On Monday night, with just two days before the World Series of Boxing begins its third season, the Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder presented their team of superstars to the world. A full squad that included several Olympic medallists as well as boxers from the pro ranks was unveiled at the Italia Thunder Gym in Milan.
After being crowned WSB Team Champions in London in May and with the success of Middleweight king Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the Individual Championships, the aim this season is to retain the trophy. However it promises to be harder than ever with so many strong teams joining the competition.
The Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder will compete in Group B alongside British Lionhearts, German Eagles, Ukraine Otamans, Astana Arlans Kazakhstan and USA Knockouts. Francesco Damiani will continue to lead the team as Head Coach, the Italian has almost legendary status in his home country.
The Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder team is as follows:
Bantamweights (54kg) Riccardo D’Andrea (Italy), Daniele Limone (Italy), Jahyn Vittorio Parrinello (Italy), Vincenzo Picardi (Italy);
Lightweights (61kg) Branimir Stankovic (Serbia), Charly Suarez (Philipines), Michele De Filippo (Italy), Domenico Valentino (Italy);
Middleweights (73kg) Vincenzo Mangiacapre (Italy), William McLaughlin (Ireland), Michel Tavares (France), Valter Fiorucci (Italy);
Light Heavyweights (85kg) Abdelhafid Benchabla (Algeria), Bojan Miscovic (Croatia), Endri Spahiu (Italy), Imre Szello (Hungary);
Heayweights (91+kg) Matteo Modugno (Italy), Clemente Russo (Italy), Emanuele Leo (Italy), Tony Yoka (France)
The team recruited heavily during the off-season with 13 new faces linking up with the squad. The most high profile ones are Filipino Lightweight Charly Suarez, the revelation of the second season; powerful Frenchman Michel Tavares and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Vincenzo Mangiacapre at Middleweight; Abdelhafid Benchabla, whose transfer from Astana Arlans Kazakhstan is a real message of intent, will bringing added firepower to the Light Heavyweights; and in the Heavyweights, promising Frenchman Tony Yoka has also been added to the roster.
The Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder’s season begins 17 November in Milan against the German Eagles at the Mediolanum Forum. All the matches will be transmitted live on SKYItalia. For all other viewers, follow every minute of the action on the WSB’s official YouTube channel.