Home fans ready to give Morocco Atlas Lions a lift against Group B rivals Mexico Guerreros in Casablanca
The Morocco Atlas Lions are still chasing a first win of Season VI at the half-way point of the preliminaries, and the team will be hoping that the crowd can lift them to a famous win against Mexico Guerreros on Friday night. The Guerreros dominated their home fixture in Week 2, and need another big result if they are to keep within reach of Group B play-off rivals USA Knockouts.
Morocco Atlas Lions’ London 2012 Olympian Abdelali Daraa narrowly lost his opening Season VI bout against British Lionhearts’ Muhammad Ali, but has already earned a walkover against the young Mexican Jose Daniel Rojas, who was unable to box ahead of the contest.
Abdellah Boudrar will need to recall his best moments of Season V when he takes on Mexico Guerreros’ top lightweight Lindolfo Delgado in the second bout of the evening, before Azeddine Tamsamani makes his debut against the Guerreros’ French star Souleymane Cissokho.
An all-European light heavyweight battle will see the Atlas Lions’ Dutch draft pick and European Confederation Boxing Championships silver medalist Peter Mullenberg meet Mexico Guerreros’ other French favourite Mamadou Bakary Diabira, before two super heavyweight debutants round off the action. Abdellah Aballagh replaces Ahmed Bourous for the hosts against Guerreros’ Danish talent Kem Ljungquist, with both boxers eager to open their WSB accounts in style.
Titleholders Astana Arlans looking to bounce back in crucial Group D match against Azerbaijan Baku Fires
Following their opening win of the season against Azerbaijan Baku Fires, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan’s title defence stuttered against the Uzbek Tigers last weekend, making Friday night’s rematch in Baku a must-win. With qualification for the play-offs at stake, the hosts will themselves be desperate to put more light between themselves and their third-placed Group D rivals, with the Arlans having boxed one less match.
The Fires’ 24 year-old flyweight Magomed Ibiyev will kick off the action against Astana Arlans’ experienced WSB Team Champion Olzhas Sattibayev, and it will be a stern test for Ibiyev against the Kazkh star who won five contests in Season V. The evening’s second bout sees Azeri Nasraddin Mammadov step up to lightweight for the first time against another member of last season’s championship-winning Arlans side, Zakir Safiullin.
Welterweight Tamerlan Abdullayev makes his first WSB appearance in the third bout of the night, and it looks like being a tough debut against Aslanbek Shymbergenov, the man who defeated Cuba’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Roniel Iglesias on route to the Team title last year.
The hosts’ London 2012 Olympian Mikhail Dauhaliavets of Belarus will hope to improve on his Week 4 loss when he faces the less-experienced Nurdaulet Zharmanov in the light heavyweight bout, before the super heavyweights take to the ring for the final contest of the night. Baku Fires’ tough 26-year-old Arslanbek Makhmudov has beaten several big names over the years including two-time AIBA World Champion Mahammadrasul Majidov, and he will need to replicate that form if he is to overcome Arlans’ promising Nurzhan Bekzatov on Friday.