Italia Thunder has been synonymous with the World Series of Boxing (WSB) since the very beginning of the competition, and they won Season II to considerable acclaim.
Last season, the Italian team became the first Franchise to achieve 100 WSB wins at home, and reached the quarter-final stages where they eventually lost to Azerbaijan Baku Fires.
The beginning of the Regular Season in the current and fifth edition of WSB began slowly for Italy, as they won only once in their first four matches.
Their form soon returned however, and an excellent run of results at home moved them up the table, where they finished in third place at the end of the group stages.
Although a European Franchise, the team has consistently featured boxers from all over the world, and two of their best competitors this season both come from Ireland.
7-0 Patrick Barnes is a two-time Olympic medalist, and he will have a chance to make it a hat-trick after finishing top of the Light flyweight (49 kg) rankings and earning a Rio 2016 quota in the process.
His Bantamweight (56 kg) teammate Michael Conlan also earned an Olympic quota in his weight class after five superb victories for Italia Thunder, and the Irish duo deserve many accolades.
Italy’s own Valentino Manfredonia won all of his seven matches in the Light heavyweight (81 kg) division, and finished first in the rankings for that weight class.
Ahead of a difficult away quarter-final against Russian Boxing Team, the Thunder will be relying on some of their successful boxers including 5-2 Light welterweight (64 kg) Vincenzo Mangiacapre and exciting Middleweight (75 kg) Salvatore Cavallaro.
With many years of WSB experience behind them, Italia Thunder will use all of their skill and guile to try and defeat Russian Boxing Team, and move on to the latter stages of the competition.