After Astana Arlans Kazakhstan earned a 5-0 victory in the first leg of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) semi-finals, Russian Boxing Team begin the second leg knowing that they have to win all five bouts in this match to give themselves any chance of overturning the deficit.
Kazakhstan require just one victory to take them through to the biggest WSB Final of all time against defending Champions Cuba Domadores.
National Tennis Centre, Astana is the venue for this semi-final clash, where on Sunday 24th May fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 17:15 (GMT +6) at AIBABoxingTV.com.
A Flyweight (52 kg) contest will open the second leg as 3-1 Olzhas Sattibayev meets 1-1 Karen Arutiunian.
Sattibayev is a clever athlete in the ring who very quickly works out weaknesses in his opponents, while Arutiunian displayed his toughness during his quarter-final clash with Gaurav Bidhuri.
Although Kazak Lightweight (60 kg) Zakir Safiullin has amassed a relatively disappointing 1-3 record this season, all four of his matches have occurred away from home.
Safiullin will be relieved to be competing in Kazakhstan in this semi-final, but he comes up against a very difficult rival in Russia’s 1-1 Artur Subkhankulov.
Both of these boxers boast excellent stamina, which makes this a very difficult clash to predict.
Current Kazakh National Champion Aslanbek Shymbergenov is 2-1 in WSB so far in Season V, but has yet to perform to the best of his ability.
He will hope that he reaches top form in Astana when he battles Russian debutant Iagub Nuriev in a clash which could have huge significance on which Franchise reaches the final.
25-year-old Light heavyweight (81 kg) Nurdaulet Zharmanov has won medals at high level competitions throughout his boxing career, and makes his first appearance of the season for Astana Arlans against Russia’s 1-0 Eduard Yakushev.
Zharmanov boasts the more technically sound style of the two, but Yakushev is a confident competitor who carries significant power in his shots.
The last scheduled bout of the evening will be a Super heavyweight (91+ kg) shootout between Ivan Dychko and 3-2 Russian mauler Maxim Babanin.
Although he has won medals at both the Olympic Games and in two AIBA World Championships, Dychko has not fought in WSB this season with Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic the number one Super heavyweight boxer for Astana Arlans.
Babanin lost his quarter-final match with Guido Vianello after a slow start, however Dychko should be wary of Babanin’s resilience, which has seen him finish the majority of his WSB matches strongly, including in his win over Britain’s Joseph Joyce.
If there is a requirement for a tie-breaker after the first five matches, a Heavyweight (91 kg) clash involving Yerkin Mukametzhan and Dmitry Zaytsev will determine the second WSB finalists.