By Johnston Brown – BillyCBoxing
After 12 enthralling weeks of World Series Boxing action the quarter-finals of season VII have now been confirmed and will take place across home and away legs on 12-13 May and 19-20 May.
Last year’s champions Cuba Domadores finished top of their group after losing only once and dropping only six bouts to end with the best record across all three groups. They will take on last year’s semi-finalists the Uzbek Tigers, who qualified as one of the best-third-place teams. The Tigers will be looking to go one better and reach the final this season but the Cubans are strong favourites and should march on through to the last four.
Last year’s beaten finalists the British Lionhearts also finished top of their group with only one defeat and losing eight bouts in their six matches. They will take on the France Fighting Roosters for the third time this season after beating them twice already. The Lionhearts will hope they can repeat the same 3-2 score line’s and progress to the semi-finals.
Newcomers Colombia Heroicos finished one point behind the Cubans in second place but were the only team to record a victory against them. Their opponents Italia Thunder managed to squeeze out the French to second spot after a 4-1 win against them in their final group match. The Thunder were also the only team to beat the Lionhearts this season so results on home soil will be key in this match-up.
Completing the quarter-final line-up will be Group C winners Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, who like the Cubans and Lionhearts only lost once this season. They will face Russia’s Patriot Boxing Team who finished second in the same group. Kazakhstan defeated the Russians twice this season, 3-2 away and 4-1 at home so they will be the favourites for a semi-final spot.
I’m really looking forward to watching the best eight teams in WSB this season and I’m going to pick Colombia Heroicos vs Italia Thunder as the tie of the quarters. I think the Colombians will just edge it with a comprehensive victory at home. My gut instinct says the Cubans, Lionshearts and Kazakhstan will join them in the last four.