Thunder face the Baku Fires of Azerbaijan over five bouts in the first-leg of their WSB semi-final in Milan this evening.
McLaughlin, of the Illies GG BC in Donegal, meets Azerbaijani middleweight Osman Aliyev targeting his 5th win in-a-row in the WSB this season.
Both sides trade leather in the return leg on March 30. The Astana Arlans and Dynamo Moscow met in the first-leg of the corresponding semi-final last night, Astana winning 3-2.
The WSB Team Championships finals will be held on May1st/2nd at the ExCel in London, the venue for boxing at the 2012 Olympic Games.