Puerto Rico Hurricanes put impressive home record on the line against Azerbaijan Baku Fires

Azerbaijan Baku Fires travel to Puerto Rico Hurricanes this week in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) knowing that victory will guarantee a place in the quarter-final stages of Season V.

The Azeri team have been in excellent form recently with six wins in their last seven matches, while Puerto Rico have won five of their six home fixtures this season.

This important clash is also hugely significant for two Azeri boxers who have ambitions to earn a Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota through WSB.

All of the weight classes in action will be competing in their last match of the group stages, so victory for the aspiring Olympians is paramount.

Coliseíto Pedrín Zorrilla, San Juan is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 18th April fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:00 (GMT -4) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

Azerbaijan’s Magomed Gurbanov has a perfect 5-0 record in Season V, and is currently ranked second at Bantamweight (56 kg) following Andy Cruz Gomez’s victory in London on Thursday night.

Gurbanov will overtake Cruz, and achieve an Olympic quota if he defeats 1-0 Hector Luis Garcia Mora in San Juan.

Mora was excellent two weeks ago in defeating Venezuela’s José Vicente Azocar, starting and finishing the fight strongly.

All Gurbanov needs is a points win to earn his quota however, and the Baku Fires fighter has won all five of his bouts this season via unanimous decision, which will give him great confidence going into this contest.

Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev has a slightly more difficult task regarding his road to Rio, as the Light welterweight (64 kg) is currently ranked third with just two quotas available.

After the current number one Light welterweight Yasniel Toledo won his last match of the Regular Season in London, the Cuban is four points ahead of Gadzhialiyev and second placed Vincenzo Mangiacapre who also competes this weekend.

The 5-1 Gadzhialiyev will finish at least second in the rankings if he defeats Carlos Adames by either stoppage or unanimous decision, but he will be well aware that his lone loss this season came away in North America to USA’s Tyrek Irby.

Adames represented USA Knockouts in WSB last season, but makes his debut for Puerto Rico Hurricanes in this clash, and the Dominican Republic fighter is the current AMBC American Youth Continental Champion and a gold medalist from last year’s Pacific Cup.

This should be a very entertaining clash between a classy boxer who has to win, and an emerging talent who wants to make a name for himself.

The evening opens with a Light flyweight (49 kg) clash between home favourite Anthony Ortiz and Azerbaijan’s 0-2 Rasul Saliyev.

1-1 Ortiz has not competed since week five of WSB when he lost to Kazakhstan’s Mardan Berikbayev, but he did defeat Poland’s Dawid Sebastian Jagodzinski in the opening week of the competition.

Azerbaijan has only won a single match at Light flyweight this season, while Saliyev lost both of his matches to Temirtas Zhussupov and Dawid Sebastian Jagodzinski.

Because of that fact, Ortiz will believe that if he uses his speed and boxing brain he will be able to defeat his opponent, but Saliyev is a quality operator and if he puts all of his attributes together he is a challenge for anybody at the weight class.

Puerto Rico’s 0-2 Jeffrey Flaz Guillén has not competed since week five, but returns to action against 1-2 Middleweight (75 kg) Jaba Khositashvili, while the evening closes with a Heavyweight (91 kg) battle between José Rosado and Azerbaijan’s Abdulkadir Abdullayev.

Rosado has one of the toughest debuts in WSB history in store against the third ranked Abdullayev as the Azeri fighter has stopped three of his five opponents in Season V.