Season V of the World Series of Boxing saw a second African nation join the action, with the Morocco Atlas Lions stepping in to the ring alongside Algeria Desert Hawks to cook up a little local rivalry that added some regional spice to the year.
Morocco’s national boxing set up was rebuilt in the aftermath of London 2012, and the Atlas Lions’ debut season showcased a raft of new talent. Chief among them was welterweight Mohammed Rabii, who became a superstar in Casablanca and beyond as he won all seven of his contests, including an impressive victory over Cuba Domadores’ Olympic gold medalist Roniel Iglesias.
Morocco possesses a rich and longstanding boxing tradition and Atlas Lions have been a constant treat in WSB events in Season V. They took their WSB debut very seriously showcasing some impressive boxing talent to the enjoyment of fans all over the world. Despite failing to progress from their Group in Season V, Atlas Lions will look to perform strong in Season VI to achieve the ultimate WSB glory.
Rabii went on to be named AIBA’s WSB Boxer of the Year at the World Championships in Doha, where he also won gold, but his team-mate Achraf Kharroubi also made an impression in Season V, ranking third in the flyweight category despite his relative inexperience. Helping the Lions to six wins out of fourteen matches, the team eventually finished the group just outside the play-off places but above the more established British Lionhearts, China Dragons and local rivals Algeria Desert Hawks.