By Tom Degun

World_Series_of_Boxing_logoFebruary 26 - The World Series of Boxing (WSB) has reached an agreement to hold the 2011 team and individual championship finals in Guiyang, the capital city of the Guizhou province in China.

The finals, which will take place in May, were scheduled to take place in Macau in China but a decision was taken to move the season finale events in order to guarantee greater TV coverage and public attention.

The new professional global competition, which allows competitors not only to retain their Olympic eligibility but also qualify for the Games, is 75 per cent owned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and 25 per cent by the world's premier sports, entertainment and media company IMG and AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu has welcomed the move to Guiyang.

"The support from Guizhou province to host the team and individual championships of the World Series of Boxing in the city of Guiyang is part of a broader commitment to develop boxing and sport in general in the region," said Wu, who is also the chairman of WSB.

"I look forward to welcoming our WSB teams and the world's media to China's number one summer holiday destination for the WSB finals."

The WSB team finals will be held on the weekend of May 6-7, while the individual championships will take place three weeks later on the weekend of May 27-28.

The five WSB individual champions competing at bantamweight (54kg), lightweight (61kg), middleweight (73kg), light heavyweight (85kg) and heavyweight (91+kg) will receive a quota place for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The individual champions will also pick up $20,000 (£12,000) while the individual runners-up will receive $10,000 ($6,000).

The WSB team champions will take home $500,000 (£310,000) in prize money with the team runners-up taking home $150,000 (£93,000).

Meanwhile the two losing teams from the semi-finals will each collect $50,000 £31,000).

There are 12 WSB teams spread across three conferences of Americas, Asia and Europe.

A number of high-profile boxing medallists from the Beijing 2008 Olympics, such Ireland's Kenny Egan, are involved in the tournament and will be looking for individual victory in Guiyang in order to secure their spot for London 2012.

Guiyang is a 90 minutes flight from the international hub in Hong Kong therefore offering easy access to teams traveling from all over the world.

In 2010 Guiyang also signed an agreement to hold the China Open, which is an AIBA three-star event, for the next 10 years.

Meanwhile Qingzhen city, which is a 30-minute drive from Guiyang city, is a summer training base for many Chinese national teams, including boxing, weightlifting, taekwondo, gymnastics and track and field.

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