Home Amateur & Olympic World Series of Boxing weekend previews: Russia looking to take out Cuba

World Series of Boxing weekend previews: Russia looking to take out Cuba

Credit: AIBA

Will Russian Boxing Team defeat Cuba Domadores for the second time in WSB history?

World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV Champions Cuba Domadores have lost just one match in WSB history, away to Russian Boxing Team in the Regular Season last year.

The two teams meet again in Moscow at the same stage this week and both are in tremendous form, with Russia enjoying a 25-0 record at home, while Cuba have won all nine of their fixtures this season.

Sports Palace “Wings Of The Soviets”, Moscow is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Friday 20th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:00 (GMT +3) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia tops the WSB Flyweight (52 kg) rankings after four consecutive victories, and meets Russia’s Ovik Ogannisian who makes his first appearance of the season.

The top two ranked Light flyweights at the end of the Regular Season will qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and with just two matches to go Veitia is four points ahead USA’s Brent Venegas III who is his nearest rival.

Lazaro Alvarez is ranked second at Lightweight (60 kg), and is two points behind the current leader Albert Selimov.

Cuba’s Alvarez is 4-0 this season, but all of his matches have finished either on points, or by walkover.

To catch Selimov, and definitely secure qualification for Rio, he will need an impressive performance against Russian debutant Artur Subkhankulov.

Russia’s Radzhab Butaev has dominated the Welterweight (69 kg) division this season, and sits at the top of the rankings in that weight class.

With nearest rival Mohammed Rabii competing on Thursday for Morocco Atlas Lions, Butaev will be keen to assert his dominance but faces a difficult challenge when he meets London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo.

The Cuban lost in Morocco two weeks ago to Rabii, and knows anything other than a win against Butaev will spell the end of his Olympic qualification dreams via WSB.

That fact makes this clash incredibly important for both Welterweights, with the winner taking a giant step towards Rio 2016.

Another aspiring Olympic star competes at Light heavyweight (81 kg), where the number one ranked Cuban and two-time AIBA World Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz meets Russia’s WSB veteran Gamzat Gazaliev.

La Cruz is level on points with the second ranked Italian Valentino Manfredonia, and just two points ahead of third ranked Hrvoje Sep so will be hunting a stoppage win in Moscow stay in control at Light heavyweight.

Number four ranked Super heavyweight (91+ kg) Lenier Eunice Pero will be keenly aware that there is only one Rio 2016 quota available from WSB in his weight class, and as he is four points away from top ranked Filip Hrgovic, he knows only a stoppage will do against Russia’s 2-0 Maxim Babanin if he is to have any chances of qualifying.

Can China Dragons win away in Kiev against Ukraine Otamans?

Fresh from defeating British Lionhearts in London last week, Ukraine Otamans host China Dragons in a World Series of Boxing (WSB) match they need to win to maintain third place in Group A.

The Chinese Franchise have yet to win away this season, but did push Ukraine close at home when the two teams met earlier in the campaign.

All five Ukrainian fighters competing in this fixture lost their last WSB match, so will they rise to the occasion of winning again, or can China exploit a possible lack of confidence?

Sports Palace, Kiev is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Friday 20th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 21:30 (GMT +2) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

Flyweight (52 kg) Azat Usenaliev has lost his last two WSB matches after memorably upsetting Andrew Selby earlier in the competition, and will look to resume winning ways against China’s 1-1 Hu Jianguan.

Oleg Prudkyi is also on a two fight losing streak for Ukraine, but faces a tough task when he meets China’s Lightweight (60 kg) Jun Shan who defeated Oualid Belaoura two weeks ago.

Ukraine have yet to win a match at Welterweight (69 kg) this season in four attempts, so 0-2 Oleg Zubenko will want to break the duck against 21-year-old Chinese debutant Haishaer Taximaimaiti.

2-1 Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak is just outside the Light heavyweight (81 kg) top five rankings, and a victory over 0-2 Shi Guojun may reignite his Rio 2016 ambitions with two matches to go.

The final match of the evening is at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) where home favourite Ihor Shevadzutskyi looks for his first win of the season against 1-1 Wang Zhibao.

Who will be the Lion King when Britain and Morocco meet in London?

Week ten of Season V in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) begins with British Lionhearts hosting Morocco Atlas Lions in London

The British Franchise have lost their last five WSB fixtures, while Morocco narrowly fell to Mexico Guerreros last week.

These two teams met in week three of the competition when Morocco defeated Britain 3-2 in Casablanca.

York Hall, London is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Thursday 19th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:00 GMT at AIBABoxingTV.com.

There are just two matches left for each weight class in the Regular Season of WSB, and the race to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games via the rankings system is reaching a speedy ending.

Mohammed Rabii has been Morocco’s best boxer this season, and the number two ranked Welterweight (69 kg) sensationally defeated Olympic gold medalist Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo in his last bout.

Two Welterweight boxers will earn a quota for Rio 2016 via WSB, and Rabii is in prime position to be one of those fighters due to his 4-0 undefeated record in Season V.

Rabii is just a single point behind the number one ranked Radzhab Butaev, and four points ahead of Ireland’s Steven Donnelly and Azerbaijan’s Parviz Baghirov which means a win here would put immense strain on every opponent in his weight class.

The Moroccan fighter has impressed in this campaign due to his calmness under pressure, and his ability to treat every bout as a separate entity, but will the pressure of his penultimate fight cause him to wilt in London?

2-2 Lionheart Haizel Ekow Tabiri-Essuman is his challenger at York Hall, and the British star knows he will need to win his last two fights to have any chance of finishing in the top two this season.

4-0 British Super heavyweight (91+ kg) Joseph Joyce is one of the most powerful boxers in WSB, and currently sits second in the rankings of his weight class.

Three of Joyce’s wins this season have come via stoppage, but perhaps his most impressive victory came away against Cuba’s Lenier Eunice Pero in Havana, which destroyed the undefeated run of his opponent.

Only the top ranked Super heavyweight will qualify for Rio 2016, so Joyce needs another impressive performance against 1-1 Moroccan Abouhamada Abdeljalil to put pressure on Filip Hrgovic who currently leads the rankings, while Azerbaijan’s Arslanbek Makhmudov also has the same amount of points as Joyce.

Both Hrgovic and Makhmudov compete in Group B of WSB, so Joyce will not face either of them in the Regular Season, which means that he will need to make an early impact in his fight with Abdeljalil to put early pressure on his rivals who compete later this weekend.

Elsewhere, Morocco’s number five ranked Flyweight (52 kg) Achraf Kharroubi needs a win to keep his hopes of Olympic qualification through WSB alive against Spain’s José Kelvin de la Nieve Linares who has yet to win in his two matches this season for the Lionhearts.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Luke McCormack makes his WSB debut as he faces 1-2 Atlas Lion Abdellah Boudrar at Lightweight (60 kg), while Joshua Buatsi opens his WSB account for Britain at Light heavyweight (81 kg) against Holland’s 0-2 Light heavyweight (81 kg) Peter Mullenberg.

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan aim for tenth straight win against Azerbaijan Baku Fires

Two World Series of Boxing (WSB) powerhouses compete in week ten of the competition, as Group B leaders Astana Arlans Kazakhstan host Season IV runners up Azerbaijan Baku Fires.

Kazakhstan have won all nine of their matches this season, while Azerbaijan have earned victory in their last four fixtures.

Track And Field Sport Complex, Shymkent is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 21st March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 18:00 (GMT +6) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

Croatia’s 4-0 Filip Hrgovic is in devastating form for Astana Arlans, and the number one ranked Super heavyweight (91+ kg) has stopped three of his four victims in Season V.

One qualification quota for Rio 2016 is available at Super heavyweight, and Hrgovic will be well aware that his main rival Joseph Joyce won his fifth match of the season on Thursday night in London.

His opponent this week is not the third ranked Azeri Abdulkadir Abdullayev who may have lost his Olympic chances by not competing, but instead WSB veteran Haji Murtuzaliyev who was the last man to defeat Hrgovic in WSB.

Another Croatian WSB success is Light heavyweight (81 kg) Hrvoje Sep who is ranked at number three this season.

The Astana Arlans fighter has a 4-0 record, but is two points behind Julio César la Cruz and Italy’s Valentino Manfredonia due to two of his victories being split decision verdicts.

Because of the points discrepancy, Sep will need a strong showing to keep his Rio chances strong against Belarusian Olympian Mikhail Dauhaliavets who makes his first appearance of the campaign.

One fighter on the cusp of qualifying for Rio 2016 is former AIBA World Champion Albert Selimov, who has won all four of his matches for Azerbaijan Baku Fires in Season V.

The WSB veteran tops the Lightweight (60 kg) rankings, and is edging closer to the Olympic Games.

This week he meets 0-2 Zakir Safiullin and a win will make him an overwhelming favourite to qualify.

Other action includes a Welterweight (69 kg) bout between home favourite Kanagat Maralov who makes his WSB debut against the fourth ranked Parviz Baghirov who desperately needs a win to keep pace with top ranked Radzhab Butaev and Mohammed Rabii.
Undefeated Flyweights (52 kg) Olzhas Sattibayev and Murad Rabadanov will open the evening in Shymkent.

Are Argentina Condors able to win their first match of the season against Rafako Hussars Poland?

Argentina Condors host Rafako Hussars Poland this week in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) hoping to win their first match of the season in their tenth attempt.

The Polish Franchise lost their last match 5-0 away in Kazakhstan, so will be eager to shake off that disappointment as quickly as possible.

Polideportivo De San Francisco Del Monte, San Luis is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 21st March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 23:00 (GMT -3) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

Although the overall victory is important for both Franchises, all eyes are on which boxers will qualify for Rio 2016 via the WSB individual rankings, and with just three matches to go for his weight class in the Regular Season, an Irish Welterweight (69 kg) needs an away win to keep his chances alive.

3-1 Steven Donnelly has been one of the best boxers for Rafako Hussars Poland this season, and currently sits at number three in the Welterweight rankings.

Only the top two fighters in the weight class will qualify however, so Donnelly has to beat Argentina’s 2-1 Alberto Ignacio Palmetta to keep Radzhab Butaev and Mohammed Rabii in his sights.

The Flyweights (52 kg) will open the action in San Luis where 1-2 home star Cristian Alan Choque Chambi meets Hamza Touba who surprisingly defeated Puerto Rico’s Jeyvier Cintrón Ocasio two weeks ago.

Brian Ivan Nunez has failed to win in all four of his matches this season, so the Condors Lightweight (60 kg) will be eager to make amends against 1-3 Dawid Michelus.

A Light heavyweight (81 kg) clash between Marcos Escudero and Mateusz Jerzy Tryc should be entertaining, while the last fight of the evening is at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) where 0-2 Argentine Leonardo Taborda battles 0-1 Roger Hryniuk.

Mexico Guerreros seek fifth successive WSB win away to Algeria Desert Hawks

Algeria Desert Hawks host Mexico Guerreros in week ten of the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

The Mexican Franchise have won their last four fixtures in Season V, and are chasing Ukraine Otamans who are just one point ahead in third place of Group A.

Algeria have struggled in WSB this season, having won just one of their eight matches so far.

Chalane Hocine Blida is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Saturday 21st March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 17:00 (GMT +1) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

Mexican Lightweight (60 kg) Lindolfo Delgado is 3-0 this season, and all three of his wins have come via points at home in Mexico.

Delgado is ranked joint fourth at Lightweight, and is three points away from Russia’s second placed Adlan Abdurashidov who is not fighting this weekend.

America’s Carlos Balderas who is equal on points with Delgado also competes this week, which means that he, Delgado, and third ranked Cuban Lazaro Alvarez have a real chance to put pressure on top seed Albert Selimov.

To do so, Delgado will have to defeat Algeria’s 3-1 Reda Benbaziz who upset Abdurashidov two weeks ago and knows a win over the Mexican here will potentially put him in the top five Lightweight rankings.

A Flyweight (52 kg) contest opens the evening in Blida, with 0-2 home star Abdelhakim El Barka facing 2-1 Mexican Orlando Huitzil Ahuatl.

Algerian Welterweight (69 kg) Sofiane Tabi has lost all three of his matches in this campaign, but they have all come against world class opposition.

His week ten opponent also matches that description as 1-2 Marvin Cabrera meets him in the ring.

1-0 Guerrero Rogelio Romero then competes away for the first time in Season V against Algerian WSB veteran Light heavyweight (81 kg) Hichem Kaalaour.

The evening finishes at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) where Desert Hawk Mohamed Grimes meets Current Irish Elite champion Dean Gardiner who makes his debut for Mexico.

Who will blow over when Puerto Rico Hurricanes meet Italia Thunder?

A key World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group B match takes place this weekend, as Puerto Rico Hurricanes host Italia Thunder.

The Puerto Rican Franchise have enjoyed a good start to their WSB career and are fifth in the table, two points behind Italy.

Both of these teams are coming off impressive wins, as the Hurricanes defeated Argentina Condors 4-1 last week, while the Thunder swept away USA Knockouts 5-0.

Coliseíto Pedrín Zorrilla, San Juan is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 21st March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 19:00 (GMT -4) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

Jeyvier Cintrón Ocasio is 3-1 this season, and the powerful Puerto Rican is third in the Flyweight (52 kg) rankings.

With just three matches to go in the Regular Season for his weight class, and considering only the top two ranked boxers reach the Rio 2016 Olympic Games via WSB, Ocasio needs to defeat Italian debutant Francesco Barotti to try and catch top ranked Yosbany Veitia and second placed American Brent Venegas III.

Only one point separates Ocasio from Venegas III, and if the Hurricane can replicate the form which saw him stop Eduard Johan Bermúdez Salas earlier in the competition he will make a huge step towards Rio.

Another boxer with Olympic dreams is Italy’s Valentino Manfredonia who is ranked number two at Light heavyweight (81 kg) with the same number of points as the top placed Julio César la Cruz.

The Italian has won all four of his matches this season via decision, so a stoppage win in San Juan against Hurricane debutant Davey Vega would vastly improve his qualification chances especially as Croatia’s Hrvoje Sep is just two points behind and also competes this week.

Guido Vianello is fifth ranked at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) but due to only one WSB Olympic quota for his weight class, he needs nothing less than a stoppage when he meets Puerto Rico’s undefeated Clayton Laurent Jr.

Elsewhere, 3-0 Lightweight (60 kg) Jose Rosario who has won his last two matches via split decision meets 1-0 Italian Donato Cosenza, and 1-3 Puerto Rican Welterweight (69 kg) Nicklaus Flaz fights Irish debutant Adam Nolan who competed at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Undeterred USA Knockouts aim to rebound away to Caciques Venezuela

An American derby finishes week ten of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) as Caciques Venezuela host USA Knockouts.

The Knockouts lost 5-0 to Italia Thunder last week and need a victory to remain in the hunt for qualification from Group B, while Venezuela are aiming for their fourth home win of the campaign.

Poliedro De Caracas, Caracas is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 21st March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 21:00 (GMT -4.5) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

3-1 American Brent Venegas III sits second in the Flyweight (52 kg) WSB rankings, four points behind Yosbany Veitia and a single point ahead of Jeyvier Cintrón Ocasio who also competes this weekend.

As two Flyweights will qualify for Rio 2016 via WSB, and with just three matches to go for Venegas, a win in Caracas against Venezuela’s 0-1 Orlando David Pino Silva will make his chances of competing in Rio grow significantly.

An intriguing Lightweight (60 kg) contest follows between Venezuela’s 1-1 Fradimil Macayo who defeated Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin two weeks ago and USA’s 0-1 Maliek Dawnnell Montgomery.

2-2 American Welterweight (69 kg) Brian Ceballo is ranked number five in his weight class this season, but faces a tough task in climbing that list as he faces 2-1 Gabriel Maestre Perez who has beaten excellent Kazakh and Azeri fighters in his WSB career so far.

Venezuelan Light heavyweight (81 kg) Albert Ramon Ramirez Duran’s sole defeat this season came to the number one seed Hrvoje Sep, and he aims for his third victory of the campaign against 2-2 Knockout Steven Nelson who has lost both of his away matches so far.

The action finishes at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) where Edgar Ramon Munoz Mata seeks his first win in five attempts when he faces charismatic 2-1 American Cam F. Awesome.

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