Bouloudinats to lead Algeria against Russia


In the delayed match from week six, a resurgent Algeria Desert Hawks, buoyed by their first victory of the season last weekend, will be locking horns with Russia this Friday 15 February (19:00 local time) at the Salle Harcha Hassan in Algiers. With their sights firmly set on overhauling Argentina Condors to move provisionally up to fourth in Group A and within the quarter-final qualification places, the home team will be looking towards the Algerian trio of powerful Heavyweight (91+kg) Chouaib Bouloudinats, and London Olympians Mohamed Ouadahi and Abdelmalek Rahou to deliver victory.

Getting the action off at Bantamweight (50-54kg), Algeria’s French southpaw Vincent Legrand will battling it out for supremacy with Russian 21-year-old Evgeny Averin. This should be a very close fight with both boxers still looking for their first World Series of Boxing (WSB) victory in their debut season. Evenly matched in most departments, it should be intriguing to see who fares better. Legrand boasts an 11-0 record in the pro ranks, but with two defeats already in WSB this campaign, he will be keen to get his first victory in his debut on home turf.

25-year-old Lightweight (57-61kg) Ouadahi will have to rely on his experience in the second clash of the evening with his rival an unknown quantity. With Russia’s Maxim Dadashev making his WSB debut on Friday, he will be banking on the element of surprise to catch his rival off guard. After reaching the quarter-finals at the Olympic Games last year, the calculating orthodox Algerian is the favourite to win, but he should not take anything for granted with the Russian boxers known to always be formidable opponents.

2011 African Champion Rahou will be another to go into his bout facing a WSB debutant, with the 26-year-old set to lock horns with Russian newcomer Petr Khamukov at Middleweight (68-73kg). The experienced Algerian has all the tools in his arsenal to mix it up with the best so he will be relishing the prospect of battling the 21-year-old.

The odds will be stacked against Fouzi Bouanka when he is pitted against Russian orthodox Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) boxer Eduard Yakushev after the Algerian failed to impress in his first outing in week one. The 27-year-old will be doing all in his power to set the record straight and will be hoping that his height and reach advantage can make the difference on the night. Yakushev is in his second season in the competition and will be hell-bent of getting his account up and running this campaign after also suffering defeat last time around.

The fight of the night will by far be the Heavyweight (91+kg) showdown between Algerian superstar Bouloudinats and Russian hard man Vitaly Kudukhov. The prospect of seeing these two go head-to-head in the ring is a mouth-watering one with sparks guaranteed to fly. The 26-year-old Algerian orthodox, a WSB veteran with this being his third season in the competition, has three wins to his name already this campaign and will want to extend his unbeaten home record against a ferocious opponent.

“I am feeling very confident. Our training has been top notch so I am relaxed and in a good place mentally. The Russian is strong but with my fans there to back me up, victory will be ours, guaranteed”, said Bouloudinats.

Kudukhov was bullish about his chances, declaring, “I am already in Algeria and I am doing great. I know my opponent after having fought him last season and beaten him by TKO. I know what needs to be done but it will be more difficult with the match being in Algeria. Bottom line though is that I am ready to fight”.

Victory is vital for both teams at this point in time with it very tight in Group A. Algeria impressed in their last fixture on home soil so will be gunning for maximum points once again against a challenging Russian team