Fred Evans capped a triumphant homecoming for Wales’ Olympic boxers tonight as the British Lionhearts defeated reigning champions Dolce & Gabanna, 4-1, in the World Series of Boxing at Celtic Manor, in Newport.
Olympic silver medalist Evans defeated Michel Tavares with a split decision in the middleweight category whilst his countrymen and fellow Olympian, Andrew Selby, eased past Italy’s Daniele Limone at bantamweight.
Victories for Joe Ward at light heavyweight and Joe Joyce at heavyweight made it two wins from two for the Lionhearts. The only disappointment of the evening came at lightweight where Ireland’s Olympic silver medallist lost a split decision to 21-year-old Branimir Stankovic from Serbia.
Fred Evans said: “It was great to be back in front of my home crowd and I was just delighted to secure the win as I have not been back in training for too long. I enjoyed the new format and I will only get stronger in the World Series of Boxing once I get back to top-level fitness.”
Selby added: “It was tricky at first but by the third round I started to get my shots off and I felt I was getting stronger. It was great to have the home support and I was just pleased to put on a performance and get a win for myself and the team.”
Heavyweight Joe Joyce was first to box making his debut against the experienced Italian
Matteo Modugno. Boxing behind a long jab, the Londoner was the busier of the two and opened a cut above Modugno’s left eye which was to prove decisive with the referee stopping the contest in the fourth round.
Next up was Selby who landed a number of clean left hands in the opening rounds as his speed and consistent switching between stances left Limone frustrated. Boxing without a vest and headguard for the first time, Selby punched with speed and power to win a unanimous decision on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
The Lionhearts’ Irish boxers enjoyed mixed fortunes as light heavyweight Joe Ward secured a convincing victory over Imre Szello but lightweight John Joe Nevin lost to Branimar Stankovic.
Evans finished the night in style getting the better of Michel Taveres with a trademark display of counterpunching and heavy right hands.
All five bouts from tonight’s contest can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/WorldSeriesBoxing.
The next fixture for the British Lionhearts is away to the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan on 7 December 2012.
The next home fixture is against Germany Eagles at Earl’s Court in London on Friday 14 December 2012. Tickets are available at www.britishlionhearts.com/tickets.