Boxing


WSB's First Half Set to Conclude with Mexico City Guerreros and Memphis Force

(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) Saturday will mark the halfway point of the World Series of Boxing's (WSB) inaugural season, but not before the Mexico City Guerreros travel to Memphis, Tenn., to take on the Memphis Force. Both teams hope to try and gain some momentum for the second half of the season as both teams have struggled to find consistency in the early going.

The Memphis Force (1-4) have dropped three events in a row following their home win on November 26 while the MC Guerreros (2-3) have yet to win away from Mexico City and lost big last week to the LA Matadors at home. Last night, the disparity between the league's top team, and the rest of the WSB Americas franchises deepened as the Los Angeles Matadors moved to 5-1 on the season with a 4-1 defeat of the Miami Gallos, who are now 3-3 on the year.

The MC Guerreros get set to enter three new boxers into the WSB competition including Josip Duric (Zagreb, Croatia), Kennedy Katende (Sundsvall, Sweden) and Jose Payares (Caracas, Venezuela). Katende and Payares both represented their country at the 2008 Olympic Games, but both were unable to advance past the first round in Beijing.

Duric will face Chris Jones (Dallas, Texas) of the Force in a middleweight clash. Jones will be looking to earn his first WSB win after dropping his first two bouts on the season.

The highlight bout Saturday night could come between light heavyweight's Katende and fellow Olympian Imre Szello (Cegled, Hungary) of the Memphis Force. Szello finished tied for fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games and looked impressive in his lone WSB bout on November 26. Following his WSB debut in Memphis, Szello returned to Hungary and won another Hungarian National title.

Payares will face upstart heavyweight Cam Thompson (Uniondale, N.Y.) who looked impressive in his first WSB bout December 16 against Javier Torres of the LA Matadors. Thompson is a two-time U.S. National Champion and 2009 National Golden Gloves National Champion and might be one of the league's most intriguing personalities.

In support of breast cancer awareness, Thompson fights his opponents decked out in light pink trunks adorned with the cause's signature pink ribbon, pink headgear and a pink T-shirt that reads "Fighting is a lot easier when your opponent isn't cancer."

Thompson doesn't have any relatives who have had breast cancer. He said he was inspired to go pink after fighting at a breast cancer awareness tournament in Tampa, Fla., a few years ago.

When he's not fighting or hawking T-shirts, he serves as a personal trainer and boxing coach and also works as a special projects director at Ringside, the boxing equipment manufacturer outside Kansas City.
Cam Thompson

Heavyweight Cam Thompson (left) of the Memphis Force was impressive in his first WSB bout against Javier Torres of the LA Matadors. Thompson will look to delight Force fans with more of the same Saturday at the DeSoto Civic Center against 2008 Olympian Jose Payares of the MC Guerreros in what will be his WSB debut. MANDATORY PHOTO CREDIT: Hoganphotos

Bantamweight Detelin Dalakiev (Pleven, Bulgaria) of the Memphis Force will take on Braulio Avila (Tlaxcala, Mexico) of the Mexico City Guerreros. Dalakiev was the 2009 World Amateur Boxing Champion, winning six times on his way to the world title in Milan, Italy. He is 1-1 on the season in the WSB while his opponent Avila enters with the same record.

There will be no bout in lightweight/61 kg division as the Memphis Force are unable to field a boxer in that weight class. Both lightweight boxers the Force are currently serving medical suspensions including Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) and Yahman Phelps (Cincinnati, Ohio). MC Guerrero Angel Gutierrez (Queretaro, Mexico) will receive the walkover in the weight class given he makes weight on Friday.

The LA Matadors (5-1) sit atop the entire WSB coming into this weekend's events with 16 points, while the Baku Fires (5-0), with 15 points, must keep pace in their upcoming match with the Beijing Dragons Saturday in Baku. Each league winner as well as one second-place team advance to the playoffs of the World Series of Boxing which will take place at the conclusion of the regular season that ends March 18.

Catch the WSB all season on VERSUS and Vme, the Spanish network provider of the WSB Americas. On Saturday, January 15 at 6:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS will air the Memphis Force/Miami Gallos match that took place January 5.

Article posted on 15.01.2011



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