Top African team Morocco are early favourites to flourish in Doha, Qatar. Their best boxers have been training hard for the upcoming 12th edition of the Arab Games where the boxing begins on 14 December.
The North Africans secured ten quota places for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games but failed to win any medal in China. Their newly selected squad claimed four silver medals at the African Men's Elite Championships in Cameroon this year, the same medal haul as their previous appearance at the last edition of the Arab Games. The Moroccan boxers will look to go one step further this time and claim gold in Doha.
At the annual Arabic Championships, Morocco secured two gold medals which is also their target in Qatar. Nine boxers have been selected. Marouane Niddam was unable to reach the qualification criteria for the heavyweight class.
21-year-old African Championships silver medallist and Bocskai Memorial Tournament bronze medallist Abdelali Daraa will compete in the Light Flyweight category. The young athlete from the Ain Sebaa boxing club wants to be crowned champion in Doha and is both in top form and great shape so stands a good chance of achieving his target.
Current Arabic Champion and African Youth Championships silver medallist, 18-year-old Yassine Lakhal is the youngest team member but is primed to make his mark at these Arab Games.
The country's Bantamweight fighter will be veteran Aboubaker Seddik Lbida who secured his place in the team ahead of three-time Olympian Hicham Mesbahi who will try to reach his fourth Olympic Games next year. Lbida, a 31-year-old soldier, has been involved in the national squad since 2001. His experience will clearly be a plus in his quest for final glory in Doha.
24-year-old Beijing Olympian Mehdi Ouatine will fight in the Lightweight class, he is one of the most highly regarded Moroccan boxers. An AIBA Junior World Champion in Agadir in 2006, he is now looking for his big breakthrough among elite boxers.
Newcomer Abdelhaq Aatkani also competed at the AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in Agadir in front of his home crowd, but only joined the national elite team this year. Although the Light Welterweight secured a valuable silver at the World Military Games in July, he will fly to Doha with the aim of increasing his international experience.
World Military Games silver medallist and Morocco's No.1welterweight, 25-year-old Mehdi Khalsi also competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The Rabat-based boxer has now enough international experience to beat his main rivals.
African Championships silver medallist Badreddine Haddioui has excellent technique but moved up to Middleweight only this year so he will need time to adapt. His compatriot, National Champion Amine Azzouzi probably does not have enough top-level experience but could cause an upset.
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games quarter-finalist and WSB boxer Mohamed Arjaoui will represent Morocco in the Super Heavyweight category. The tough 24-year-old fighter eliminated Russia's European Champion Sergey Kuzmin at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku but was then defeated by England's newest sensation, Anthony Joshua. Arjaoui still has a chance of achieving an Olympic quota place at the AIBA Africa's London 2012 Olympic Qualifying Event but he will first want to win the gold in Doha.
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