Keen followers of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group A, may have noticed that the potential for a rather radical change in the table exists this week.
With the Germans perhaps believing that closest rivals, the Argentina Condors, will be contained by the Italia Thunder this week, they have taken the calculated risk of fielding a less-experienced team away to the Algeria Desert Hawks, who currently lie some four points behind them, and resting their star boxers.
However, the Hawks have announced their strongest team of the season to date, and there is a real chance of them causing an upset in Algiers. If they can take advantage of the situation and claim the full three points, they could find themselves ahead of Argentina and in a playoff position at the end of the weekend, just one point behind the Eagles themselves. An interesting proposition…
USA Knockouts vs. Ukraine Otamans
18/01/2014, 01:50 (GMT), Watch live for FREE on AIBAboxingTV.com
The Knockouts are opting to completely shake things up and hand debuts to their entire team this weekend in the hope that the new blood will throw a spanner into the works of the current group leaders, the Ukraine Otamans, in their home match in Miami. The visitors meanwhile have sent a mixed bag of experience and fresh talent.
Season III sensation Ivan Golub steps in for Dmytro Mytrofanov at the last minute to make his first appearance this season at Middleweight (75kg). At 4-0, the Ukrainian hasn’t yet lost in the WSB, including three successes against some of the WSB’s biggest names such as Michael Tavares (Italia Thunder)) and Konstantin Snigur of the Asana Arlans. Thus it would represent a significant upset if Marlo Delgado Suarez of the Dominican Republic was able to out-match Golub on his WSB debut.
Talented young Indian Boxer Shiva Thapa may be one to watch for the Knockouts at Bantamweight (56kg) however. The former Youth Olympic Games silver medallist will be the first Indian to box in the WSB since Season II and, if he can adjust to the format fast enough, he may be a handful for the more experienced Mykola Butsenko. Two Chinese boxers will be turning out for the Knockouts in the form of Lu Bin at Light Flyweight (46-49kg) and Xuanxuan Wang at Heavyweight (91kg). Wang will be facing the extremely tough Denys Poyatsyka who is 4-4 in the WSB. Bin has a better draw on paper against Vadym Kudryakov who is 1:0 in his WSB career. This will be a very stern test indeed for the Knockouts new boys.
Algeria Desert Hawks vs. Team Germany
18/01/2014, 18:00 (GMT)
The Desert Hawks are boosted by the return of World silver medallist Mohamed Flissi to the fold. Flissi is a perfect example of why a boxer’s WSB record may not tell the whole tale. A London 2012 Olympian with a 1:2 WSB record, Flissi fought up a weight group in the old WSB Bantamweight (50-54kg) category last season. Now able to compete at his more natural category (Light Fly) and having just battled his way to the finals of the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013 at that weight, the Algerians will now be hopping that his true talent will shine through. With his opponent being the less-experienced debutant, Serge Neumann, he stands a good chance of going some way to improving his record this weekend.
With Flissi’s return, the Desert Hawks are fielding their most impressive line-up so far this season. WSB Light Welterweight (64kg) veteran Abdelkader Chadi brings his 6-3-1 record, acquired through boxing in all four WSB seasons, to the ring, as does Heavyweight Chouaib Bouloudinats (10-5). Bouloudinats will want to atone for his Week 4 loss to Yamil Peralta of the Argentina Condors when he faces German WSB debutant Johann Witt.
At Middleweight, the Desert Hawks are also fielding London 2012 Olympian Ilyas Abbadi who is 3-1 in the WSB but who also impressed in the World Championships last year. He will be one to watch as he takes on Xhek Paskali (2-3).
Dolce & Gabanna Italia Thunder vs. Argentina Condors
18/01/2014, 20:15 (GMT), Watch live for FREE on AIBAboxingTV.com
The Italia Thunder and their talent rich team are again unleashing a solid looking backbone of experience in their squad this week, whilst also allowing a few new faces to take to the ring.
Boxing fans are particularly looking forward to the WSB debut of Philippine APB boxer Mark Barriga of the Italia Thunder at Light Flyweight. The London 2012 Olympian was unfortunate to draw eventual World Bronze medallist Yosbany Veitia of the Cuba Domadores at an early stage of the World Championships in Almaty. He will be facing Leandro Blanc, who impressed in his debut against the Algeria Desert Hawks earlier in the season.
At Middleweight, 12-7 veteran Michel Tavares of France takes to the ring for the Italian outfit against Carlos Ozan who is just on his second outing in the WSB. Meanwhile at Heavyweight, Hungarian superstar Imre Szello will make his first appearance of the season against Swedish debutant Gabriel Richards of the Condors. This looks like a simple enough test for Szello on paper. He has won his last four bouts and last lost in Week 2 of last season against Irishman Joe Ward.