The 2012/2013 World Series of Boxing got underway in Los Angeles on Friday with a convincing 4-1 win for the British Lionhearts against the USA Knockouts. In all some nine Irish boxers have signed up for the new season.
Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin and Joe Ward, the current European champion, will trade leather for the British Lionhearts, while Willie McLaughlin, who won five fights for Milano Thunder in the WSB last season, will line out for Italia Thunder.
David Oliver Joyce, who recorded a notable victory over World champion Domenico Valentino in the WSB with Istanbulls, is now with the German Eagles, while his St Michael’s Athy team-mate Eric Donovan and Tyrone McCullagh, both European bronze medallists, have inked deals with the Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan.
Michael Conlan, a bronze medal winner at the London Olympics, and Sean Turner have signed up with the USA Knockouts though neither was in action against the Lionhearts .Turner won one and lost one from the LA Matadors in the WSB last season.
Dynamic Belfast middleweight Conrad Cummings meantime headed south of the border, down Mexico way, and will fight for The Guerrerors.
None of the nine were in action in the WSB at the weekend, but Nevin, Ward , Conlan and Turner kept a close eye on Friday’s curtain raiser between the USA Knockouts and the British Lionhearts in Los Angeles.
Nevin, who helped Paris United win the inaugural WSB Team Championships in 2010/11 will debut for the Lionhearts when they host Italia Thunder in Wales next week. Ward could also be in action against Willie McLaughlin’s side.
The British Lionhearts made a winning start in the World Series of Boxing with a convincing 4-1 victory over USA Knockouts at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California.
Wins for Sean McGoldrick, Joe Cordina, Antony Fowler and Uaine Fa marked a great opening night for the Lionhearts.
Joe Cordina from Wales was first to compete for the Lionhearts and delivered a fine debut with a unanimous 3-0 victory over Eric Fowler, winning 48-47 on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
He was followed by an explosive performance by middleweight Antony Fowler who defeated Marquis Moore with a second round knockout. ‘The Machine’ from Liverpool knocked down his opponent twice in round two before finishing him with an overhand right to mark an impressive first outing in the World Series of Boxing.
At Light-heavyweight, the USA scored its sole victory when Kennedy Katende defeated Zlatko Ledic.
Uaine Fa ensured victory for the Lionhearts team with a unanimous win over Avery Gibson at heavyweight before Commonwealth Games Champion, Sean McGoldrick made it 4-1 with a split decision win over Braulio Avila Juarez in the bantamweight division.
Lee Pullen from the British Lionhearts coaching team said: “It was a very good night for the team. The boxers adapted superbly to the different demands of World Series Boxing and we were very happy with their performances and the result.”
The next fixture for the British Lionhearts is against Italia Thunder at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on Friday 23rd November 2012 when Olympic silver medallists’ Fred Evans and John Joe Nevin will box alongside world number one Andrew Selby.
Matt Archibald, General Manager of the British Lionhearts, wants to see Irish boxing fans support Nevin and Ward, who are ranked in the top ten in the World by AIBA.
“We are delighted to have John Joe join the British Lionhearts squad. He is a top quality performer and his win against Alvarez Estrada from Cuba in the Olympic semi-finals was one of the stand-out performances of the Games.
“We also hope that, in signing John Joe and his team-mate Joe Ward, we will engage with the Irish boxing community who came in such numbers and supported so vociferously during the Olympic boxing competition.”
Irish WSB Boxers 2012/13 season
61kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC)
85kg: Joe Ward (Moate BC)
61kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
73kg: Willie McLaughlin (Illies GG)
Astana Arlans (Kazakhstan)
54kg: Tyrone McCullagh (Holy Family)
61kg: Eric Donovan (St Michael’s Athy)
73kg: Conrad Cummings (Holy Trinity)
54kg: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco)
91+kg: Sean Turner (Drimnagh)
You can see all five bouts from the British Lionhearts meeting with the USA Knockouts at :