Global boxing’s already extensive calendar is set to regain a new set of fixtures next year with the introduction of the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

Operated by the International Boxing Association (IBA), the WSB was first devised back in 2010 as a way for amateur boxers to compete at a professional status whilst retaining their status, meaning they could still fight at the Olympic Games.

The series had its final season in 2018, however, with the IBA announcing in 2019 that it was shutting WSB down due to financial losses. The planned reintroduction next year comes at a time of heightened interest in boxing, which could either benefit or serve as a detriment to the IBA’s plans.

Firstly, the Paris Olympic Games commences this month, with boxing one of the traditional olympic events. The IBA may hope to catch sight of some notable talent at the games that could prove valuable to the future incarnation of WSB.

IBA President, Umar Kremlev, commented: “The World Series of Boxing has always been a cornerstone for nurturing talent and providing boxers with invaluable experience. 

“We are thrilled to bring back this prestigious event and give athletes the opportunity to showcase their skills on a global stage.’

WSB functioned on a team basis, with clubs representing either nations, cities, or both. Examples in the last series include the British Lionhearts, Paris United, D&G Milano Thunder, Cuba Domadores and Ukraine Otamans.

It is unclear whether these exact teams will be resurrected by the IBA in its reintroduced tournament. However, the overall premise of international teams will be retained, with clubs competing in a round-robin format followed by knockout stages.

The IBA states that it is hoping to ensure more frequent and competitive bouts and increase the stakes for each match. The authority also noted that it is hoping to capitalise on a resurgence in global interest in boxing.

Much of this resurgence has been driven by the Riyadh Season, Saudi Arabia’s annual sports and entertainment festival. The Season has been host to a number of prominent international boxing bouts, such as the undisputed heavyweight matchup between Oleksandyr Usyk and Tyson Fury earlier this year.

Riyadh Season could prove to be a consistent competitor to the WSB, though there could also be the potential for the two to work together – perhaps boxing could expect WSB matches to be hosted in Saudi Arabia’s capital, as the abovementioned major professional matches have been. 

Another aspect to consider is media rights. Boxing remains a huge spectator sport and the viewing figures for recent professional bouts have been impressive, as seen on platforms such as the UK’s Sky. 

Media outlets may be interested in adding another boxing event to its roster, especially one which could potentially feature some fighters who made their names at Paris 2024, depending on the outcomes of next month’s games.

IBA Secretary General and CEO, Chris Roberts OBE, said: “The return of the World Series of Boxing marks a new era for our sport. We are committed to delivering an unparalleled experience for athletes and fans. 

“The WSB will not only reignite the passion for boxing but also set a new standard for excellence in competition. This is boxing like you’ve never seen before – more thrilling, more accessible, and more dynamic

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