WSB Team Finals Preview: Rouzbahani vs Gvozdyk

With the 2013 World Series of Boxing (WSB) Team Finals less than 24 hours away we take a look at another bout that has the boxing community buzzing with anticipation: Ehsan Rouzbahani of the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk of the Ukraine Otamans.

London 2012 Olympic Quarter-finalist Rouzbahani has had a stunning debut WSB season. The Iranian Light-Heavyweight (80-85kg) recovered from a loss on his debut to Denys Poyatsyka of the Otamans to go on a five fight winning streak.  A former world number 2 (2011), Rouzbahani has the experience and talent to become a serious force in the WSB, but first he has to get through his first WSB Team Finals. With extremely fast and hard hands and nice slick evasion skills Rouzbahani is an absolute tank in the ring. A well rounded boxer he likes to take the centre of the canvas and control the space, distance and tempo of his bouts.

But Rouzbahani will face his toughest challenge yet in Ukraine’s Gvozdyk. The London 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist has had another good season in World Series of Boxing (WSB). Currently ranked 6th in the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) category, Gvozdyk has four wins from four bouts this year, taking him to 8-0 in WSB across two seasons.

 A disciplined fighter, Oleksandr gives the impression that he always has a game plan. He fights with in a well organised and systematic style but having knocked out Vladimir Cheles (Azerbaijan Baku Fires) in the Quarterfinals; he has demonstrated that he also has the power to end a fight suddenly. As his highlight reel shows, his left hook is extremely dangerous, especially when thrown as a sudden counter attack after covering up. If he can keep his work rate at its usual level, he will be a force to reckon with.

Stylistically the bout will be interesting as both fighters are very well rounded and opt for a more tactical approach to their boxing than most. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, will be a chess match.