A febrile atmosphere is a given in Oskemen, Kazakhstan on Saturday evening as reigning WSB team champions Astana Arlans Kazakhstan take on Uzbek Tigers, the only team to beat them this season.
The titanic clash will decide the winner of Group D with Uzbek Tigers currently a point ahead of their rivals, courtesy of just three more season wins.
Having suffered a chastening 4-1 away defeat to Uzbek Tigers in Tashkent in Week 6, the Season V champions have named a strong line-up as they attempt to reassert their authority in front of a home crowd.
Kazakhstan’s national flyweight champion Azat Makhmetov heads the card, making his WSB debut. The 24 year old faces Uzbek Tigers’ Abrorjon Kodirov, an impressive victor in Week 8 when he defeated Puerto Rico Hurricanes’ highly regarded Colombian boxer Ceiber David Avila.
Next up is one of the marquee bouts of Season VI to date. The two-time Kazakh national lightweight champion, Season V WSB team champion and ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Zakir Safiullin takes on the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships lightweight bronze medallist Elnur Abduraimov.
With Abduraimov in fine form this season, as demonstrated by two dominant WSB wins, this bout is too tight to call.
The star quality continues in the welterweight class, with fellow Season V WSB team champion Aslanbek Shymbergenov facing one of Uzbekistan’s most exciting young talents, Makhmud Gaipov. The 19-year-old Gaipov won the prestigious AOB Strandja Memorial Tournament last month and is one not to miss on his WSB debut.
Two fighters in form face each other in the lightweight division. Astana Arlans Kazakhstan call upon the experienced, two-time Kazakh national champion Arman Rysbek for the first time in Season VI. He takes on Shuhrat Abdullaev, who has recorded heartening victories in Week 4 and Week 8.
It will be no surprise if this tie comes down the super heavyweights, which may just point to a slight home advantage. Fresh from winning the AOB Strandja Memorial Tournament in February, Kazakhstan’s Kamshybek Kunkabayev faces WSB debutant, Mirzohidjon Abdullaev.
Formidable looking Russian Boxing Team expected to extend dominance in Group C as they take on Argentina Condors in Moscow
The Russian Boxing Team enter their final bout of the regular season against Argentina Condors on Saturday night – a rearranged fixture from Week 1 – as heavy favourites.
With four wins from four matches, the Russian Boxing Team had already guaranteed their spot in the Season VI playoffs. A record of 15 wins out of 20 bouts is highly favourable, particularly when stacked against Argentina Condors’ six from 20.
Despite fielding two teams in two days, the Russian Boxing Team has named a powerful line-up for their bout with the South American franchise in Moscow. Devastating flyweight puncher Bator Sagaluev leads the card. The Baku 2015 European Games gold medal winner, who won his first Season VI bout by TKO, faces WSB debutant Nicolas Alfonso.
Another Baku 2015 European Games gold medallist represents the Russian Boxing Team in the bantamweight class. Bakhtovar Nazirov lost his debut WSB encounter earlier this season but will be confident of defeating Argentina Condors’ Piero Carloni, who has not fought on the international stage since Season V.
The contest appears more even in the light welterweight class with experienced Argentinean Ronan Nahuel Sanchez taking on Russian National Championship bronze medallist Avak Uzlian.
The stylish Maxim Koptyakov, a Baku 2015 European Games bronze medallist and a former EUBC European Confederation Champion, faces Argentina Condors’ experienced WSB boxer Christian Zarate in the middleweight division. Newly crowned National Champion Andrey Kovalchuk has been a fixture this season for the Russian Boxing Team at this weight but sits this one out.
Former AIBA Junior World Champion Sergey Kalchugin closes the night for the Russians. The super heavyweight is a strong favourite to dominate his Argentinean opponent Dario Alcapan.
Greater challenges may await the Russian Boxing Team but that is unlikely to prevent the partisan crowd in Moscow’s Academy Boxing Gym from enjoying a good night.
Youth stars take central stage in Istanbul as Türkiye Conquerors take on Ukraine Otamans in Group A
A collection of high-class youthful talent will be on show in Istanbul on Saturday as Türkiye Conquerors take on Ukraine Otamans in Group A. With the very best boxers from both franchises sitting this one out to prepare for the AIBA European Olympic Qualification Event, starting on April 9 in Samsun, Turkey, it has given a chance for the lesser lights to step up to the canvas.
A win for Ukraine Otamans would go a long way to confirming their playoff place, while a Türkiye Conquerors triumph would lift them off the bottom of the table.
Youth takes on experience in the flyweight class, with Türkiye Conquerors’ EUBC European Confederation Youth Boxing Championships bronze medallist Omer Koc facing Ukraine Otamans’ Denys Shkarubo, who has been competing internationally since 2008.
The lightweight clash is one of the most eagerly anticipated of the night. The classy 20-year-old WSB debutant, Hakan Dogan will be hoping to use a noisy home crowd against Ukraine Otamans’ Viktor Slavinskyi, who is riding high after an impressive win in Week 3.
In the third straight fight to feature a WSB debutant, Ukraine Otamans’ Vasyl Rybalka, for whom it will also be a first fight outside of Ukraine, faces Serhat Guler. The 19 year old lost on his WSB debut in Week 3.
Two former youth stars step in to the ring in the light heavyweight division. Türkiye Conquerors’ Youth Olympian Burak Aksin will be up against former EUBC European Junior Champion Vladyslav Mykhailov.
The third Turkish WSB debutant of the night, Eren Uzun faces a tough task in the final bout pitted against the experienced and in-form Rostyslav Arkhipenko. The Ukrainian secured a stunning success earlier this season, defeating Cuba Domadores’ two-time Panamerican Games gold medallist Leinier Eunice Pero.