The fourth Draft in WSB history took place today with 48 boxers drafted for the upcoming Season V of the competition, which is due to kick-off on 16 January 2014.
Season V will see WSB growing as five more teams – China Dragons, Morocco Atlas Lions, Puerto Rico Hurricanes, Venezuela Caciques and the British Lionhearts join the championship.
“Four years ago when WSB was launched twelve teams were part of the competition. Now we have seen it grow to 16 teams for Season V and I hope that in 2016 we will have even more franchises joining. WSB is a unique team boxing competition which has had a tremendous success among athletes and fans,” said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
Karim Bouzidi, WSB Chief Executive Director added: “The intention of the Draft is to help make sure the competition is evenly contested and the quality of its matches is of the highest standard. The Draft gives WSB franchises the opportunity to pick up some of the best boxers in the world. I am very excited to see how the quantity of drafts is growing and the Franchises are using this opportunity to strengthen their teams. I truly believe that we are changing the face of WSB and boxing all around the world.”
Michael Conlan from Northern Ireland, the London 2012 Olympic flyweight bronze medallist and Commonwealth bantamweight gold medallist at Glasgow 2014, was one of the boxers drafted to compete for Italia Thunder. Commenting after the results of the draw, Conlan said: “I am very excited to represent Italia Thunder in Season V of WSB. WSB is a fantastic opportunity to compete against the best boxers in the world and most important for me is to qualify for Rio. The level of opposition and the regular matches are great for my development.”
The Foreign Boxer Draft for the upcoming Season was represented by 235 World Top Boxers including Commonwealth, Asian Games and European Champions as well as Olympic, World and Continental medal winners coming from 53 different countries and five continents, and the full list of drafted athletes can be seen below.