Africa in but India out for World Series of Boxing season three
Thursday, 15 November 2012
November 15 - With the World Series of Boxing (WSB) season three set to get underway this week, it has been announced that an African franchise will compete in the event for the first time ever but India, who were present for season two of the competition, will temporarily drop out.
The African franchise will be the Algeria Desert Hawks while they will be supported by the Algerian Boxing Federation (FAB) and represented by some of the country's top talent.
Their first match will be an away to Russia on Sunday (November 18).
The addition of the Algeria Desert Hawks means that WSB season three will feature teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
"After Argentina, Ukraine, Poland and Great Britain, I am extremely pleased to welcome another new franchise to World Series of Boxing season three, especially one from a continent that has not yet tasted WSB," said AIBA President and WSB chairman CK Wu.
"We all know how passionate Africa is for sport and especially for boxing.
"I cannot wait to witness the very best African boxers taking to the ring to make their continent proud."
But as Africa join, India have left for WSB season three.
The move comes following discussions between WSB, the Indian Boxing Federation (IABF) and other key stakeholders who decided that the country's franchise would sit-out season in order to maximise its long-term impact on the boxing world both technically and commercially.
"Like all Indian boxing fans and media, over the past few years AIBA has witnessed the impressive rise of Indian boxing and its performance on the global stage," said Wu.
"With the laws of the game changing from the classic amateur to the professional style of boxing, we want to ensure that India is in a position to do well in all the three AIBA platforms: Olympic Boxing, WSB and the soon to be launched AIBA Professional Boxing (APB).
"AIBA will be working with the IABF towards helping them make this transition as smoothly, efficiently and quickly as possible.
"India needs time to devise a development programme to educate and prepare its boxers for professional style boxing so they can compete competitively at the highest level.
"We look forward to seeing the India Fighters achieve success in WSB."
IABF secretary general Brig PK Murlidharan Raja agreed that the moved made sense in the short-term.
"WSB and its innovative style of boxing is not only exciting to watch but also the future of our sport," he said.
"While India has improved its performance in Olympic boxing, there is a need to create a development programme which provides our boxers with a smooth transition to the pro level, which is the way forward.
"This will happen under the guidance of AIBA and with the involvement of the WSB Indian Franchise.
"We will make sure our joint initiatives get the support from the Sports Ministry, the National Olympic Committee and all stakeholders within the federation to guarantee the WSB Indian Franchise can come back as a stronger unit."