John Joe Nevin, boxing for the British Lionhearts, lost to Branimir Stankovic in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) in Wales last night.

But Joe Ward eased to victory over Imre Szello to help the Lionhearts to a 4-1 win over defending WSB champions Italia Thunder at Celtic Manor in Newport.

Nevin, a silver medal winner at the 2012 Olympics, was ahead on points against Stankovic going in to the fifth and final round of their lightweight clash.

But the Serb, who was beaten by Nevin on a split decision in the WSB earlier this year, turned it around in the final frame to claim a split decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-48) over the Mullingar man.

The win left the Italians needing to win the final bout of the match to claim a losing bonus point, but Wales' Freddie Evans edged out Michel Tavers to seal a 4-1 victory for the Lionhearts and deny the visitors a consolation.

England's Joe Joyce, a late replacement for Mohammed Arjaoui, made it 1-0 for the Lionhearts in the opening bout of the night and Andrew Selby doubled the hosts advantage at the expense of Daniele Limone.

Ward, the current European and Irish Elite champion, fired the Lionhearts into an unassailable 3-0 lead at the expense of Hungary's Imre Szello.

The 19-year-old, who beat Szello in the semi-finals of the 2011 European Championships in Turkey, earned a unanimous (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) decision in the light-heavyweight class.

The win sees the Lionhearts go joint top of the Group B table with the Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan.

Eric Donovan and Tyrone McCullagh are signed with the Arlans.

Italia Thunder, who have signed Donegal's Willie McLaughlin - who won five fights in-a-row for the Italians last term - for a second season, are now three points adrift of the leaders after two matches.