Cuba's Domadores tipped to advance to WSB final

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-5-2 9:14:44

Cuba will look to beat Russia Friday in the second leg of the semifinals of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season IV.

As Cuba's Domadores won the first leg in Moscow, their home-team advantage may cinch the fights, to be held at Havana's Sports City.

Cuba's hopes are pinned on two-time world champion Lazaro Alvarez (60kg), Olympic winner Roniel Iglesias (69kg) and twice world champion Julio Cesar La Cruz (81).

Alvarez, undefeated in five bouts, must defeat Russia's Konstantin Bogomazov (1-2), national youth runner-up in 2009, while Iglesias (3-0) must beat Olympic bronze medal holder Andrei Zamkovoi (0-1). La Cruz (3-1), meanwhile, will fight Aleksander Khotyantsev (3-1).

"There's no pressure, just the desire to stay concentrated, each in his role," Alvarez told reporters at a press conference at Havana's Melia Habana Hotel, following the official weigh-in.

Rounding out the five-member Cuban team are Leodan Nunez (52), with one win in the series, and Jose Angel Larduet (over 91), with one win and one defeat.

Nunez will go up against Russia's national title holder Ovik Ogannisian (0-1) and Larduet, winner of the 2009 bronze medal, will fight European champion Magomed Omarov (1-0).

Cuba's coach, Rolando Acebal, said high fighters "are well prepared."

Alberto Puig, president of the Cuban Boxing Federation, said the Cubans recognized their rivals' talent and skill, but the national squad had worked very hard for a win.

"The last word will be in the ring," said Puig.

Russia's coach, Eduard Kravtsov, meanwhile, praised Cuba's fighters, but said Russia will be looking to avenge their loss in the first leg of the semifinals at Moscow's Arena.

Cuba won the first leg on April 24 with a score of 3-2, and only needs a similar outcome to head to the WSB finals, but in case of a 5-5 tie, the winning team will be decided with an additional bout between Cuba's Leinier Pero (0-0) and Russia's Sergey Kalchugin (3-4), both in the 91-kilo division.

The winner of the last semifinal round will go on to fight in the finals against either the Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan or the Baku Fires of Azerbaijan, from their semifinal on Sunday in Guba, Azerbaijan. The Baku Fires lead after the first leg with a 3-2 score.

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