Italia out to conquer America

This Friday 1 March (19:00 local time) sees a full-strength USA Knockouts await a formidable-looking Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder team in their last appearance of season. The Eldorado Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada, will welcome the two teams in a meeting to savour. This World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group B will feature for the hosts, Irish Olympic bronze medallist Michael Conlan and fan favourite Kennedy Katende, whilst the visitors will line-up 2009 AIBA World Champion Domenico Valentino and classy Vincenzo Mangiacapre in a night that will capture the imagination of fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

Fresh from his triumph at the Irish nationals, the accomplished Conlanwill seek to bury the memory of his loss in the epic versus Andrew Selby in week six with victory over Italian 25-year-old Riccardo D’Andrea in the opening contest of the night at Bantamweight (50-54kg). The up-and-coming Irishman is developing fast and the intelligent operator has proved himself at the very top level so should have too much for his opponent here.

After making the move up to Lightweight (57-61kg), the Knockouts’Anvar Yunusov has struggled to replicate the form he showed last season and he will have to take his boxing to another level if he is to stand any chance of beating the speedy Italian poster-boy Valentino. The Tajik southpaw, a bronze medallist at the 2011 AIBA World Championships, is a clear underdog here with Valentino having the reach and the know-how to target his weaknesses.

2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Mangiacapre has looked class so far in his debut WSB season and the 24-year-old orthodox Italian will seek to extend his perfect 2-0 competition record when he is pitted against the Knockouts’ Middleweight (67-73kg) Jeffrey Camp, with the American still searching for his win this campaign.

Following impressive back-to-back victories in weeks three and five, Italia’s experienced Hungarian Imre Szello will be high on confidence when he meets hard-hitting Swedish southpaw Katende at Light Heavyweight (80-85kg). This one should highly enjoyable with Katende an explosive fighter and Szello an expert counter-puncher.

It will then be a real clash of the Heavyweights (91+kg) in the last contest of the night with the Knockouts’ other Irishman, Sean Turner, scheduled to battle Italian pro fighter Matteo Modugno. These two larger-than-life characters will put on a show, but the odds favour the tall Italian who has started to look comfortable in the WSB ranks. Turner has struggled with injuries however is capable of beating anyone on his day.