Mexico Guerreros keep play-off hopes alive with 3-2 win over Morocco Atlas Lions in Casablanca

On an important Friday night of WSB action for Group B, the Morocco Atlas Lions saw their slim chances of making it through to the play-offs snuffed out by a determined Mexico Guerreros team who move up to third place, just a point behind USA Knockouts. The two sides will now meet in Week 10 in Aguascalientes in a match that could decide who joins British Lionhearts in the next round.

The 3-2 scoreline was a repeat of the Week 2 fixture between the two sides, but this time around the hosts had the advantage before a punch had been thrown, with Morocco Atlas Lions’ London 2012 Olympian Abdelali Daraa taking his tie against Guerreros’ young Jose Daniel Rojas by walkover.

First in the ring was Abdellah Aballagh replacing Ahmed Bourous at super heavyweight, but he faced a determined opponent in the Guerreros’ Danish talent Kem Ljungquist. Aballagh struggled to come to terms with the WSB debutant in the opening rounds, and the southpaw dominated to tie the match at 1-1 with a unanimous points win.

The visitors then took the lead when their French star Souleymane Cissokho brilliantly counter-attacked his way through his welterweight bout with Azeddine Tamsamani, eventually delivering a series of big left hooks that ended the bout by TKO midway through the final round.

A tight bout between lightweights Abdellah Boudrar and Guerreros’ exceptional Lindolfo Delgado then put the match beyond the hosts’ reach. Delgado was tactically superior and the more powerful of the two, denying a spirited challenge from Boudrar to edge the judges’ decision.

With the match won, the highly anticipated bout between Atlas Lions’ Dutch star Peter Mullenberg and Guerreros’ second French athlete Mamadou Bakary Diabira became a showcase of brilliant boxing from the light heavyweights. Mullenberg delivered some fine combinations with unnerring accuracy to which Diabira could find no answer, and the experienced Dutchman cantered to a win, making it 3-2 on the  night but leaving the Atlas Lions adrift at the foot of Group B.