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British Lionhearts get better of Italian rivals

PUBLISHED: 11:45 24 March 2017

Muhammad Ali won his bout for the British Lionhearts against Italia Thunder

Muhammad Ali won his bout for the British Lionhearts against Italia Thunder

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Hosts claim World Series of Boxing win at York Hall

British Lionhearts produced a clean sweep of wins to put a taxing week behind them and inflict a 5-0 defeat on Italia Thunder in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) at York Hall last night.

It ended a difficult week for both teams, who had been at the House of Commons on Wednesday when a terrorist attack resulted in several deaths and a number of serious injuries.

An emotional evening began with the ringing of 10 bells as a mark of respect to those affected by those events and saw the British team being led out by GB Boxing coach, Tony Davis, who had gone to the aid of PC Keith Palmer who was tragically killed in the attack at the Houses of Parliament.

Once the boxing began the Lionhearts got off to a winning start as Muhammad Ali overcame a second-round knockdown to earn a points win over Manuel Cappai in the flyweight bout.

An impressive WSB debut by lightweight Calum French saw the Lionhearts extend their lead as the in-form Birtley ABC boxer overcame Michael Magnesi.

Clubmate Pat McCormack did not have it all his own way in a scrappy welterweight contest but was too good for the highly experienced Italian, Vincenzo Mangiacapre, as he secured a unanimous points win to maintain his unbeaten WSB record.

Bulgarian light-heavyweight Radosalv Pantaleev followed suit to extend his unbeaten record in the competition with a win over Gianluca Rosiclione to make it 4-0 on the night.

The final bout of the contest looked like it might provide a shock as popular super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke suffered a second-round knockdown against Guido Vianello.

But the Brit climbed off the canvas to assert himself on the Italian and secure a split decision points win and deliver a whitewash for the Lionhearts.

Afterwards, the Burton ABC man summed up what had been a tough week for himself and the boxers and coaching staff in the Lionhearts team.

He said: “I made hard work of it. We had a difficult 24 hours but that is no excuse. I am a professional and should have handled that better.

“If I did everything I was taught in the gym then that fight would have been no problem, but I will learn from it and come back better.

“After what we have seen it was important that we got in there and fought. People have lost family and friends this week. We are the lucky ones and had every reason to get in there and compete. Thank God we were all fine.”

The victory puts the Lionhearts top of Group B in WSB and on course to the make the quarter-finals of the competition.

They will face France Fighting Roosters at York Hall next on Thursday, April 6.

Tickets for are on sale at theticketfactory.com.

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