After succumbing to defeat on British soil last time out, a full strength Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder will now be gunning for victory when they host a strong Ukraine Otamans side at the Mediolanum Forum this Saturday 8 December (21:00 local time). The Italians will be lining up some of their stellar performers, including Domenico ‘Mirko’ Valentino, William Mc Laughlin and Clemente Russo, to make the difference in this World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group B encounter.
In the first contest of the night, the home team’s Italian Bantamweight (50-54kg) southpaw Jahyn Vittorio Parrinello will be tasked with overcoming the threat posed by dangerous Moldovan Alexandr Riscan, a two-time European bronze medallist. Parrinello is vastly experienced, having participated in both the Beijing and London Olympic Games, but with both boxers evenly matched in all departments, the onus will be on the Thunder’s 29-year-old to deliver before an expectant crowd.
2009 AIBA World Champion Valentino, one of the Thunder poster-boys, will then take to the ring in the Lightweight (57-61kg) contest to face tough Ukrainian Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn. The 28-year-old orthodox fighter struggled with injuries last season but after coming back to full fitness, the unpredictable Valentino is now ready to set the competition alight.
The tattooed Italian told us, “I feel strong. This will be my first fight of the season and I am really fired up. After my unsatisfying Olympic Games in London, I am now looking for redemption. I want to give to people a clear signal that Valentino is back, and back to defeat all before him”. On his opponent, he declared, “Ukraine has a great boxing tradition, so I know he will be dangerous. He is taller than me but I have devised a clever tactical plan and victory will be mine”.
The Middleweight (68-73kg) showdown between unbeaten Irishman McLaughlin and the Ukraine Otamans’ Dmytro Mytrofanov is guaranteed to be one of the night’s most explosive bouts. The Italia Thunder man is a class act but will have to wary of his rival with Mytrofanov having pushed two-time WSB champion Sergiy Derevyanchenko all the way in his last appearance.
The 23-year-old Ukrainian stated, “I am confident of victory in Italy after my good showing against Derevyanchenko. The pressure is on McLaughlin and I will be exploiting this. Training with the Ukrainian team has been fantastic and we are all pumped up”.
McLaughlin was confident ahead of this match, telling us, “I am fitter and in better shape than I was last season so yes I am ready. I see Mytrofanov as being my toughest opponent to date. I know however that if I box at my best, I will beat him”.
In the fourth bout, Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder’s vastly experienced Hungarian Imre Szello will find himself giving a lot of height away to the tall Ukrainian Denys Poyatsyka at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg). Szello will be banking on his expert shot-making skills to give him the edge in this one. It will be very close.
WSB superstar Russo will seek to extend his perfect record in the competition to sixteen wins when the Italia Thunder team captain battles Rostyslav Arkhypenko of Ukraine. The two-time Olympic silver medallist always puts on a great show in front of his fans and this bout will be no different for the charismatic Italian.
The Mediolanum Forum in Milan always brings out the best from boxers and with Ukraine Otamans set to provide some stiff resistance, it promises to be a real nail-biter