Morocco Atlas Lions kept their chances of a place in the Season VII Play-Offs alive and kicking with a superb victory over Italia Thunder two weeks ago, and will need to be at their very best once more if they are to repeat that result against Group B leaders British Lionhearts in Casablanca on Friday night. The Moroccans also need the Italians to lose to France Fighting Roosters and not gain a bonus point to stand a chance of progressing, while a win for the Lionhearts would guarantee the team top spot and provide the ideal launch-pad going in to the Quarter Finals.
The Flyweights (52kg) will begin the action, with Morocco Atlas Lions’ Imad Ahyoun making his first start of Season VII having won twice during the last campaign at Light Flyweight (49kg). Ahyoun meets Lionhearts’ Muhammad Ali, who currently boasts a 4-1 record in the the competition and has looked in excellent form with two convincing wins so far in this campaign. Their opening contest will be followed by Lightweights (60kg) Abdellah Boudrar and Calum French. The 27-year-old Moroccan boxer lost to Lionhearts’ Luke McCormack in Seasons V and VI and now faces the in-form French, who came through an impressive debut against Michael Magnesi of Italy in Week Eight.
Morocco Atlas Lions’ Belgian import Anas Messaoudi won his second WSB bout against France Fighting Roosters’ Chabane Fehim four weeks ago, but will have a tougher time against Olympian Pat McCormack at Welterweight (69kg), before the hosts’ second Draft Pick, Egyptian veteran Abdelrahman Salah Orabi, steps in against Lionhearts’ Bulgarian talent Radoslav Pantaleev, who remains unbeaten in his four WSB contests to date.
The most experienced member of the Morocco Atlas Lions squad on Friday night, Super Heavyweight (+91kg) Mohammed Arjaoui, made a triumphant return to the World Series of Boxing this year against Croatian Marin Mindoljevic, and the three-time Olympian faces the Lionhearts’ second Bulgarian boxer of the match, Petar Belberov, in the last of the action. The Bulgarian will be hoping to make a strong WSB debut in Casablanca after an excellent recent run of form in AOB competitions.