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First ever all-Irish WSB clash as Germany face strong Kazakhstan



Lausanne, Switzerland, 09 January 2013 – With the exciting match-up between German Eagles and Group B table-toppers Astana Arlans Kazakhstan set to light up the Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum on Saturday 12 January (21:00 local time), one contest that stands out is the face-off between David Oliver Joyce and Eric Donovan. The Eagles will be hoping that Joyce along with Nicolae Andreiana and Serge Michel come up with the goods at home to defeat the powerful Kazak outfit.

22-year-old Bantamweight (50-54kg) debutant Andreiana will be first in the ring and will be entrusted with the task of taking down the impressive Kazak southpaw Bagdad Alimbekov.

The Romanian European Championships bronze medallist comes to this competition with quite a pedigree and with a slight height and reach advantage, will be looking to make his maiden World Series of Boxing (WSB) appearance a winning one.

History will be made in the competition when two Irish fighters go head-to-head for the very first time. And what a mouth-watering prospect it will be to see the Eagles’ Joyce and Donovan battling it out for supremacy at Lightweight (57-61kg). The two come from the same St Michael’s Athy Boxing Club and the fight will be a repeat of the 2012 Irish Elite National Championships in which Joyce was victorious.

“We fought a few times in the past and they have always been cracking contests and I am expecting the same in Germany. It is a first for the club and Irish boxing and may the best man win on the night,” said Joyce.

Dominic O’Rourke, Director of Boxing with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association and Head Coach at the St Michael’s Athy BC, has worked in Joyce’s and Donovan’s corners on numerous occasions. He said, “David and Eric have been with the club from a young age, ten or eleven years old, and they are two world class boxers. Every time they have met at the National Stadium they have always produced fantastic contests, real edge of-the-seat stuff. Next Saturday in Germany will be a first as they will box over five rounds. It promises to be very exciting. The bout has captured the imagination of the club and I have no doubt that it will be another fantastic contest”.

Supremo Sergiy Derevyanchenko will then seek to extend his unbeaten WSB record to 16-0 when he locks horns with Germany’s Xhek Paskali in the Middleweight (68-73kg) showdown. The sumptuous 27-year-old Ukrainian has begun the season in blistering form, defeating two tough customers in weeks one and four. Paskali is still finding his feet in the competition and will face the biggest test of his fledgling career when he battles the double WSB Champion.

One of the revelations of this early season has been Germany’s Serge Michel, the technically gifted 24-year-old defeated two of the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) most accomplished fighters in Abdelhafid Benchabla and Kennedy Katende, and now he will be gunning for Kazakhstan’s experienced Croatian Hrvoje Sep. The orthodox Michel will have both the height and home advantage here so will go into the fight as slight favourite. However Sep always seems to rise to the occasion so this promises to be a great contest.

Bringing the show to a close will be the bout between Germany’s WSB debutant Eric Brechlin and WSB Champion Filip Hrgovic. The odds are stacked in favour of the away boxer here, with 20-year-old Croatian sensation boasting a 13-2 career record in the competition and currently leading the Heavyweight (91+kg) charts.

This one will have it all with both teams evenly matched throughout. Astana Arlans Kazakhstan will be intent on keeping their 100% record with a fifth straight win but Germany has been impressive at home. It will be a match to savour.

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German Eagles v Astana Arlans Hannover, Germany January 12th

Ireland and St Michael’s Athy team-mates David Oliver Joyce and Eric Donovan are slated to clash in the first ever all-Irish World Series of Boxing (WSB) fight when the German Eagles host the Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan in Hannover, Germany on Saturday night.

The historic lightweight Group B duel at the Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum will be a repeat of the 2012 Irish Elite semi-final which Joyce won (16-11) at Dublin’s National Stadium.

The Kildare duo also met in the 2007 and 2010 57kg and 60kg Irish Elite finals, both national deciders swinging either way by seven-point margins, Joyce winning the 2007 final 20-13 and Donovan claiming a 17-10 decision from the 2010 rematch at the Stadium.

Saturday’s meeting could also be a forerunner for the 2013 Irish Elite Championships 60kg final next month.

Joyce has won one fight for the Eagles this season and Donovan toppled Serbia’s Branimir Stankovic – who beat his Irish team-mate and 2012 Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin this term – in a five-round slugfest to help the Arlans defeat defending WSB Team champions Italia Thunder in Almaty, Kazakhstan last month.

“We fought a few times in the past and they have always been cracking contests and I’m expecting the same in Germany. It’s a first for the club and Irish boxing and may the best man win on the night,” said Joyce.

Dominic O’Rourke,Director of Boxing with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association and head coach at the St Michael’s Athy BC, has worked Joyce’s and Donovan’s corners on numerous occasions.

He said: ”David and Eric have been with the club from a young age, ten or eleven years old, and they are two world class boxers.

“Every time they met at the National Stadium they always produced fantastic contests, real edge of-the-seat stuff. Next Saturday in Germany will be a first as they will box over five rounds.

“It promises to be very exciting. The bout has captured the imagination of the club and I have no doubt that it will be another fantastic contest.”

The Arlans travel to Hannover five points clear of the hosts at the top of Group B.

The Eagles are lying in fourth position heading into week 5 of the WSB season.

The top four teams in Group A and B qualify for the quarter-finals.

German Eagles v Astana Arlans Hannover, Germany January 12th

Bantamweight – Nicolae Razvan Andreiana v Bagdad Alimberkov

Lightweight – David Oliver Joyce v Eric Martin Donovan

Middleweight – Xhek Paskali v Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Light-heavyweight- Serge Michel v Hrvoje Filip

Heavyweight – Eric Brechlin v Filip Hrgovic

Meanwhile, Joe Ward and John Joe Nevin and Michael Conlan and Sean Turner will be on opposing sides when the British Lionhearts host the USA Knockouts at York Hall, London on January 17.

Conlan, a bronze medal winner at London 2012, debuts for the Knockouts against current European champion Andrew Selby, while Lionhearts lightweight Nevin meets France’s Daouda Sow in a battle of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic silver medallists.

The Selby/Conlan five-rounder is a repeat of the 2011 AIBA World Championships quarter-final which Selby edged by a single-point in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Both boxers qualified for London 2012 by virtue of reaching the last-eight in the Azeri capital.

Ward, the current European light-heavyweight champion, will be aiming for his third WSB victory of the season for the Lionhearts versus Croatia’s Marco Calic in the East End of London.

If the Moate BC southpaw beats Calic then he could go top of the WSB Individual rankings. He currently occupies 3rd position.

London 2012 silver medallist Fred Evans and Frazer Clarke will also line out for the star-studded Lionehearts team, who will be looking to extend their unbeaten home run to three victories.

Lionhearts General Manager Matt Archibald is eagerly looking forward to hosting the USA Knockouts at York Hall, a venue considered by many to be the home of British boxing.

“We are keen for the British Lionhearts to have a recognized home venue for the remainder of the season where we can look to build a fanbase, he said.

“The agreement with York Hall and its owners GLL enables us to do this and provides the team with a home for the rest of this season in an iconic boxing venue.”

The Lionhearts are away to the Ukraine Otamans on Friday.