Now a professional boxing series on IPL lines

April 23rd, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is confident of roping in Indian corporates to buy a city-based franchise in its ambitious World Series Boxing (WSB)inspired by the Indian Premier League (IPL).
AIBA dream project will attract both the professional and those amateurs who have turned professional after the Beijing Olympics, said WSB chief-operating officer Ivan Khodabaksh here Thursday while presenting the blueprint of the series.

Khodabaksh, though refused to reveal the corporates his team met in the last two days, saying he had met corporate honchos of six business houses.

He hopes India will buy at least one of the 12 franchises, each costing $ 5 million for 10 years.

Twelve city teams of 10 boxers each from Europe, America and Asia will compete in the WSB on a home-and-away basis.

The attempt is to market the sport and cut the mushrooming promoter-based professional boxing leagues.

“Boxing has great potential in India and the profile of the sport has grown here after the performance of its boxers at the Olympics and other athletes at various international sporting events.

“We would like India to have a franchise in WSB as it is a huge base for growing talent and also for the marketing of the sport,” he said.

India are competing with China and Kazakhstan among others Asian countries to buy one of the four franchise from the continent.

Boxers will be seen in action without headguard and vests and compete in five bouts of three minutes each in the 10-point scoring system, much like professional boxing.

WSB will be held in five weight categories — Bantam, Light, Middle, Light Heavy and Heavy. It will be the only professional boxing league that will allow professionals to retain their Olympic eligibility.

“IPL is the inspiration behind WSB. We have spoken to potential corporates, including those who have IPL teams as well as others. Their response is exciting,” said Ravi Krishnan of the International Management Group which has tied-up with AIBA for the event.

Like IPL, the franchisee owners will be selling sponsorship rights, merchandise and tickets as sources of revenue besides getting a share of WSB central revenue from the media rights.

He also said they had talks with corporates and city government’s in Europe, America and other countries in Asia.

“The response has been overwhelming. We visited London, Paris, Milan, Moscow and in the next few days we will be meeting more people,” said Khodabaksh.

The WSB is set to start September 2010.

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