After the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Season V draw was revealed around the world this week, boxing fans have been salivating over both groups that were drawn, and the Franchises that are competing in the competition this season.
Group A consists of the current WSB defending champions Cuba Domadores, Season IV semi-finalists Russian Boxing Team, Season III runners-up Ukraine Otamans, the always dangerous Team Germany, exciting Mexico Guerreros, durable Algeria Desert Hawks, plus two new Franchises, from China and Morocco.
With four continents represented in the group, many pugilism aficionados are excited about the all-African encounter between Algeria Desert Hawks, and newcomers Morocco. With Algeria’s prior experience in WSB they will be wanting to assert themselves as the best African team in the tournament, but Morocco are being tipped to put together an impressive squad, and they will meet each other in week six, and week 13 of the season.
Defending champions Cuba Domadores were the number one seeds in the draw, which resulted in them starting the season at home, against Morocco in week one. The Cuban team lost just once in WSB in their debut season away to Russian Boxing Team in the group stages, and they will seek to avenge that loss in week ten this time around.
Russian Boxing Team reached the semi-final stage last season, in part due to their excellent home form. They start the season at home to Algeria, and will be hoping to kick off their season in some style.
Team Germany struggled in Season IV, failing to capitalize on a successful Season III, and they will be looking to make amends for that disappointment, and perhaps they will attempt to replicate on their national football team’s success in winning major international competitions.
Mexico Guerreros also failed to sparkle last season, but as one of the proudest boxing nations in the world, they will be giving it their all to succeed in Season V. After a tricky opening tie away in Ukraine, Mexico then have two home fixtures in a row against their African competitors, and will be hoping that a quick start will help them to qualify for the knock-out stages.
The Chinese team is back in WSB after fielding the Beijing Dragons in Seasons I and II, and after much success in international boxing competitions over the last two years, their squad will be confident of causing upsets. There are no easy contests in WSB, but China’s start to the season is a particularly tricky one, as they will face Germany, Russia, Ukraine and Cuba in their first four matches.
Ukraine Otamans have consistently qualified for the knock-out stages of WSB during their history in the competition, and they will be looking to reclaim the form they showed in reaching the Finals in the third season of WSB.
This group is a perfect encapsulation of why WSB is a concept that has successfully transcended sport, and managed to make a huge name for itself all over the globe. Four continents, ten weight classes, and thousands of fans per match-up promises to make Group A one of the most favourite collectives in the history of the competition.