Willie McLaughlin won on his World Series of Boxing debut to help Milano Thunder record a 4-1 home victory over Sean Turner’s Los Angeles Matadors in Milan.
Turner, of the Drimnagh BC in Dublin, was trading leather for LA this evening but despite a brave performance lost out to Poland’s Michael Olas.
Veaceslav Gojan and Domenico Valentino won the first two fights of the five-bout clash with the American franchise to open up a 2-0 advantage.
And McLaughlin, who boxes out of the Illies Golden Gloves BC in Donegal, fired the Italian side into an unassailable 3-0 lead with an impressive points ( 49-46,48-47,49-46) win over Zaal Kvachatdze of Georgia.
The victory sees Thunder maintain their unbeaten start to the season after two matches and moves the Italian outfit level on points with Dynamo Moscow at the top of Group A.
Turner, who had Michael Carruth working his corner this evening, had been hoping to earn LA a losing bonus point and appeared to be on his way to victory after edging slightly ahead on two of the judges cards at the end of the third, a frame in which he rocked Olas backwards with a fine left upper cut.
But the taller Pole, who was being relentlessly pursued by the Dubliner throughout, kept picking off shots in the remaining two frames to seal a points verdict a 4-1 win for the hosts.
Turner, who was also making his WSB debut tonight, and McLaughlin are the only two Irish boxers in action in the WSB this weekend.