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Germany suffer confidence-sapping home defeat against Italia (2-3)

Lausanne, Switzerland, 18 January 2013 – Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder were too strong for German Eagles at the EWS Arena in Goppingen, recording a very important away victory to reclaim second place in the tough Group B. Despite an early set-back for the visitors, Branimir Stankovic, William McLaughlin and Vitalijus Subacius came up with the goods to give the Italian team a vital win here. German Eagles on the other hand will now need to come up with some big results in the forthcoming matches if they hope to qualify for the World Series of Boxing (WSB) quarter-finals.

William McLaughlin of Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder

Eagles Bantamweight (50-54kg) Veaceslav Gojan was simply sensational in the first bout of the evening, knocking down 29-year-old Italian Jahyn Vittorio Parrinello twice within the first round to win by TKO. The second knock down coming as a result of a vicious left hook that landed flush on his rivals’ chin, Parrinello’s legs turned to jelly and he was counted out. The Moldovan sending the crowds into raptures with that spectacular win.

After impressing in his first WSB outing, Kastriot Sopa was pitted in the Lightweight (57-61kg) showdown with the Thunder’s Serbian sensation Stankovic. It was a real battle of wits between two classy operators. Exchanging lots of punches in the centre of the ring, the two very evenly matched. The 20-year-old German began the better of the two, connecting with a couple of sweet left hooks to take the first. The Serbian came back to take the second and third with his precise punches scoring with the judges. Sopa was not to be undone and raised the tempo once again to claim the fourth so that both boxers found themselves on equal points coming into the final round. An electric fifth saw the two go toe-to-toe in the centre of the ring, throwing everything they could. In the end, it was Stankovic who edged it to restore parity in the match.

It was then Germany’s Stefan Härtel versus with steely Irishman McLaughlin at Middleweight (68-73kg). The 24-year-old orthodox German had the height and the range in this one but was slow on his feet and the Thunder’s 27-year-old orthodox exploited just that. Keeping the intensity high and throwing a huge number of punches, McLaughlin was impressing as he took the first two rounds. Härtel got back into the contest by taking the third but that only served to motivate the Irishman to up his game in the fourth, peppering his rival with some sublime four-five punch combinations. Despite losing the fifth, McLaughlin had done enough to win it.

22-year-old Satula Abdulai, a 2008 Youth World Championships bronze medallist in 2008, then made his way into the ring for the German Eagles to face 33 year-old Lithuanian Subacius in the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) contest. Abdulai began well, dominating proceedings with some good movement and clever work on the inside to claim rounds one and two. The Thunder’s veteran was bigger and stronger than his opponent and his experience told as the clever use of the jab followed by some quick one-two combinations saw him overturn his deficit by taking the next two. Abdulai had started to labour and after twisting his ankle late in the fourth was unable to continue in the fifth, handing the overall victory to Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder.

The much anticipated Heavyweight (91+kg) match-up between powerful unbeaten German Erik Pfeifer and fledgling French star Tony Yoka, one of the Thunder’s summer recruits, did not disappoint, with the two putting on really good show. 2011 AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Pfeifer struggled to get past the stiff jab of his opponent in the first but then had more success with the second and third rounds after drawing the Frenchman in to fight at close quarters. Pfeifer was getting quite some success with his big right hand as he mixed the head and body shots to gain the edge to take the fourth. By then the German had done enough to register his third win of the season.

Germany next travel to Ukraine to face the Otamans at the Acco International Exhibition Center on Friday 1 February. Italia host the British Lionhearts at Palamaggio the day after.