By Gary Anderson

January 14 - The APB competition schedule has been announced by AIBA ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe initial schedule for the inaugural International Boxing Association (AIBA) Pro Boxing (APB) competition has been announced and will see fighters competing in a pre-ranking tournament in June and July before a champion's tournament from August to December.

APB will see boxers fight professionally while being allowed to retain eligibility to take part in Olympic Games and will run alongside the World Series of Boxing (WSB), which is also controlled by the International Boxing Association (AIBA). 

At the end of this month, the APB Boxers' Selection and Ranking Committee will rank the final list of APB boxers based on their past performances and potential.

They will then head to the Pre-Ranking Competition, where boxers will compete a minimum of two times - over six three minute rounds - which will then re-establish the world rankings of the 10 weight divisions.

From August to December a series of bouts known as the Matches for Champions will see boxers competing at least twice - over eight three minute rounds - before a final bout of 12 three minute rounds will determine the winner and APB world champion in each category.

AIBA has announced 28 of its National Member Federations have been contacted to host the APB events with each being asked to stage one full weight category which would see four bouts per day taking place over four days.

London 2012 bronze medal winner Magomedrasul Medzhidov of Azerbaijan was one of the first boxers to sign up for the APB competition ©AFP/Getty ImagesLondon 2012 bronze medal winner Magomedrasul Medzhidov of Azerbaijan was one of the first boxers to sign up for the APB competition ©AFP/Getty Images

A spokesman for AIBA revealed to insidethegames that the targeted federations were chosen "based on their interest in the sport of boxing, their interest in the APB programme and the quality of their boxers" and who "represent the current major boxing markets and those which have the best potential of development."

The spokesman also added the shortlist is not set in stone and that AIBA "is willing to discuss with any country which would like to participate in the revolution" and revealed that the federations of Argentina, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States are on the shortlist of hosts but refused to reveal the other 18 countries.

AIBA President C K Wu hailed the launch of the APB competition and described it as a "revolutionary" step in boxing.

"As President of AIBA and on behalf of the entire AIBA family, I am extremely excited to announce the official commencement of our new revolutionary competition programme," he said.

"It represents another step forward in the development of the noble art and I am proud that we have opened those historical first events to a bid within our national federations.

"APB will reunite the pro boxing world with its grassroots, through a highly competitive, clean, structured and ethical competition, aligned with the principles of the Olympic Movement.

"I cannot wait to see the first APB boxers taking to the ring and fight for the world champion titles."

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