In their last fixture of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) regular season, the powerful Group B table-toppers Astana Arlans Kazakhstan host German Eagles at the Almaty Sports Complex on Friday 1 March (20:30 local time). To sign off in style before their quarter-final showdown with the fourth placed team in the opposite group, the Kazak outfit will line-up undefeated 23-year-old Miras Zhakupov, Israeli hardman Konstantin Snigur, classy Iranian Ehsan Rouzbahani and talismanic captain Ruslan Myrsatayev to give their fans a victory after two defeats on the trot.
After displaying a good tactical mind and quality hand speed, rangyZhakupov will look to add to his three victories already this season when he locks horns with the Eagles’ untested 22-year-old RomanianNicolae Razvan Andreiana in the opening contest of the night at Bantamweight (50-54kg). With his height advantage and the raucous support of the crowds, expect the Kazak orthodox fighter to increase his already impressive record.
Still yet to convince after an underwhelming last couple of campaigns, WSB season one’s top ranked Lightweight (57-61kg) Yerzhan Mussafirov will get another opportunity to showcase to his employers that he has not lost his way and that he can still be relied upon to deliver the goods on the big stage. The experienced 27-year-old Kazak will be favourite when he faces the orthodox German Robert Aramovic Harutyunyan but will have to box intelligently on the inside if he is to come out on top in this one.
29-year-old orthodox Middleweight (68-73kg) Snigur will be relishing the prospect of battling Belarusian Moldovan southpaw Vasilii Belous in the third bout of the evening with the Israeli heavy-hitter having looked in top shape in his last outing in week seven. Even if he has suffered two losses in his debut WSB season, against two classy fighters in Mytrofanov and Mangiacapre, Belous will be a dangerous opponent for the Arlans boxer.
The fight of the night should by far be the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) showdown between the Arlans’ charismatic Rouzbahani and the accomplished German 24-year-old Serge Michel. Southpaw Rouzbahani has the slight height advantage but will have to be on his guard the whole time against an opponent who thrives on a good scrap.
Kazakhstan team captain Myrsatayev will bring the show to a close at Heavyweight (91+kg) versus tall 22-year-old orthodox German Eric Brechlin. The Arlans leader will be giving a lot of height away so will have to box smart against a savvy rival. Brechlin’s record might read two losses but these came against 2012 WSB World Champion Hrgovic and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Oleksandr Usyk. It will be exciting that is guaranteed.
Astana Arlans Kazakhstan will be hell-bent on getting back to winning ways after two successive defeats and with Germany having nothing to fight for, the home team will be odds on for maximum points.