NEWPORT’S Sean McGoldrick and the British Lionhearts face a tough challenge in the next round of the World Series of Boxing on Saturday.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist and his British teammates travel to take-on the reigning champions Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder in a top-of-the-table contest at Palmaggio in Caserta.

The contest will pit the Lionhearts, who lie in third place in Group B of the World Series with 12 points, against a second-placed Italian team who have one point more. A victory for either side will virtually guarantee qualification for the knockout stages of the World Series of Boxing and a chance to win the €1m first prize.

St Joseph’s star McGoldrick will be joined by European Champion Joe Ward and London 2012 Olympian Josh Taylor as the Lionhearts look to complete a prestigious double over the reigning WSB champions following a 4-1 victory over Italia Thunder in the home fixture at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort in November.

The trio will be joined in the Lionhearts line-up by international selections Kaupo Arro of Estonia at middleweight and Tongan heavyweight Uaine Fa.

They will face a strong Italian team which includes two medalists from London 2012 – Clemente Russo and Vincenzo Mangiacapre – along with 2009 world champion Domenico Valentino.

For McGoldrick and Ward it is an opportunity to extend their unbeaten records in WSB Ward is ranked second in the light heavyweight category with three wins from three and McGoldrick is ranked sixth at bantamweight following away victories against USA Knockouts and the Ukraine Otamans.

McGoldrick said: “The Italians are a strong team so we will need to be at our best but my form has been very good so far in the World Series so I am looking forward to it and hoping to make it three wins from three for me this season.”

The match will be shown on ESPN at 9.45pm on Saturday. It can also be watched live online from 8pm at user/WorldSeriesBoxing.