Colombia Heroicos and Italia Thunder chase Semi-Final spot as hosts look to turn round 2-3 first-leg defeat

Rome was the location of another memorable night of WSB Season VII action last week as Italia Thunder narrowly out-gunned Colombia Heroicos to take a precious 3-2 first-leg lead away to South America. The two squads are replete with big names for Friday’s crucial return match in Palmira, and confidence will be running high in both camps as the hosts look for a route to the last four in their first ever WSB campaign and the Thunder pursue a second title.

Colombia’s veteran Flyweight (52kg) Ceiber David Avila has been in excellent form so far this season, and will be desperate to get his team off to a strong start against two-time Italian National Champion Gianmario Serra, who delivered a brilliant Week 12 performance to overcome France Fighting Roosters’ Bulgarian import Daniel Asenov. Following that exciting opener, the Heroicos’ former Olympian-turned pro-boxer Jonatan Eccehomo Romero Preciado, who turned 30 in December, faces Italia Thunder’s Mexican Draft Pick Guadelupe Acosta Rodriguez at Lightweight (60kg), with his fellow pro-boxer also making his WSB debut in Palmira.

The hosts can then call upon Dominican Republic’s Rohan Polanco at Welterweight (69kg), the current AMBC American Youth Champion making his WSB debut against Italia Thunder’s Brazilian import Arisson Dos Santos Tavares, before Ecuador’s top boxer, Carlos Andres Mina, steps out for the Heroicos at Light Heavyweight (81kg). With three WSB wins to his name, Mina’s fifth opponent will be Italia Thunder’s Gianluca Rosciglione, an experienced AOB boxer with just one WSB appearance, a defeat by Radoslav Pantaleev earlier in the year, so far in his career.

Colombia Heroicos’ Cristian Salcedo has made a successful move up to the Super Heavyweight (+91kg) class with two wins in Season VII, and the 24-year-old Colombian will meet Romania’s Mihai Nistor in Friday’s last scheduled bout. Should the scores be level at 5-5 after their contest, the hosts’ South Korean boxer Dohyeon Kim, an early qualifier for the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships, will face Italia Thunder’s second Brazilian team member, Rafael Duarte Lima, for a place in the Semi-Finals.