By Tom Degun

WSB ItalyFebruary 2 - The British Lionhearts remain on course to qualify for the World Series Boxing (WSB) knockout stages despite losing 4-1 to Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder at the packed Palamaggiò in Caserta.

The first bout saw the Lionhearts bantamweight star Sean McGoldrick defeat fledgling Italian talent Riccardo D'Andrea in a thrilling contest to give the visitors and early 1-0 lead in the tie.

That proved as good as it would get for the Britons, though, as Thunder's lightweight Domenico Valentino beat Josh Taylor before light heavyweight Abdelhafid Benchabla defeated Joe Ward to make it 2-1.

The Thunder's then made the bout secure when middleweight Vincenzo Mangiacapre beat Lionhearts' Kaupo Arro to give them an unassailable 3-1 lead.

It was then left to Thunder's heavyweight star Clemente Russo to close the show against the Lionheart's giant Tongan Uaine Fa as he claimed a unanimous points win to make it 4-1 to the home side as the Italian extended his own impressive WSB career record to 17-0.

Clemente RussoDolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder star Clemente Russo beat Uaine Fa of the British Lionhearts to extend his WSB career record to 17-0

The result means the Lionhearts, who had beaten Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder 4-1 at Celtic Manor in December,  remain in third place in Group B of the World Series of Boxing with 12 points, behind Italia Thunder on 14 and the Astana Arlans Kazakhstan on 21.

The team needs to finish in the top four to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

"I thought the boxers acquitted themselves well tonight in a very tough environment however their efforts were just not enough to sway the judges," said British Lionhearts coach Lee Pullen.

"The team is still well placed in the World Series of Boxing and with two home fixtures to come we remain confident of making it into the next stage of the competition."

The British Lionhearts are back at the iconic York Hall in London next Thursday (February 7) to face Group B table-toppers Astana Arlans Kazkhstan whilst Italia's next fixture is a trip to the Acco International Exhibition Center in Kiev to battle the Ukraine Otamans.

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