World Series of Boxing Season IV Champions and Season V Runners-Up Cuba Domadores have once again carved themselves a comfortable route through the competition’s Group Stages, setting up a Season VI quarter-final showdown with Group B runners-up Mexico Guerreros. The Guerreros leapfrogged rivals USA Knockouts with a dramatic Week 11 win over British Lionhearts to reach the Play-Off stages, and will need to build on that victory if they are to emerge from the difficult tie with a place in the semi-finals. Here are the pick of the most anticipated bouts taking place on Thursday and Friday nights in Havana:
64 kg – Yasnier Toledo (CUB) vs. Raul Curiel (MEX)
Cuban technician Yasnier Toledo Lopez has been a key member of the National squad since 2006, during which time he claimed bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games before qualifying for Rio 2016 with his superb form in WSB Season V.
The Domadores star defeated Türkiye Conquerors’ Yakup Sener during Week 9, and will be looking to use his remarkable footwork once again against Mexico Guerreros’ top boxer Raul Curiel, who also made the Rio 2016 list thanks to an undefeated Season V campaign. Both are seasoned campaigners at this level, and the duo may well produce one of the best bouts of the quarter-finals’ first day.
75 kg – Arlen Lopez (CUB) vs. Misael Rodriguez (MEX)
Cuba’s reigning AIBA World Middleweight Champion Arlen Lopez has already put together an incredible WSB record since being drafted in to the National side just two years ago. Renowned for his uncompromising TKO wins, the power and quick jabs that have become his signature in the ring make Lopez a crucial part of the Domadores side.
The Cuban will meet Misael Rodriguez, who can box with the freedom of a man knowing his Rio 2016 quota place is assured following the recent AIBA American Olympic Qualification Event in Buenos Aires. A strong campaign in Season V made him a favourite with the Mexican fans, but a win against Lopez would ensure superstar status back home.
60 kg – Lazaro Alvarez (CUB) vs. Lindolfo Delgado (MEX)
Cuba’s 24-year-old Lazaro Jorge Alvarez joined the national team five years ago, and with three AIBA World Championships already to his name and a WSB Team title from Season IV, the Domadores star will receive a hero’s welcome from the Havana crowd.
Alvarez can expect a tough contest against Mexico Guerreros’ top lightweight Lindolfo Delgado Garza. However, the experienced campaigner has some big WSB names under his belt with victories over USA Knockouts’ Carlos Balderas, Ukraine Otamans’ Oleh Prudkiy and China Dragons’ Lei Wang, and having helped his team through to the play-offs with an important win over British Lionhearts’ Oualid Belaoura in Week 11, he would no doubt love to add Alvarez to that list.