London 2012 Olympian John Joe Nevin came from behind to beat Branimir Stankovic on a split decision to help the Parisians beat Willie McLaughlin’s Milano Thunder 3-2 in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) in Paris last night.
Cavan BC ace Nevin was trailing on points after the second round against the Serb in United’s first leg quarter final clash with Thunder.
But the Irish Elite champion, who has qualified for the Olympics at bantamweight but who is boxing in the WSB at lightweight, edged ahead after claiming rounds three and four.
Stankovic won the fifth and final frame, but that wasn’t enough to stop Nevin, who has now won three on-the-trot for United this season, securing a (47-48,48-47,48-47) points win at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
Donegal’s Willie McLaughlin, lining out for Thunder in last night’s match, stopped Joe Mulema of the Cameroon to record his fourth straight win in the WSB this season.
McLaughlin ran away with the first three rounds before the middleweight duel was stopped on a 4th frame TKO after Mulema suffered a facial cut.
The Illies GG clubman was the only boxer on the Italian side to record a win last night as their only other victory came via a walkover.
Both sides will meet again in Milan on March 9th. The quarter-final is being decided over ten bouts.
Thunder will need to win the March 9 match 4-1 or 5-0 to advance to the semi-finals. A 3-2 victory will leave both sides locked on five wins each.
Any sort of a victory will be enough for United, who claimed the inaugural WSB Team Championships last year, to progress to the last-four.