Uncompromising Azerbaijan Baku Fires are set to give Argentina Condors a rude awakening when these two teams enter the ring for the first round of fixtures in Group A. The Olympic Sports Center ‘Serhedchi’ will be the venue for this match however it is not the cauldron of noise that will frighten the visitors but the calibre of boxers that will be representing the home team.
The Fires were devastated at exiting the competition last season at the semi-final stages and are more than eager to start their third campaign with a bang, lining-up three of WSB Individual Championships finalists to give them the best chances of gaining maximum points from their meeting with the Condors.
The Bantamweight (54kg) bout will see the division’s top dog from last season and the reigning WSB World Champion at that weight, pocket dynamo Gairbek Germakhanov, battle Argentine 22-year-old southpaw and London Olympian Alberto Melian in what promises to be a real clash of styles.
European Champion Albert Selimov of Russia follows suit and will be wearing the colours of Azerbaijan Baku Fires in his WSB debut against the 27-year-old Ignacio Perrin at Lightweight (61kg). Heybulla Mursalov, who sent Derevyanchenko to the canvas during the Individual Championships last season, will continue his quest to become the undisputed Middleweight (73kg) king when he dons the gloves for the Fires against the Dominican Republic’s Henrri David Polanco Ferreras.
Ten fights undefeated over the last two campaigns, with the last victory ensuring he took home the WSB Light Heavyweight (85kg) belt, Ramazan Magomedau continues to be in a league of his own and will represent a huge test for the Condors’ Facundo Nahuel Simal. The night’s ultimate contest will see hardman Haji Murtuzaliyev lock horns with Maximiliano Alejandro Sosa at Heavyweight (91+kg).
It is difficult to see how the Argentina Condors can leave the Azeri capital with any points on the board but the noise coming out of the camp has been one of quiet confidence and maybe the underdog tag could suit them here.