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.
Boxer of the week – Balazs Bacskay, Venezuela Caciques
Venezuela Caciques drafted in Hungary’s European Confederation Champion Balazs Bacskai to join the squad for Season VI, and the welterweight immediately made his presence felt in his very first outing for the team with a superb Week 7 victory against Rafako Hussars Poland’s Steven Donnelly.
Hungary’s top boxer Balazs Bacskai was born in Budapest in 1988 and began boxing career at the age of seven at the Vasas-Sullos Boxing Club in Budapest. His first coach was in fact his father, the 1985 European Championship silver medalist Imre Bacskai, but he now trains under former AIBA World Champion Zsolt Erdei and national team head coach Dr. Laszlo Kovacs.
At the age of 15, Bacskai joined the national squad for the 2003 AIBA Cadet World Boxing Championships in Bucharest and three years later he won gold at the AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in Morocco. After moving up to welterweight, Bacskai took gold at the European Union Championships in 2009 and then an unbeaten 2010 saw the Hungarian crowned European Confederation Champion in Moscow.
During his career to date, Bacskai has claimed a gold at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament, the Belgrade Winner Tournament, two at the Tammer Tournament and also in the Grand Prix in Usti nad Labem. After being drafted into the Venezuela Caciques side in Season VI for his first taste of WSB boxing, Bacskai recovered from a slow start in Week 7 against Rafako Hussars Poland’s Irish star Steven Donnelly, knocking him down three times in the final two rounds to record a famous victory and help propel the Caciques to the top of their group.
Team of the week Week 7
Venezuela Caciques is undoubtedly the team of the week with an impressive record of 10-0 in two matches. They started the weekend against Argentina Condors, leaving no chance to their opponents, and continued their performance against Rafako Hussars Poland, winning again 5-0 after a thrilling match.
Punch of the week Week 7
The punch of week 7 was given by Balazs Backsai from Venezuela Caciques. The welterweight boxer demonstrated all his talent during his match against Steven Donnelly from Rafako Hussars Poland.
WSB TV Magazine Week 7
Week 7 was one of the most intense weeks of the season so far with no less than 7 matches. Ukraine Otamans offered some great boxing action, beating the undefeated Cuba Domadores 3-2 and the Uzbek Tiger continued their great debuts in WSB winning 5-0 over Puerto Rico Hurricanes.