Lausanne, Switzerland - The Acco International Exhibition Center in Kiev will be treated to a true boxing spectacle this Friday 1 February (20:00 local time) when Ukraine Otamans host the German Eagles in this mouth-watering World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group B clash. World and Olympic Champion Oleksandr Usyk will be the star attraction on the night alongside Olympic silver medallist Denys Berinchyk. Dmytro Mytrofanov, who has so far excelled this season, will also get another chance to showcase his immense talent when he takes to the ring in the third bout of the match.
Diminutive Ukrainian Bantamweight (50-54kg) Ivan Ilnytskyy will go in search of his first career WSB victory in the evening's opening contest when he locks horns with 20-year-old Dane Mohamad Ismail Sadik. Ilnytskyy always shows great heart and there is never any faulting his endeavour but his small frame puts him at quite some disadvantage against taller opponents, so he will come into his fight versus the Eagles' newcomer as the slight underdog.
There will be huge anticipation around the Lightweight (57-61kg) encounter with World and Olympic silver medallist Berinchyk making his WSB debut against German orthodox Artur Schmidt. The 24-year-old Ukrainian is a no-nonsense fighter who relishes a battle at close quarters and delivers some of the most punishing hits around. His explosive style will sure to give the fans a great show. Schmidt is returning to the WSB ranks after a season away from the competition and the 27-year-old is guaranteed to find himself in one the toughest fights of his career.
Berinchyk told us, "We want to win, nothing less will do at this stage of the season. The training has been great and we are feeling extremely confident about a victory against Germany".
Germany's Schmidt was also looking forward to the bout, stating, "I am delighted to be back in WSB, it is a quality competition. I enjoy switching stance a lot and I will use that to unsettle my opponent. I boxed and won the WSB Team Trophy with Paris United in season one which was a fantastic experience, but being able to box for my country is an even greater honour. I cannot wait to face Berinchyk".
The impressive Mytrofanov, who pushed Middleweight (68-73kg) king Sergiy Derevyanchenko all the way before inflicting a first career WSB defeat on William McLaughlin in his previous two appearances this season, will then be pitted against the Eagles' Moldovan southpaw Vasilii Belous. The Ukrainian will now want to continue his winning streak, but he will have to box clever against an experienced and taller opponent.
After losing by split decision the last time out, the Otamans' 27-year-old Denys Poyatsyka will be seeking to get back to winning ways when he faces Xhek Paskali, who has just moved up to Light Heavyweight (80-85kg), in the penultimate contest of the night. Poyatsyka was disappointed to lose to Imre Szello in his previous appearance in the competition and will be looking to make home advantage count here. His 22-year-old German rival should struggle against his height and power.
Paskali was bullish about his chances, saying, "I have studied a lot of footage of Poyatsyka in order to get maximum preparation. The structure of my training puts me in a very positive frame of mind for this fight. The Otamans are very strong but we are confident of springing a surprise or two".
The big focus of the match will of course be on the Heavyweight (91+kg) showdown between Otamans superstar Usyk and 22-year-old German orthodox Eric Brechlin. The overwhelming favourite for this one is the Ukrainian southpaw, who mixes sublime technique with devastating power. Brechlin will have to find something really special to have any chance of claiming victory.
When quizzed about his thoughts on the match, Usyk declared, "As a team, we are slowly finding our feet in the competition but we are confident that as a unit we can overcome the challenge of the Germans. I have been working hard in the gym and want to build on my previous victory against Fa. I have been studying Brechlin's fights online in order to be as prepared as possible. Once thing is for sure, I am in good spirits and will put on a show for the fans".
With such an array of talent in their ranks, the Ukraine Otamans should move a step closer to qualification for the knockout stages whereas Germany needs the win to stay within touching of fourth place in the Group.
Lausanne, Switzerland, 30 January 2013 - Still looking to record their first win in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) competition this season, USA Knockouts will look to make home advantage count at the Yost Theater this Thursday 31 January (20:00 local time) when Astana Arlans Kazakhstan come to town. The hosts will be relying on experienced Mexican Bantamweight (50-54kg) Braulio Avila Juarez, William Williams and tough Hungarian Istvan Bernath to lead the charges.
It should be a tight affair between the Knockouts' Avila Juarez and Kazakhstan's Khabibula Ismail-Akhunov in the night's opening contest. The 26-year-old Mexican orthodox boxer should have the edge with three seasons in the competition and a 7-5 record to his name. Ismail-Akhunov struggled in the last campaign against speedy opponents but has come on leaps and bounds over the past year as a result of the quality coaching set-up that the Arlans now have.
In the Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown, USA's Juaquin Chavez will be pitted against impressive 25-year-old Kazak southpaw Samat Bashenov. The American was impressive in the pro ranks, however the pedigree of the fighters in WSB always make it a difficult introduction to newcomers. Bashenov on the other hand has been class in his two previous outings, his defeat of AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Anvar Yunusov when he showcased his full repertoire of shots was the pick of those victories.
After a nasty cut saw him hand the win to his opponent last time out, 22-year-old William Williams from the USA will be doing all he can to overcome the challenge of Israeli hard man Konstantin Snigur in the Middleweight (67-73kg) bout. Williams will have to box clever and keep his guard up at all time if he aims to take anything away against an opponent who has proven time again that he can mix it up with the very best.
WSB debutant and local Los Angeles boxer Jamel Reynolds will then be going head-to-head with the Arlans' classy Iranian Ehsan Rouzbahani at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg). The American is an unknown quantity at this level so will be relying on the element of surprise against an opponent that reached the quarter-final stages of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Rouzbahani, a 24-year-old southpaw, will be high on confidence following a solid win in his last outing.
The night will be brought to a close with the Heavyweight (91+kg) contest between the Knockouts' Bernath and 2009 AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Roman Kapitonenko. The 32-year-old Arlans Ukrainian comes with quite some pedigree, having also scooped bronze at the European Championships in 2010, and although he will be making his first foray in WSB, he will go in as favourite against Bernath, who has already suffered two defeats this season.
Kazakhstan are flying high in WSB season with six wins from six and with such a powerful unit travelling to the USA, many expect them to extend that unbeaten streak even further. Anything less than a victory for the Knockouts will do, with quarter-final qualification impossible if they do not.
Elite Schoolboy Awards Night
The awards night takes place this Friday night in the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co.Kildare. Doors open at 7:15pm with dinner starting at 8pm. The awards ceremony will follow the dinner.
Tickets are €30 for this event and boxers receiving an award get free entry provided they are attending with their parents/guardians/coaches.
Only boxers attending on the night will receive an award.
Boxers to be awarded are Irish Champions at Boy 1, Boy 2, Boy 3 and Boy 4 plus Cadet Champions at these age groups.
Also boxers who attended the first Elite Schoolboys Summer Camp in Gormanston and those who represented Ireland at the European Schoolboy Boxing Championships in Anapa, Russia last October.
(Click here for 2012 European Schoolboy Championships results).
RTE memory man Jimmy Magee will be the Master of Ceremonies on the night.
Those who currently do not have tickets and are intending on going to the awards night should contact Paddy Gallagher 087-6286269 or Stephen Molloy 087-2021449 immediately.