China has emerged as a truly world-class boxing nation in recent years, consistently winning medals at major tournaments as a result of its academies and gyms training up a regular crop of young talent. Following the entry of Beijing Dragons in WSB Seasons I and II and a short hiatus from the Asian powerhouse, the team re-emerged as the China Dragons in Season V, ready to once again pit the country’s top boxers against the best in the world.
The new-look Dragons returned to WSB with a tough opening series of matches against Great Britain Lionhearts, The Russian Boxing Team, Ukraine Otamans and Cuba Domadores. The opposition proved too strong, but the arrival of the inexperienced Morocco Atlas Lions offered an opportunity that the Dragons duly took, with He Junjun’s opening-bout victory setting the tone for a 4-1 win and the team’s first taste of WSB success.
Indeed, it was Junun and team-mate Hu Jianguan who stood out for the Dragons in Season V, raising their international profiles with some impressive performances against the world’s top athletes. The combination of technical ability and quick footwork has become synonymous with the region’s boxers, and helped the Chinese outfit to finish in sixth place in their group, notably ahead of their more established rivals the British Lionhearts and Algeria Desert Hawks.