Saturday, 20 November 2010 - Italy, Milan
John Joe Nevin of Paris United, left, en route to victory against Vincenzo Picardi of Milano Thunder
The Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder team fended off a spirited performance by Paris United at the Palasharp this evening to secure a 3-2 victory in the first-ever match of the inaugural World Series of Boxing season.
World championship bronze medallist John Joseph Nevin remained calm and in control of the opening bantamweight bout against the home team's Vincenzo Picardi and cruised to the first victory of the evening on a unanimous decision by the judges.
"He's an Olympic bronze medallist and I knew I was the underdog," Nevin said. "But I've got a great team looking after me at Paris United and I've been learning some things. It's great to get a victory over five rounds."
World Champion Domenico Valentino took the first victory for the home side in the lightweight contest, overcoming Paris United's Radouane Fahrany with a 3-0 win on points. His team-mate Sergiy Derevyanchenko from the Ukraine then extended the Milano Thunder lead with an impressive technical knock-out in the first round. A sharp blow to Fahrany's head produced the first standing count of the evening within the first minute, with a second severe blow putting an early end to the contest with 34 seconds left on the clock.
From there the action continued apace, with Ludovic Groguhe taking to the ring for Paris United to face the Thunder's Nikolajs Grisunins from Latvia. After falling behind in the first round, the Frenchman clawed back and came out of the second break with a furious start, then maintained a strong presence for the remaining ten minutes.
"I've always wanted to box pro. I think it's my style of boxing," said the 24 year old from Strasbourg. "I was really well prepared and my trainers have been doing a good job over the past few months. It's great to be training as a team because we can help each other."
Clemente Russo, 2007 World Champion and 2008 Olympic silver medallist, entered the ring to rapturous applause from the home crowd for the evening's final encounter, the heavyweight duel against Zied Jouini. Russo put in a routine performance that would have seen him earn a perfect score, were it not for a warning in the final round.
The final result of 3-2 to Milano Thunder gives the home team three points and Paris United one point for the team standings.
Copyright © World Series of Boxing 2010 http://www.worldseriesboxing.com
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