ukraine Otamans and Italia Thunder, it is in fact the German outfit that is topping the table so far, with a total of five wins and no defeat in their single match so far against the Algeria Desert Hawks. The Italians will want to crush German optimism this weekend and put themselves in control of the group early. With main rivals, the Ukraine Otamans, having the easier task of the Argentina Condors, this has now become a key battle for the Italians. The importance both teams are placing on the match can be seen in their respective line-ups. Veteran campaigner Vincenzo Picardi will get his fourth season underway in the opening match of the evening against German new boy Maleika Steven at Flyweight. The scrappy Domenico Valentino is straight back from winning a World bronze medal in October. Another Italian veteran, he will still have his hands full with Irishman David Joyce who will be boxing for the Eagles at Lightweight. Indeed the pair met in Season I with Joyce taking the win.Another bout to watch of course will be the Super Heavyweight clash between former British Lionheart Joseph Joyce, who makes his Italia Thunder debut and Kidin Ali of Team Germany. Only Olympic gold medallist Oleksandr Usyk was able to stop Joyce last year, which doesn’t bode well for Ali.
Ukraine Otamans vs. Argentina Condors
Last season’s runners up, the Ukraine Otamans will want to take full advantage of this home fixture against an Argentina side that has struggled so far this season. The trip from Buenos Aires to Kiev also represents the largest in the group, and the Otamans will want to capitalise on any jet-lag that the Condors could suffer from. Nonetheless they have also chosen to hand debuts to two new boxers, Flyweight Kazat Usenaliev and Super Heavyweight Iegor Plevakowhilst Denys Lazarev and Oleksandr Ganzulia both retain their places in the starting line-up following their Week 1 wins against the USA Knockouts. The Condors are also starting with two new boxers in Luis Veron and Leandro Luna at Welterweight and Super Heavyweight respectively, but will be looking to veteran Luis Bravo who goes into his 2nd WSB season with a record of 2-1, to try to give the Condors a boost. Can the Otamans take advantage of the difficult group match between Germany and Italy to top the table or will the traveling Condors cause an upset?
Algeria Desert Hawks vs. USA Knockouts Algeria host their first home match of the Season against the USA Knockouts. The Desert Hawks have yet to win a bout this year following the Week 1 away thumping to Team Germany and the postponement of their scheduled Week 2 match against Italia Thunder. Despite this fact, the Algerians are fielding a team with just two wins between them in the WSB, both of which come from Light Heavyweight Nabil Kassel who will be a key man for the Algerian Franchise this weekend against Knockouts debutant Osmar Bravo from Nicaragua. The USA team meanwhile are actually in a statistically worse situation since they are handing debuts to the entire team apart from Paul Koon III at Super Heavyweight who has only competed in the WSB once before (1-0). This will be an interesting one to watch, with both teams opting to give experience to their new team members. For one side, the tactic will work well but for the other it is doomed to fail. Who will prevail?