April 8, 2015
April 8, 2015
Joe Joyce

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AFTER defeating Algeria Desert Hawks on Tuesday night, Russian Boxing Team compete in their second match of the week as they face British Lionhearts in London.

This very important fixture will emanate from East London’s The Brewery in a special Black Tie event.

A resplendent audience at the venue will be treated to a wealth of excellent boxing headlined by British super-heavyweight (91+ kg) Joseph Joyce who is currently engaged in a ferociously tight battle to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through the World Series of Boxing. The Brewery, London is the venue for this Group A clash on Thursday (April 9).

5-0 Joseph Joyce has been one of the most impressive boxers in all of WSB, and the power puncher has stopped three opponents so far in Season V.

Unlike the majority of the weight classes in the competition, only one Super heavyweight will qualify for Rio 2016 through WSB, and with just two matches to go, Joyce is a single point behind the number one ranked Filip Hrgovic.

The slight points discrepancy means that Joyce needs a convincing victory over Gasan Gimbatov to keep track with Hrgovic, but such a win may be difficult against the undefeated Russian fighter.

Radzhab Butaev tops the Welterweight (69 kgs) rankings this season, and the 5-0 star could qualify for Rio if he achieves success in his penultimate match of the Regular Season.

With two Welterweight quotas for the Olympic Games available, Butaev is six points ahead of third ranked Steven Donnelly, which means that a win for the Russian star over British debutant Scott Fitzgerald could see him become the first man to reach Rio this season through WSB.

Fitzgerald is the reigning Welterweight Commonwealth Games gold medalist however, and the Lionheart will be keen to perform well in his WSB debut.

The action begins in London at Flyweight (52 kg) when 0-3 José Kelvin de la Nieve Linares meets 3-0 Vasiliy Vetkin.

Russia’s Vetkin has impressed in all three of his matches this season, while his Spanish opponent has been on the losing side of two split decision verdicts in recent weeks.

Oualid Belaoura has yet to find success for the Lionhearts in Season V, and the Lightweight (60 kg) will be keen to earn his first win of the campaign against 3-1 Adlan Abdurashidov.

The Russian Abdurashidov lost his last bout to Algeria’s Reda Benbaziz, so will be eager to return to winning ways in this bout.

British Light heavyweight (81 kg) Joshua Buatsi received a lot of plaudits despite losing his first WSB match against Peter Mullenberg via split decision, while his week 12 opponent is Pavel Silyagin, a split decision specialist who has won all three of his matches this season by that verdict.

Expect a close match between the two men in a contest which could define the overall scoring of the evening.

FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSHUA BUATSI AND MUCH MORE DON’T MISS THIS WEEK’S ISSUE OF BOXING NEWS MAGAZINE