News: WSB Bits; Bradley Skeete; Dominic Breazeale
Lausanne, Switzerland - This Group A encounter will see a strong Hussars Poland host an experienced Algeria Desert Hawks team at the Torwar Sport Center in Warsaw on Friday 14 December (20:00 local time). The home team impressed when they last boxed in Poland, earning a hard-fought victory against a tough Russian outfit. With the impending visit of Algeria, Hussars have named four of their winning fighters, including team spearhead Michal Olas, to face the North African Franchise.
The night's action will open with the Bantamweight (50-54kg) showdown between Polish southpaw Mateusz Mazik and Algeria's London 2012 Olympian Mohamed Flissi. With both being tactical boxers, it promises to be an intriguing contest. With a fervent home crowd expected, the onus will be on Mazik to deliver, but he will have to constantly be on his guard with Flissi a very slippery customer.
The Lightweight (57-61kg) clash will see Poland teenager Dawid Pawel Michelus make his WSB debut against another of Algeria's London Olympians, 25-year-old Mohamed Amine Ouadahi. The odds will favour the away boxer; however you can never predict the outcome of these types of fights with it being so competitive at this level.
Ouadahi was confident about travelling to Poland, saying, "I have been working overtime in order to be ready for this fight, I cannot wait to get started. It is Algeria's first season in WSB so it has taken us time to settle but we are now ready to come good".
Exciting talent Tomasz Jablonski, one of the poster-boys of the Polish team, will be looking to extend his winning streak this season when he battles Algeria's Sofiane Tabi in the Middleweight (68-73kg) bout. The 23-year-old Pole was sensational in his last outing when he inflicted a first WSB career defeat on Russia's Aleksandr Ivanov, outboxing the season two star in some style. Tabi has lost twice already so the Hussars will be counting on their man to win this one.
Belarusian Sergei Kuzmin will then be taking to the ring for the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) contest with the 23-year-old Hussars boxer pitted against Nabil Kassel of Algeria. It will be a close call to see who comes out victorious, but Kuzmin does have a slight reach advantage and that could be the deciding factor on the night.
Poland team leader Michal Olas will bring the show to a close when the talented orthodox 23-year-old locks horns with the Desert Hawks' top Heavyweight (91+kg) Chouaib Bouloudinats. This is one of the weekend's most highly anticipated fights. The Pole is the taller of the two so Bouloudinats will have to be at his best to have any chance of defeating his rival.
Olas was keen to share his thoughts, "I feel in top shape and well prepared for this fight. I have trained very hard and cannot wait for Friday. The atmosphere in the team is excellent, we are all very focused and are looking for maximum points in front of our fans. We know it will be hard with Algeria lining up their best boxers but we want to build our on momentum to give us even more confidence for next year".
It promises to be an electric night with both teams putting their big names into the ring. With the competition being so tight, each victory is worth its weight in gold, and these two will be gunning for precious points.
Lausanne, Switzerland - After their humbling defeat away to Kazakhstan in week three, the British Lionhearts have recalled their big names for the battle versus German Eagles in London this Friday 14 December (20:00 local time) at Earls Court. Welsh wizards Andrew Selby and Fred Evans, along with Joe Ward, Joseph Joyce and WSB debutant Sam Maxwell will all want to get their team back to winning ways before the winter break.
The first bout of the evening will be the Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown between Great Britain's Maxwell and Germany's rampaging 25-year-old David Oliver Joyce. It promises to be a rough introduction to life in WSB for Maxwell, who will have to be on top of his game against the dangerous Irishman. Joyce has two seasons now under his belt and boasts a 3-1 record in the competition, with his only defeat one of the narrowest in WSB history, with two judges scoring the bout as a draw. The two will know each other inside out so it will be close.
Joyce told WSB, "I know Sam very well; he is a top class boxer. He is a good puncher so I will need to constantly be on my toes. I am more experienced in this competition and want the victory to repay the faith shown in me by the German Eagles".
Afterwards, it will the turn of the Light Heavyweights (80-85kg) to take to the ring with European and former Youth World Champion Ward set to battle 22-year-old German Satula Abdulai. The Eagles' orthodox fighter is a late replacement for Kevin Künzel, who withdrew through injury. Teenager Ward, one of the most exciting talents on the planet, looked at ease in the pro format, completely outclassing Imre Szello in his previous outing. Abdulai on the other hand, represents an unknown quantity. The Lionhearts' accomplished Irishman should dominate this one.
2011 AIBA World Championships silver medallist Selby will then lock horns with French pro boxer Redouane Asloum at Bantamweight (50-54kg). 23-year-old Selby is, to many, one of the most technically gifted boxers in the world, constantly switching stance, he has the ability to throw sublime shots from almost any angle. The experienced 31-year-old Frenchman will have to box at his counter-punching best in order to put pressure on Selby with the odds favouring the home team's speedy fighter.
At Middleweight (68-73kg), it will be 2012 Olympic silver medallist and European Champion Evans versus German newcomer Vjaceslav Kerber. The Welsh southpaw is fast and furious, and has a vast repertoire of shots in his arsenal. He is however susceptible to lapses in concentration which can leave him exposed; the 21-year-old though should be too strong for his opponent here.
The show will be brought a close when the home team's Joyce faces Philip Grüner at Heavyweight (91+kg). The tall British 27-year-old orthodox boxer looked really controlled in his previous outing for the team, dominating seasoned pro Matteo Modugno. Grüner, it is expected, will be in damage limitation mode in this one.
Joseph Joyce was bullish about this bout, stating, "I am not worried, some nervous excitement maybe, but I am confident that I am ready. I have had plenty of sparring to prepare, with Anthony Joshua as my partner, so I have been training with the very best. I have loads of people from my boxing club coming to Earls Court to watch me; it will definitely give me the edge".
Eagles Head Coach Valentin Silaghi was looking forward to the match, declaring, "We have worked hard to give our boxers the best possible preparation for this one. After lots of video analysis, we came up with a gameplan for each boxer. The aim will be to counter the threat posed by this fantastic British Lionhearts team. We are a tight knit group and are highly motivated for this match. We are ready".
With their fearsome quintet, the British Lionhearts will want to do the business in front of their expectant crowd. The German Eagles have two debutants in their ranks so should struggle to contain the power of their opponents.
Burbank, California - Just three weeks after his last outing, Dominic "Trouble" Breazeale (2-0, 2 KO's) is returning to the ring this Saturday to continue his quest for a world title. The 2012 U.S. Olympic super heavyweight will be fighting on the undercard of the Leo Santa Cruz vs. Alberto Guevara world title bout at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena which will be broadcast live on CBS.
Breazeale continues to be appreciative of the opportunity to have such quick turnarounds and to participate on undercards of such high-profile events. Taking a break from training, Breazeale stated the following, "I just want to continue to thank Mr. Al Haymon and Golden Boy Promotions for allowing me the opportunity to fight again so quickly. I'm appreciative of their belief in me and I can't wait to get in the ring."
Saturday's event will also feature Golden Boy Promotions' Holiday Fanfest on the grounds of the Sports Arena that will include music, autograph sessions with boxing's biggest stars, games, boxing memorabilia, a visit by Santa Claus at an Oscar De La Hoya Foundation-sponsored toy give-away (10:00 a.m.) and much more.
Tickets for the afternoon boxing session (CBS broadcast) will be free of charge as part of the Golden Boy Holiday Fanfest and can be acquired at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena box office.
BRADLEY SKEETE: ‘I’VE GOT AN EDGE OVER CHAS IN SKILL, SPEED, POWER AND LOOKS, ESPECIALLY LOOKS!’
After successfully negotiating 10 rounds last time out, Penge welter Bradley ‘Super’ Skeete is starting to eye up big titles.
On Saturday evening, on the undercard of Frank Warren’s mega ‘Three Kings’ promotion at the ExCel Arena in London’s Dockland’s, the 25 year old 6ft 1in stylist squares up to Croydon’s Chas ‘The Bomber’ Symonds in a big south London derby for the Southern Area belt, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join www.boxnation.com
Now unbeaten in nine (three early), the former ABA finalist and 2006 World Juniors rep recently took time out from his hectic schedule to discuss his progress and plans with boxing writer Glynn Evans.
After eight low key wins whilst acclimatizing to the profession, you made a big step up last time narrowly outpointing Bermondsey’s Peter McDonagh over ten to claim the vacant International Masters title at the York Hall. What did you learn from that fight?
They were 10 hard rounds and I learned a lot. Al (Smith, his coach) had warned me how exceptionally tough McDonagh would be so I weren’t shocked. At welter, Peter’s the gatekeeper you need to get past to break into the title fights. He backed me up and kept me on the ropes for longer than I should’ve allowed. He also caught me with a few silly right hands but I got the job done.
In the past, I’ve been criticised for not getting opponents out of there (scoring stoppage wins) but all those rounds I had on my slate stood me in good stead. I was particularly pleased with my concentration and fitness. I felt I controlled the pace, then took over late on, and my skills took me to victory.
It was an ideal prelude for Saturday evening’s Southern Area showdown with Chas Symonds. How has your preparation gone?
I knew straight after the Peter fight in September that a crack for the Southern Area was in the pipeline so took just a week out of the gym. I’ve been back at it for 12 weeks now, the last 10 weeks really hard.
Boxing is all about levels and because I’m now at ten round level, I’ve had to step up my track work. Being in the gym longer is hard but this is what I want to do with my life. I know the hard work will pay off on fight night.
Who have you been sparring to groom you for title level?
For this fight, I’ve done most of my sparring with Sam (Webb) who’s right at the top of his game because he’s challenging (British light-middle champ) Brian Rose this Friday. It’s been really tough but he’s got me in great nick. I’ve also been sparring the ‘Pexican’, Millwall Johnny Garton and a big rough middleweight over at Jason Rowland’s gym.
Previously, I’ve been in with George Groves, Erick Ochieng, Rob Lloyd-Taylor and several of the young up-and-comers at the TKO gym. Before my first eight rounder, I did ten rounds with Lee Purdy over at Tony Sims gym in Essex; really tough but I learnt so much.
With opponent champion Symonds hailing from Croydon, Saturday’s clash shall also be for south London bragging rights. Already there’s an ‘edge’ developing and there’s been several sharp ‘exchanges’ on the social media sites!
Yeh, there’s loads of interest. My phone’s not stopped ringing and I’ve already done over 200 tickets.
There’s been a lot banter between his mob and mine on Twitter and Facebook because we’re all local. We’ve several mutual mates. You get a few silly keyboard warriors who’ve never had a glove on getting very bold and brave. I wouldn’t mind sharing a round with one or two of ‘em (laughs)!
But I don’t mind it. It’s becoming part of the sport and, at the end of the day, it’ll just be me and Chas sorting it out in the ring.
What do you know of Chas? What problems could he set you? How do you overcome them?
No disrespect but, from what I’ve seen, Chas seems just a rough, tough, come forward right hand swinger! He’s got nothing I haven’t got. He’s been about for years yet has never got past Southern Area level. I intend going a lot further. I’m looking big!
I expect he’ll be dangerous for the first couple of rounds but I’ll be letting myself down badly if I allow him to come in head first and swing away. If Chas gets a little bit confident it could become difficult for me. I’m sure he’d like a hard war. I’ve got the juice in my tank and the balls for that if it happens, but why take a risk?
It’s very important I stay focussed. I’ve got to dominate, make it my fight. I’ll be happy to go to points if I deliver a 10 round boxing clinic but ideally I want to take him out, show I’m levels above. I’ve got an edge in skill, speed, power and looks, especially looks!!
This is a big show with big names and I intend putting on a big performance.
Welterweight is one of Britain’s most densely talented divisions. How do you assess the competition?
You’re right, it’s exceptionally tough.
For me, Kell Brook is the best by far, better than (Amir) Khan. He’s got the power and Khan’s chin is suspect. Now Frankie Gavin seems to have sorted his problems, I think he’ll definitely get to world level too. He’s classy; great skill and movement plus a good boxing brain.
(Lee) Purdy could also get to world level. He’s proper heavy handed with those little gloves and tries to knock your head off your shoulders with every shot. Darius Vassell is another. He showed he was far too strong for Ronnie Heffron the other week; man against a boy.
There’s also some quality veterans like Matt Hatton, Junior Witter, Colin Lynes, Craig Watson, David Barnes.... I look up to them all and aren’t in a rush to fight them yet. I might need to chop off a leg to move down to light-welter or pig out on mum’s dinners and move up to light-middle!
But welter is where I’m at my premium. I’m very fortunate with my sponsors. Swelter provide me with sweat suits which are crucial to me making the weight. Usana provide me with all my supplements and proteins which gives me with a big boost; allows me to stay stronger for longer.
When do you expect to make the big push for the major titles?
Right now, I’m still young, still learning, and happy to keep ticking along. I’m ambitious but I’m in it for the long run and, if you rush it too soon, you get found out. It’s all about right fights at the right time. When I get to the really meaningful titles, your British, Commonwealth and European, I want to dominate.
If I can come through on Saturday, I’d like another five in 2013 and, if I can keep looking good, I’d like to knocking on the door of a British or Commonwealth challenge by the end of the year.