Not only do we have six matches in one day this Saturday, but Group B is also offering three amazing derby matches to boxing fans this weekend. Passion will certainly run high as the teams in the “Group of Death” compete for local bragging rights. But who will come out on top?
Moreover, there is the table to consider. Will the defending champions, the Astana Arlans, remount their attack on the top of the leader board or will they be closed down by the deadly Russian team? Can Hussars Poland capitalise on their first bout won last weekend? Can the Guerreros shock the Cubans? All these questions and more will be answered this weekend in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
Cuba Domadores vs. Mexico Guerreros.
18/01/2014, 01:30 (GMT), Watch live for FREE on AIBAboxingTV.com
The Domadores team will take to the ring against the Guerreros, hoping to get slightly less roughed up than they did in their last two outings against the Astana Arlans and the WSB “Bad Boys”, the Baku Fires. Both teams took chunks out of the Cubans, but were unable to break the winning six match streak that dates back to the Domadores’ exhibition match and their first appearance in the WSB in August.
The Domadores line-up shows many of the world class faces we have come to recognise in previous weeks with World Champion Lazaro Alvarez leading the team out at Lightweight (60kg). Jose Larduet who won an astonishing TKO win over Croatian Filip Hrgovic, is back in at Super Heavyweight (91+kg) and Flyweight (52kg) Gerardo Cervantes is being given the chance to atone for his loss in Week 4 to the talented Miras Zhakupov of Astana Arlans Kazakhstan. But there are some new faces as well with Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo deputising for the Welterweight (69kg) World silver medallist Arisnoidys Despaigne this week to make his debut against Mexican Hector Reyes. At Light Heavyweight (81kg) we will get a first look at Emmanuel Reyes when he steps out against fellow debutant Petru Ciobanu of the Guerreros.
The Guerreros by contrast are fielding a team of the future with Super Heavyweight Gerardo Bisbal from Puerto Rico, bringing his excellent 6-2 record to the table. Realistically, the Mexicans will need Bisbal to be at his best and for either Hector Reyes or Ciobanu to snatch a win over their fellow debutants for the team to sneak out of Havana with a point, which would be a result no one else has yet achieved.
Azerbaijan Baku Fires vs. Astana Arlans Kazakhstan
18/01/2014, 15:00 (GMT), Watch live for FREE on AIBAboxingTV.com
This looks like it could be the most competitive match of the weekend, with the Azeri’s in fine form at the moment and fielding a very strong team against the defending champions. The Arlans are boosted by the return of their star Samat Bashenov at Lighweight. Their 6-2 boxer hasn’t fought since Week 2 but will have his work cut out for him against the Fires’ Albert Selimov. The Azeri has only ever lost to the great Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko and was the 2010 European Champion. The two have never met in the WSB and this could well be the bout of the weekend.
Unless of course it is usurped by the Super Heavyweight bout between the Arlans’ Ruslan Myrsatayev and Haji Murtuzaliyev, who with 25 bouts and only nine losses between them could also put on an impressive show. The advantage on paper seems to lie with the Kazakh (12-4), but in this sport you never can tell.
The Fires will want to capitalise on their positive showing in their last outing against Cuba and try to secure their playoff place, whilst the Alpha Wolves will be keen to shut the door firmly behind them to see off the Russian challenge to their second place in the group. That could be very important in the long run as it could mean facing the second placed team in Group A, (which is currently the dangerous Season II winners Italia Thunder) or the third placed team.
Hussars Poland vs. Russian Boxing Team
18/01/2014, 19:30 (GMT), Watch live for FREE on AIBAboxingTV.com
If you thought that the Cubans would be every team’s biggest match of the year, think again. There is no bigger match for the Hussars Poland than when they host their local rivals, the Russian Boxing Team. But if they were hoping that the Russians may save some of their top talent for the trip to the team at the bottom of the table, they will be disappointed. The visitors will open the evening with World Champion Misha Aloian at Flyweight. Grzegorz Kozlowski, who currently boasts a disappointing 0-3 record, will very much have his work cut out for him.
The Hussars may have a better shot at victory through Dawid Michelus (2-3) who has wins over the likes of World silver medallist Mohamed Flissi on his CV. He looks very closely matched on paper with Konstantin Bogomaz (1-1), so this should be a nice competitive bout for fans to enjoy. Alexander Besputin will be another to watch on the Russian team, he was the 2012 national champion, which is not an award they hand out very lightly in Russia. His performances in the World Championships were almost frightening: take this report from the quarter-finals for example: “Alexander Besputin has impressed many in the media section here in Kazakhstan. Several journalists are already discussing his chances of winning outright and giving each other knowing nods when his name is announced. The truth is that he just seems to be a cut above the rest in his category. Extremely strong, fast and with a good technical brain, Besputin is certainly very dangerous. Whether or not he goes all the way, he still produces wonderful boxing that is fantastic to watch, so make sure you don’t miss him in his next outing.”
It will certainly be worth tuning in for this one…