TOP CLASS international boxing will come to Sheffield when the British Lionhearts take on Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in their World Series of Boxing (WSB) semi-final first leg at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre on Thursday 17th May 2018.
It will be the first time the British Lionhearts have competed in Sheffield, which is home to the Olympic boxing programme and the GB Boxing squad that provides the vast majority of boxers and coaches for the Lionhearts team.
A number of boxers from the GB Boxing squad will be selected for the British Lionhearts team that takes on the reigning WSB champions from Kazakhstan. It will be the third season in a row that the teams have met in the semi-final of WSB and reinforces their status as two of the super-powers of the competition.
WSB is a team boxing competition which bridges the gap between Olympic and professional boxing and is contested by the world’s leading amateur boxers who compete without vests or headguards over five three-minute rounds.
The semi-final against Kazakhstan will feature five bouts and tickets are on sale now, priced £11 (including booking fee) at https://www.seetickets.com/event/british-lionhearts-world-series-of-boxing/pond-forge-intl-sports-centre/1224730.
“Sheffield has been home to the Olympic boxing programme for over a decade so it is great that we are able to bring the semi-final to the city and give sports fans an opportunity to watch the boxers in action,” explained Rob McCracken who is Performance Director of GB Boxing and the British Lionhearts.
“WSB is a high quality competition, featuring world class boxers and the fact this is a semi-final means it is going to be an extra special night.
“Our team has performed superbly this season to make the semi-finals however we know from experience that the Kazakh team will be extremely tough and it will be a superb night of boxing.”
The British Lionhearts have been the best performing team in the regular season of this year’s WSB finishing top of the table and winning five of their six matches and 23 of the team’s 30 bouts. The Arlans came third, winning five of their matches and 22 out of 30 bouts.
The match in Sheffield will be the first instalment of a two-leg semi-final and will feature contests at light-flyweight, bantamweight, light-welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight. The second leg will take place in Atyrau on Saturday 26 May 2018.
It is the third consecutive season in which the two teams have clashed in the semi-final of WSB. In 2016, the Lionhearts progressed to the final with a 7-3 victory over two legs. The score was reversed in 2017 as the Arlans overcame the British team before going on to defeat the Cuba Domodores in the final.
The British Lionhearts team is supported by UK Sport which funds GB Boxing to manage the world class performance programme (WCPP) for boxing.
All of the major boxing nations have a team in WSB which features some of the best boxers in the world from the Olympic format of the sport. Previous participants include Team GB’s Rio Olympic medallists, Joe Joyce and Joshua Buatsi, and the man many regard as the finest pound-for-pound boxer in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko, who competed twice for the Ukraine Ottamans against the British Lionhearts in 2013.