#WSBV Day 14 – Morocco Atlas Lions look to end debut WSB season by defeating Russian Boxing Team23 April 2015
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.