Caciques de Venezuela looking for season’s second away win against Argentina Condors
In Group C’s all South American WSB clash on Friday night, Caciques de Venezuela travel to Buenos Aires looking to build on their opening round victory against Rafako Hussars Poland last weekend with a win over Argentina Condors.
The Condors will need to produce their best form if they are to secure a result from their first match of Season VI against a confident Venezuelan side, and the honour of opening up the evening’s proceedings will fall to flyweight Christian ‘La Joyita’ Roda as he faces Caciques’ 19 year-old American Confederation champion Yoel Finol.
The hosts’ lightweight boxer Brian Ivan Nunez follows Roda into the ring, and will be eager to exact revenge on Venezuela’s 20-year-old Luis Angel Cabrera, who defeated the Argentine in Season V.
The most highly anticipated bout of the match then comes between the two experienced WSB welterweight boxers Alberto Ignacio Palmetta and Gabriel Maestre. The Condors’ Palmetta, who has been training with coach Jorge Ochenduszka in the KO Gym, defeated Maestre in the semi-final of last year’s American Confederation Boxing Championships on the Venezuelan’s home turf, but Pan-American Games champion Maestre will be determined to return the favour this time around.
Sergio Lebenstajn has a tough bout against Venezuelan Albert Ramon Ramirez in the heavyweight match up, before Condors’ Kevin Nicolas Espindola takes on the highly experienced Edgar Ramon Munoz, part of the Venezuelan national side since 2002, in the last bout of the night.
Rafako Hussars Poland hungry for first win against their great Russian Boxing Team rivals on Saturday
Rafako Hussars Poland will be looking to register a morale-boosting home win in their second WSB match of Season VI as they take on last season’s beaten semi-finalists the Russian Boxing Team on Saturday night. The Russians will get their new campaign underway determined to build upon last season’s successes, but can expect a tough time from an experienced Hussars squad at the the Hala Mosir venue in Szczecin.
With both teams focussing on their home-grown talent, the Hussars’ German flyweight Hamza Touba will be the only foreign boxer representing either side on Saturday’s card. Returning to the Polish franchise having been drafted into the squad for Season V, Touba will be hoping to get his team off to a winning start against Russian Ovik Ogannisian.
Going second for the home side is their most experienced WSB boxer Dawid Michelus. Still only 22 years old, Michelus made his name during Season III registering three big wins, but he will need to use all of his WSB wiles against newcomer Gabil Mamedov, who has moved up four weight classes over the last few years.
Another one of Poland’s seasoned WSB veterans is Damian Kiwior, and fireworks are expected from his key welterweight match against Russian Boxing Team’s rising star Albert Karibian. With Polish star Tomasz Jablonski already qualified to Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the fourth contest of the evening sees Arkadiusz Szwedowicz move into his light heavyweight berth to face Russia’s 2015 AIBA World Championship bronze medallist Pavel Silyagin.
Finally on Saturday night, Pawel Wierzbicki, silver medallist in the 2012 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, takes on the young Iaroslav Doronichev in what could be the deciding encounter of a thrilling night of boxing in Szczecin.
Türkiye Conquerors face tough test in Week 3 as Cuba Domadores land in Istanbul
After getting WSB Season VI off to a winning start against China Dragons in Week 1, Türkiye Conquerors will be hoping to repeat the perfomance against Group A favourites Cuba Domadores on Saturday night. Winning the last three bouts of their opening match will have left the Conquerors high on confidence while for the Domadores, unbeaten in the group stage last season, this will be a testing opening fixture in Istanbul.
The Cubans made their WSB debut in style back in Season IV, winning the team title in emphatic fashion. Only the tough Astana Arlans were able to halt them in the last match of Season V, and underlining their stature, seven of the squad have already qualified for Rio 2016, two of whom – Lazaro Alvarez and captain Julio Cesar La Cruz, both AIBA World Champions – make an appearance on Saturday.
First in the ring and making his WSB debut for Türkiye Conquerors’ will be Ferhat Pehlivan, brought in to the national squad back in 2006 and a quarter-finalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He faces 19 year-old Cuban Frank Saldivar, stepping in for Yosbany Veitia at flyweight after a solid semi-final win over Mexico Guerreros’ Orlando Huitzil last season.
Turkish lightweight Yasin Yilmaz only joined the elite team last year but has already earned himself a hard-hitting reputation, ending several bouts by Technical Knockout. He may well need to do the same on Saturday if he is to overcome three-time AIBA World Champion and WSB Season IV Team Champion Lazaro Alvarez in the second bout of the evening.
Young welterweight Serhat Guler faces a huge challenge in the form of Cuba’s reigning Olympic Champion Roniel Iglesias, and compatriot Nadir Unal will also need to summon the performance of his life if he is to halt the Domadores’ other three-time AIBA World Champion and WSB Team Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz, currently one of the best boxers on the planet.
The last bout of the night sees the veteran of two Olympic Games, Bahram Muzaffer, move up to super heavyweight to round off the match against the young but experienced Cuban Yohandi Toirac, in what has the potential to be a spectacular finale.
Ukraine Otamans ready to unleash new-look squad in their season opener against China Dragons
Having finished a highly respectable fourth in Group A last season, Ukraine Otamans are ready to build on that experience in Season VI, with one eye firmly on reaching the knockout stages. An important step on the road to qualification would be victory on Saturday night against China Dragons, who narrowly lost 3-2 against Türkiye Conquerors in Istanbul last week.
Ukraine will get the evening underway in the capable hands of National Flyweight Champion Maksym Fatych, but his opponent in the opening match will be Dragons’ tough Hu Jianguan, the revelation of their Season V campaign with four wins and a bronze at last year’s AIBA World Boxing Championships.
Viktor Slavinskyi pulled out a memorable performance against Algeria Desert Hawks’ talented Reda Benbaziz last season, and will need to repeat that form in the evening’s second bout against China Dragons’ impressive 21-year-old Shan Jun, who himself defeated the Otamans’ Oleh Prudkiy in Kyiv one year ago.
Ukraine’s experienced welterweight Serhii Bohachuk will be confident of his chances against Dragons’ Cong Wenbin, before an intriguing light heavyweight southpaw battle between the hosts’ new National Champion Denys Solonenko and Chinese veteran Shi Guojun.
Another newly crowned Ukrainian National Champion, super heavyweight Viktor Vykhryst, has recovered well from a bruising defeat last season by British Lionhearts’ Heavyweight star Joe Joyce, and his excellent physical shape could make all the difference in the evening’s final bout against Wang Zhibao as the Otamans look to get Season VI off to a winning start.