First ever all-Irish clash as Germany face Kazakhstan


With the exciting match-up between German Eagles and Group B table-toppers Astana Arlans Kazakhstan set to light up the Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum on Saturday 12 January (21:00 local time), one contest that stands out is the face-off between David Oliver Joyce and Eric Donovan. The Eagles will be hoping that Joyce along with Serge Michel come up with the goods at home to defeat the powerful Kazak outfit.

History will be made in the competition when two Irish fighters go head-to-head for the very first time. And what a mouth-watering prospect it will be to see the Eagles’ Joyce and Donovan battling it out for supremacy at Lightweight (57-61kg). The two come from the same St Michael’s Athy Boxing Club and the fight will be a repeat of the 2012 Irish Elite National Championships in which Joyce was victorious.

“We fought a few times in the past and they have always been cracking contests and I am expecting the same in Germany. It is a first for the club and Irish boxing and may the best man win on the night,” said Joyce.

Dominic O’Rourke, Director of Boxing with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association and Head Coach at the St Michael’s Athy BC, has worked in Joyce’s and Donovan’s corners on numerous occasions. He said, “David and Eric have been with the club from a young age, ten or eleven years old, and they are two world class boxers. Every time they have met at the National Stadium they have always produced fantastic contests, real edge of-the-seat stuff. Next Saturday in Germany will be a first as they will box over five rounds. It promises to be very exciting. The bout has captured the imagination of the club and I have no doubt that it will be another fantastic contest”.

Supremo Sergiy Derevyanchenko will then seek to extend his unbeaten WSB record to 16-0 when he locks horns with Germany’s Xhek Paskali in the Middleweight (68-73kg) showdown. The sumptuous 27-year-old Ukrainian has begun the season in blistering form, defeating two tough customers in weeks one and four. Paskali is still finding his feet in the competition and will face the biggest test of his fledgling career when he battles the double WSB Champion.

One of the revelations of this early season has been Germany’s Serge Michel, the technically gifted 24-year-old defeated two of the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) most accomplished fighters in Abdelhafid Benchabla and Kennedy Katende, and now he will be gunning for Kazakhstan’s experienced Croatian Hrvoje Sep. The orthodox Michel will have both the height and home advantage here so will go into the fight as slight favourite. However Sep always seems to rise to the occasion so this promises to be a great contest.

Bringing the show to a close will be the bout between Germany’s WSB debutant Eric Brechlin and WSB Champion Filip Hrgovic. The odds are stacked in favour of the away boxer here, with 20-year-old Croatian sensation boasting a 13-2 career record in the competition and currently leading the Heavyweight (91+kg) charts.

This one will have it all with both teams evenly matched throughout. Astana Arlans Kazakhstan will be intent on keeping their 100% record with a fifth straight win but Germany has been impressive at home. It will be a match to savour.