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Lionhearts to face reigning champions Italy; Big boys from Russia to battle Hussars in Poland
After their dominant display away to the USA Knockouts in their World Series of Boxing (WSB) debut, the British Lionhearts will be taking to the canvas for the first time on their home turf with the visit of the competition titleholders Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder on Friday 23 November (20:00 local time). The world famous 2010 golf Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor will have the pleasure of seeing two Olympic silver medallists and two European Champions in action for the home team. Welsh pair Fred Evans and Andrew Selby will be the star attractions whilst Ireland’s John Joe Nevin and Joe Ward will make it a real stellar evening.
AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011 silver medallist and reigning European Champion Andrew Selby will open up the show when he battles Daniele Limone, who was recruited by the Italian Franchise from the pro ranks where he had a 10 win to one loss record. This Bantamweight (50-54kg) showdown promises to be of the highest order with the lightening quick hands and constant switching of stance of the electric Selby against the experienced head of the Thunder’s 28-year-old.
Selby was really confident ahead of the fight, declaring, “With the GB squad, we are always well prepared and ready for anything. It will not be any different with WSB. We are as fit and strong as anyone, and the extra couple of kilos will suit me well as I am coming up from Flyweight (52kg). Italy has always got a strong team but we are not afraid of anyone. I am looking forward to the bout, and will put on a show in front of the home crowd”.
The technically gifted Irishman John Joe Nevin, a silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, made the switch over the summer from Paris United where he was part of the team that crowned WSB Team Champions in 2011. The classy operator will now be representing the British Lionhearts at Lightweight (57-61kg) and will be locking horns with 21-year-old Branimir Stankovic, the Serbian who really came of age last season. This one promises to be absolute dynamite.
Fresh from his exploits in London, 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist Fred Evans will send the crowds into raptures will his all-action style when he steps through the ropes to face Italy’s tough Frenchman Michel Tavares in the night’s Middleweight (68-73kg) bout. It will be an extremely tough competition bow for the 21-year-old Welshman in the battle of the southpaws, with Tavares a veteran of two seasons in WSB with an impressive record of 9 wins to two losses.
On facing Tavares, Evans said, “I am feeling well prepared. I am not bothered with whom I face, I will box anyone, anywhere. It is just great to be back boxing in front of my home crowd in Wales, for the first time since I won my Olympic medal. It will be great to box in WSB and I cannot wait to get going and get my first win for the Lionhearts”.
The British Franchise’s burgeoning Irish talent Joe Ward, the current European Champion, will then be pitted against experienced campaigner Imre Szello of Hungary at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg). Two tactically proficient boxers going head-to-head will ensure real fireworks for the fans.
The African continent’s top Heavyweight (91+kg) Mohammed Arjaoui will bring the show to a close when he faces Italian pro fighter Matteo Modugno (unbeaten in 12 fights with 6 KOs to his name). 25-year-old orthodox Arjaoui is now in his third season with WSB and after some strong showings at the London 2012 Olympic Games, he knows he can mix it up with the best.
A legendary venue with some of the very best boxers on the planet taking to the ring will give WSB fans one spectacular show. It will be a classic.
Big boys from Russia to battle Hussars in Poland
Lausanne, Switzerland, 20 November 2012 – This one promises to be an explosive confrontation between two nations that share a lot of history. The Hussars will be looking to make home advantage count and will seek to put their first points on the board after suffering an away defeat to Mexico Guerreros in their competition debut.
The Polish Franchise, which will be boxing at the Hala Sportowo Widowiskowa on Friday 23 November (20:00 local time), will have to be in top form coming into this Group A match, with the visitors bringing Individual Championships finalist Adlan Abdurashidov, the unbeaten Aleksandr Ivanov and mean-machine Vitaly Kudukhov.
170cm tall Polish southpaw Mateusz Mazik will get the action underway in the Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest when he battles the untested Muhammad Shekhova. None of these two fighters have previous WSB experience so it will be anyone’s bout. The venue, near Gdansk in Northern Poland, is sold out so there will be huge vocal support for the home boxers. Mazik will be looking to feed off the fervent crowds to record the victory and get his team off to a good start in the tie.
Adlan Abdurashidov (pictured) was one of the driving forces behind Russia’s charge to the 2012 WSB Team Final, winning his four fights during the regular season and notching up another victory to see off Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in the semi-finals. But after coming unstuck in the final, losing to Italy’s Branimir Stankovic, and then suffering an energy sapping defeat in the showpiece Individual Championships, the dynamic 22-year-old Russian will want to get back to winning ways when he faces the Hussars’ Adil Aslanov in the night’s Lightweight (57-61kg) bout.
Season II revelation Aleksandr Ivanov, after four wins in as many fights in his debut campaign, is back once again to demonstrate why he is one of the most feared boxers in the Middleweight (68-73kg) category. The classy operator faces experienced 23-year-old Hussars orthodox boxer Tomasz Jablonski in what will be a highly technical fight.
Jablonski was bullish about his debut in WSB, declaring, “I do not know Ivanov, however that does not matter, whoever is in front of me will get beat. The whole team cannot wait to face the Russians”. On Poland’s first match, he added, “The atmosphere is guaranteed to be first class in Gdynia, my home town, there will be a great crowds, all there to gives that extra motivation, energy and support to our boxers. It will be a night to remember”.
At Light Heavyweight (80-85kg), Belarusian Sergei Kuzmin of Hussars Poland will then be pitted against tough Russian 24-year-old Eduard Yakushev, who won three out of his four bouts last season. Kuzmin, a multiple National Champion, has been working extra hard to be ready for his WSB bow and Yakushev represents a real stern challenge for the newcomer.
After giving Heavyweight (91+kg) king Clemente Russo the hardest fight of his WSB career in the WSB Team Final last year, Vitaly Kudukhov’s confidence is sky-high and will be looking to pick up where he left off last season when he locks horns with Hussars Poland’s second Belarusian, 22-year-old orthodox fighter Sudzilouski Yan. This will be a no holds barred contest.
It will be extremely close with the beaten finalists coming to town but with a raucous crowd behind them, Hussars Poland believe they have what it takes to claim all the points.
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