Manager of Mexico Guerreros Gerardo Saldívar talks about his impressions on the World Series of Boxing Draw for Season V, where there won’t only be the WSB title at stake; there are 17 quota places for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Gerardo, firstly, what do you think of your group?
It’s a very competitive group. Moreover, each season the level of quality and in the competition improves dramatically in the WSB, more than in any other boxing tournament in the world.
In the first week of the season you will travel to Ukraine in a possible direct match for the play-offs, how will such an important fixture coming so early in the season affect your preparation?
Mexico Guerreros will be ready at the start of the competition. The WSB starts in January so it’s good for us. A lot of boxers will participate in the Central American Championships in Veracruz in November and they will arrive with more experience. There will be an added incentive against Ukraine because it will be the first time we fight them. We have tremendous respect for the Otamans, they have some very high quality boxers. From experience, we know that all matches are important matches and from day one, the Guerreros will look for their place to qualify for Río 2016.
There are two new franchises in your group, Morocco and China. Do you see this as an advantage, because they will be inexperienced, in the competition, or will they have an advantage because their boxers are unknown?
At this moment there isn’t any team with disadvantages, all boxers will give their best in the ring and it would be a mistake get complacent. If the WSB approved the new teams it is because they have a high level of boxing and we have to prepare ourselves one hundred per cent as fights are won in the ring. Long journeys and the frequency of the fights will take its toll on a team that doesn’t prepare well.
What do you expect from these two new teams?
All new WSB teams have a strong boxing tradition. The effort of their National Federations and countries entering a team into WSB means that they have the support of their people. They arrive with extra motivation to qualify for the Olympic Games. In Venezuela’s case, we always have a big rivalry with them. I’m sure that Venezuela will give a lot of satisfaction to their people and will improve the level of boxing in the World Series of Boxing. We wish the new teams all the best in everything and we hope to possibly meet Venezuela in the Play-Offs.
With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in mind, who are you particularly wary of in your group, Russia, Ukraine or even the current Champions Cuba Domadores?
We aren’t intimidated by anyone, we are competitive, we are Guerreros, and we have that feeling in our blood. It’s something of the Mexican boxing tradition. All of us know well the other teams and it will not be easy for anyone. Last season we did give a lot of boxers their debut and they gained experience in the WSB and are now hungry of success.
What are the objectives for the team in Season V? Will we see the Guerreros return to the knockout stages of the competition?
The objectives are very clear and they include the team manager, the staff and of course the boxers. Selecting reinforcements will be essential; a better collaboration with the sports authorities of Mexico and with our partners will allow the Guerreros to be focused in the WSB. Gaining qualification for Rio is an objective for all teams and boxers in the competition and for Mexico Guerreros too.