Boxing: Russia, Ukraine to clash in boxing ring

LAUSANNE (AFP) - Russia's planned international boxing clash against Ukraine will still go ahead over two nights in Moscow and Donetsk despite the escalating Crimea crisis, organisers insisted on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 .

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) said that the World Series of Boxing (WSB) quarter-final first leg between the two countries will take place in the Russian capital on March 30 with the return on April 4 in Donetsk.

"This decision has been made based on the main principle of the Olympic Movement, which is that sport should always be dealt with outside of politics," said a joint statement by the two bodies.

"Both teams have fully agreed on this principle and AIBA/WSB is extremely happy that the opinion of both teams has been respected."

Should Russia prevail over the two nights, they could face the United States, who face Cuba in their last-eight tie, for a place in the final in what would be another politically-charged clash.

Both Russia and Ukraine boast major talents in their ranks, especially in the light-heavyweight division.

Russia's Nikita Ivanov will face Aleksandr Gvozdyk of Ukraine who is unbeaten at 9-0 in the tournament having also won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Ivanov defeated current world champion Julio La Cruz of Cuba earlier in the competition.

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