Baku, June 15, AZERTAC
Azerbaijan are wheeling out their heavy brigade for the Baku 2015 European Games men's Boxing tournament beginning on Tuesday 16 June.
Super heavyweight (+91kg) double world champion Mahammadrasul Majidov and light heavyweight (81kg) London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Teymur Mammadov will enter the ring as clear favourites in their weight categories.
Mammadov celebrated his bronze at London 2012 with a tattoo on his right arm, and while his left is currently still clear of ink, he hopes it won't be for long.
"I had this tattoo done after winning the bronze medal in London. Now I want to get one on the other arm for Baku 2015, then one for Rio 2016, but I will have that put on my body. I will try to make it a gold," said Mammadov.
"The most important thing for me now is the European Games. This is more important than even the Olympics in Rio. I want to win in the motherland and see the flag fly in my own country.
Majidov also returned with a bronze medal from London 2012, and boasts gold medals from both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships, but will face tough resistance from 29-year-old Joe Joyce of Great Britain, who is pushing for a place in Rio.
In the men's middleweight (75kg) division, world number three Zoltan Harcsa is the favourite to fight it out with fourth-ranked Anthony Fowler, out to make a name for himself and impress his cousin, the former England international footballer Robbie Fowler.