After winning the WSB title in their debut season, the Cuban team have remained undefeated in the competition, and seek their 14th consecutive victory of Season V.
Ukraine are in excellent form too, having won four of their last five matches, including an excellent win against Russian Boxing Team last week.
Cuba have already won Group A which means they will qualify directly to the semi-finals, while Ukraine currently sit third in the group, two points behind Russia, and two ahead of Mexico Guerreros.
Ciudad Deportiva, La Habana is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Friday 24th April fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:30 (GMT -4) at AIBABoxingTV.com.
Undefeated 6-0 star Yosbany Veitia opens the evening for Cuba, and the number one ranked Flyweight (52 kg) has already earned a Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota through WSB.
This week he faces 3-2 Azat Usenaliev who is unbeaten at home this season, but has lost both of his away matches in Russia and Mexico.
Veitia won the bronze medal at the 2013 AIBA World Championships, and has excelled in WSB throughout the group stages, boxing 30 rounds and looking comfortable throughout.
Expect this to be an entertaining fight between two boxers with incredibly effective boxing styles.
Cuban Lightweight (60 kg) Lazaro Alvarez is also guaranteed to finish in the top two of his weight class, however the number two ranked fighter will want to make it 7-0 in the Regular Season against Ukraine’s 1-0 Viktor Slavinskyi.
Alvarez has dominated all three of his home matches in Season V, but Slavinskyi impressed in his WSB debut two weeks ago when he defeated the highly ranked Reda Benbaziz.
2012 Olympic gold medalist Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo was expected to be one of the most successful Welterweights (69 kg) in WSB this year, yet two defeats in the Regular Season to Mohammed Rabii and Radzhab Butaev curtailed his hopes of achieving a Rio 2016 quota through this competition.
The Cuban bounced back in his last match with a home win over Mexico’s Héctor Andrés Reyes Anguiano, and searches for a second win in a row against 2-2 Oleg Zubenko.
Although Zubenko does not have a winning record this season, his two defeats came against the same fighters who beat Sotolongo, and the Ukrainian is on a two match winning streak.
A closer contest than many anticipated could be on the cards in this Welterweight tussle, which could be an integral result on the night.
One fighter who needs a more dominant victory is Cuba’s 5-1 Julio Cesar La Cruz who surprisingly lose a fortnight ago to Ecuador’s Carlos Mina.
The result pushed the Cuban down into third in the Light heavyweight (81 kg) rankings, and out of the Rio 2016 Olympic quota places.
La Cruz has to perform better this weekend than either Croatia’s Hrvoje Sep or top ranked Valentino Manfredonia to enter the top two at the last opportunity, but his week 14 opponent could be his toughest of the season to date.
Ukraine’s 4-1 Oleksandr Khyzhniak is ranked fourth at Light heavyweight, and his lone loss was a tight split decision defeat to Russia’s Pavel Silyagin away from home.
That was Khyzhniak’s sole away match in Season V so far, with his four victories all emanating in Kiev.
Khyzhniak has nothing to lose heading into this contest, while La Cruz is one of the most fluid and skilful fighters in the entire competition.
The very fact that La Cruz has to win may give him the edge, but if the pressure grows too strong then Khyzhniak is more than capable of punishing any mistakes.
Cuba’s 5-1 Lenier Eunice Pero is ranked second at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) but only one Rio 2016 quota is available from the heaviest weight class in WSB.
Four points behind Croatia’s dominant Filip Hrgovic heading into the last week of action, Pero needs a stoppage or a unanimous decision victory against Ukraine’s Ihor Shevadzutskyi to maintain any hopes of overtaking Hrgovic.
Shevadzutskyi will have the power advantage in this contest after stopping his last two opponents, while Pero’s six fights have all gone to points.
The Cuban is an excellent boxer however, and is one of the quickest fighters in the division which may be his key weapon across the five rounds.
Can Caciques Venezuela defeat Rafako Hussars Poland to keep quarter-final dreams alive?
After a home victory last week in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) against USA Knockouts, Rafako Hussars Poland finish the Regular Season by hosting Caciques Venezuela.
The South American Franchise have impressed many boxing aficionados in their debut WSB season, and they have the potential to qualify for the quarter-finals if they win away in Poland.
Venezuela are fourth in the Group B table, a single point behind Italia Thunder who have the ominous task of meeting the undefeated Astana Arlans Kazakhstan on Saturday night.
Although the Polish team cannot qualify from the group, they too have aspirations to move up the table and could potentially finish the group stages in fifth place.
Will Poland’s excellent home win last week replicate itself again? Or will Venezuela defy the odds once more and secure their eighth victory of the campaign?
Hala Znicz, Pruszków is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Friday 24th April fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:30 (GMT +2) at AIBABoxingTV.com.
Polish Flyweight (52 kg) Grzegorz Kozlowski has lost both of his matches this season on points, so will want to finish with a victory when he meets Venezuela’s 2-2 Eduard Johan Bermúdez Salas.
Both of Kozlowski’s defeats came away from home, which means the Polish star can look forward to home support for the first time in WSB, while Salas has lost his two away matches, including a first round stoppage setback against Jeyvier Cintrón Ocasio.
Winning the first bout of a WSB fixture can often set the tempo for the rest of the evening, so a victory for either boxer will help out their team massively.
The Lightweights (60 kg) are in action next, where Mateusz Polski faces Luis Cabrera.
Polski endured a disappointing split decision loss in his WSB debut two weeks ago in Italy against Fabio Introvaia, while Cabrera began his career in the competition with success on the same weekend after beating Argentina’s Brian Ivan Nunez.
Cabrera is perhaps the faster boxer though he lost the last round against Nunez, whereas Polski dominated the second half of his contest with Introvaia.
Ireland’s Steven Donnelly has excelled for Rafako Hussars Poland this season, and the third ranked Welterweight (69 kg) looks for his sixth WSB win against 2013 AIBA World Championships bronze medalist Gabriel Maestre Perez.
A split decision success over Dario Morello two weeks ago was not enough for Donnelly to stay in the hunt for a Rio 2016 Olympic quota through WSB, while Perez has lost both of his away matches in the competition despite excellent home form.
Both boxers therefore will be eager to make a statement in their last match of the group stages, so will the attacking style of Donnelly or the slick reflexes of Perez prove to be the most important attribute in the fight?
Poland have only won a single match at Light heavyweight (81 kg) in Season V, which was a walkover win for 1-4 Mateusz Jerzy Tryc who fights Venezuela’s fifth ranked Albert Ramon Ramirez Duran.
Duran’s lone loss this season was to the second ranked Hrvoje Sep via split decision, and he has looked excellent in his victories.
Tryc also pushed Sep to a split decision in week two of the season, and if both boxers can replicate their best form, we could be in for an outstanding battle.
The night closes at Super heavyweight (91+ kg) and if Venezuela need a victory in the last match of the evening, they will be happy to rely on Edgar Ramon Munoz Mata, a fighter on a two bout winning streak.
Poland’s representative will be 0-2 Mantas Valavicius, who showed a great chin and immense toughness when he took both Arslanbek Makhmudov and Clayton Laurent Jr to points earlier in the season.
Who will finish bottom of Group A after China Dragons meet Algeria Desert Hawks?
China Dragons finish their World Series of Boxing (WSB) season with a home match against Algeria Desert Hawks, a fixture which shall determine who will finish bottom of the Group A table.
The Algerian Franchise are currently eighth and last in the table with eight points, one behind seventh placed China.
Both teams have identical wins and losses with 18 successes and 47 defeats across their 65 bouts, and each has won two of their 13 fixtures.
Algeria will be confident after winning the African derby last week against Morocco Atlas Lions, while China’s two victories this season have both come at home.
Mangrovetree Convention Center, Sanya is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Friday 24th April fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:00 (GMT +8) at AIBABoxingTV.com.
Chinese Flyweight (52 kg) Jianguan Hu will aim to get the Dragons off to a winning start in the opening contest of the evening, as he battles Algeria’s Abdelhakaim El Barka.
Hu won his opening match of the season but has since lost two in a row, while El Barka is winless in four bouts.
All four of El Barka’s matches have gone the distance however, so expect this to be 25 minutes of fast and furious action.
2-1 Lightweight (60 kg) Jun Shan has been one of China’s best boxers across the group stages, and has won both of his home matches on points.
This week he meets Algerian debutant Faical Chaouche who replaces the fourth ranked Lightweight Reda Benbaziz in the Desert Hawks team.
An exciting Welterweight (69 kg) clash follows between 1-3 Wei Liu and Algeria’s 0-4 Sofiane Tabi.
Liu’s lone win this season came against Britain’s Haizel Ekow Tabiri-Essuman in week eight, while Tabi has entertained even after losing all of his matches in Season V.
Despite the losing records of both boxers, they each offer toughness and excellent stamina, which will make this match an important one on the night.
0-2 Aolin Zhang and 0-1 Hichem Kaalaour are each looking for their first victories of the campaign, so their Light heavyweight (81 kg) clash will be significant for not only their teams, but also for the boxers at an individual level.
The closeness of both teams in the table signifies that every match will be a tight battle, and everything could come down to the last contest of the evening which will be at Super heavyweight (91+ kg.)
China’s 1-2 Wang Zhibao memorably defeated Mexico’s Edgar Ramirez in week six of WSB, and will hope for a similar result against Algeria’s 1-1 Mohamed Grimes who beat Ireland’s Dean Gardiner a month ago.
Mexico Guerreros make last attempt to reach WSB knockout stages against British Lionhearts
Mexico Guerreros host British Lionhearts in the last week of the Regular Season in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) knowing that only a victory will keep their hopes alive of staying in the competition.
The Mexican team are currently fourth in the Group A table, two points behind Ukraine Otamans, and four below Russian Boxing Team.
Excellent home form has been an integral part of the success of the Guerreros this season, after five wins from six matches, while the British team have struggled away from home with only one success from six attempts.
This could be the last match of Season V for both Franchises, so the pair will look to finish with aplomb.
Plaza De Toros San Marcos, Aguascalientes is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Friday 24th April fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:30 (GMT -5) at AIBABoxingTV.com.
A Flyweight (52 kg) contest opens the evening where home star Orlando Huitzil Ahuatl meets Spain’s José Kelvin de la Nieve Linares.
Ahuatl is 3-2 this season and looked impressive in losing efforts to Vasiliy Vetkin and Yosbany Veitia, while Linares achieved his first win of the campaign two weeks ago against Vetkin.
Both boxers have a wide array of abilities in the boxing ring, and this has all the hallmarks to contain five rounds of excellent action.
3-1 Mexican Lightweight (60 kg) Lindolfo Delgado is unbeaten at home for his Franchise, and will look for his fourth assault in Aguascalientes against 0-3 Lionheart Oualid Belaoura.
All three of Belaoura’s defeats have come in away matches, while Delgado is a points machine when he boxes in front of his home fans.
Marvin Cabrera has been one of Mexico’s most successful boxers across the history of WSB, but the Welterweight (69 kg) started Season V with two successive defeats.
Since then his form has improved, and he seeks his third consecutive victory when he faces Britain’s 2-3 Haizel Ekow Tabiri-Essuman.
Essuman has impressed many with his composure and movement in his debut season, and though he has lost his last three bouts, the Brit will be confident that he can upset a WSB legend in Mexico.
The Light heavyweights (81 kg) compete next, and 2-0 Rogelio Romero battles 1-1 John Newell.
Romero has defeated Shi Guojun and Hichem Kaalaour in his two matches, while Newell was on the wrong end of a close split decision verdict against Yibulayin Abudureyimu six weeks ago.
Britain’s Joseph Joyce lost his undefeated record, and his chances of a Rio 2016 Olympic Games quota through WSB a fortnight ago, but the third ranked Super heavyweight (91+ kg) has had an amazing season, and will be determined to finish with another impressive performance.
With three stoppages amongst his five wins, Joyce is one of the most powerful brawlers in WSB, which will concern Mexico’s Edgar Ramirez who has lost two of his last three matches.
Morocco Atlas Lions look to end debut WSB season by defeating Russian Boxing Team
Morocco Atlas Lions have been an excellent addition to the World Series of Boxing (WSB) this season, and they end their debut campaign at home to Russian Boxing Team.
Both of these teams are coming off significant defeats, with Morocco losing the African derby to Algeria Desert Hawks a week ago, while Russia fell 3-2 against Ukraine Otamans.
The Moroccan Franchise have won their last two home matches however, and will feel confident against a Russian side who have lost two of their last three away fixtures.
Russia are currently second in the Group A table, two points ahead of Ukraine Otamans who they need to stay in front of if they are to enjoy home advantage in the quarter-finals.
Hyatt Regency, Casablanca is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Friday 24th April fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 22:00 (GMT +1) at AIBABoxingTV.com.
Achraf Kharroubi has been one of Morocco’s best boxers this season, and the 4-2 Flyweight (52 kg) is ranked third heading into his last match of the campaign.
Two Light flyweights will earn an Olympic quota, but Kharroubi is currently two points behind second placed Puerto Rican Jeyvier Cintrón Ocasio in the race to Rio.
Kharroubi’s four victories have come against supreme talents, while he will feel unlucky that his two defeats both came via split decision, including when he faced Cuba’s number one ranked Yosbany Veitia.
The African star knows he has to better the result of his North American rival Ocasio, and he will have to defeat Russian debutant Karen Arutiunian in some style.
A Lightweight (60 kg) clash follows between Desert Hawk Hamza Rabii who won in China a fortnight ago, against Russia’s 4-1 Adlan Abdurashidov.
Abdurashidov is ranked third at Lightweight this season after four excellent wins, but cannot earn an Olympic quota following the excellent form of Lazaro Alvarez and number one placed Albert Selimov.
6-0 Mohammed Rabii has been one of the greatest success stories in Season V, with the Moroccan Welterweight (69 kg) a virtual unknown at the start of the group stages, before earning a Rio 2016 Olympic quota through this competition.
Now ranked second at Welterweight after victories over the likes of Olympic gold medalist Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo, Rabii has a chance to finish the Regular Season at the top of the rankings, as his Russian rival Radzhab Butaev will not be competing in Casablanca.
Instead, former AIBA Junior World Champion and European Junior Champion Tamerlan Magomedov will battle against the undefeated Rabii, who has adapted superbly to the styles of all of his opponents so far in the competition.
Dutch Light heavyweight (81 kg) Peter Mullenberg has won his last two matches for Morocco, but faces tough opposition this week when he meets Russia’s sixth ranked Pavel Silyagin.
Three of Silyagin’s wins have come via split decision in the group stages, while all four of Mullenberg’s matches have gone the distance, so expect a close, technical affair between these two talented boxers.
The last bout of the evening is at Super heavyweight (91+ kg), where 2-2 home favourite Abouhamada Abdeljalil faces Russia’s Gasan Gimbatov. Abdeljalil is a very tough and resolute fighter who is undefeated at home in WSB.