Despite heading into the match a bout down owing to a walk-over, the Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder defeated their German opponents in what was a very easy night in the office for the stylish Italian squad.
It was the turn of the Flyweights (52kg), Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) to grace us with their talent tonight in Assisi as the Germans were knocked from first to third place in the Group A table.
Bout of the match
Irishman David Oliver Joyce returned to the WSB in a thriller against World bronze medallist Domenico Valentino of the Italia Thunder. The Irishman, who boxed for two seasons with the WSB’s former Turkish Franchise amassing a 5-1 record, looked great against Valentino but was unable to stem the Italian tide. Joyce seems to hit harder than most men in the Lightweight category, and likes to surge forward with hooks, straights and overhands. Valentino meanwhile tried to stay on the move and use his jab and cross to score. Whilst Joyce seemed to have the best of round two, in round three the Italian’s speed shone through. This was the way the bout continued to develop, an exciting, fast-paced affair which the Italian won.
Boxer of the match
Joe Joyce seems to have quickly won over the Italian fans at Super Heavyweight who were chanting his name within the first round of his Thunder debut against Ali Kiydin of Germany. Kiydin was perhaps unlucky with the opponent he drew for his first ever WSB bout, having stepped in at the last minute for the injured Erik Pfeifer. Not only did Joyce tower above his German opponent by some distance, it also took Olympic gold medallist Oleksandr Usyk to stop him last year. Nonetheless, Kiydin looked dangerous in round two when he buzzed Joyce a little, before the Englishman upped his work rate in the third round. Joyce had a huge fourth round where he left the German wobbling like a tree in the wind and the Eagles boxer was literally saved by the bell. The coach was obliged to throw in the towel a few seconds into the fifth as Joyce’s barrage continued unabated.
The turning point
Vincenzo Mangiacapre took on the dangerous Arajik Marutjan of Germany. Like a miniature version of his World Champion, captain Clemente Russo, Mangiacapre boxes with his hands very low and his feet flat. It is quite an unusual style for a Welterweight to adopt. Frankly it didn’t work for him in the World Championships and it wasn’t working that well for him tonight either. Blocking punches with your chin is not a tactic that most boxers would choose to adopt, especially when you are not actually that good at evasion. Yes he won the bout comfortably, but he was getting hit unnecessarily and you got the feeling that he could have gotten caught badly at any time. It is a risky game to play. He looked at his best however when charging forward and working the body and head of his opponent on the inside, where he was extremely good. In the end he pulled it off to take the score to 4-1 for the hosts, thus totally denying the German’s any points at all.
Fact/Stat of the match
Daniele Scardina took on Igor Teziev of Team Germany in a battle of the debutants at Light Heavyweight. This was technically an exhibition bout following the withdrawal of the selected Italian boxer. Nonetheless to warm the crowd up and to give their younger boxers experience, both teams agreed to allow these young men out and into the ring. It was highly competitive, but it ended up being yet another win for the Italia Thunder.
Peculiarly in another random fact of the day: two of the five referees stumbled onto the floor in this evening’s bout. We don’t think we have seen that before.
WSBveteran Vincenzo Picardi tookonWSB debutant Stevan Maleika of Team Germany at Flyweight. The Italian boxer went into the bout with a record of 8-2 in the WSB over three seasons and looked to open his Season IV in style. The experienced Italia Thunder star, who won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008, took to the centre of the ring whilst the German tried to circle. The southpaw Picardi was excellent and remained in complete control of the bout with the German totally out-classed. Maleika wasn’t really able to lay a glove on Picardi from the second round on and the Italian took the bout easily.
Coming up next
It’s crunch time for Italia Thunder as they face group leaders the Ukraine Otamans away from home in a battle to determine who the most dominant force in Group A is. Early indications suggest that both teams will be unleashing their main boxers for the match.
Germany will have a tricky home match against the USA Knockouts, with the American franchise seeming to be on the rise again.
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