By Tom Degun

WSB logoNovember 3 - After months of speculation, Great Britain will finally unveil a World Series of Boxing (WSB) franchise in London next week.

The launch event at a central London hotel next Tuesday (November 6), which will be hosted by former Irish and British professional featherweight world champion Barry McGuigan, will see the team, which will be known as the "British Lionhearts", officially unveiled.

The announcement follows the conclusion of successful talks between International Boxing Association (AIBA) and British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) over the past two weeks.

The WSB itself, which is owned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), is currently the only boxing competition in the world that allows fighters to compete professionally but retain their Olympic eligibility.

As insidethegames reported exclusively in May, AIBA has long been hopeful of getting Britain involved in the WSB and they were provisionally included in the draw for WSB season three when it was made in Lausanne last month.

WSB season three will begin this month.

The British franchise marks a major turnaround after years of negotiating on the issue.

London was originally scheduled to be the cornerstone of the WSB when it first launched in 2010 but the franchise pulled out shortly before the competition began due to financial concerns.

The move started a bitter row between the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) and AIBA, which culminated in former ABAE chief executive Paul King unsuccessfully attempting to dethrone the powerful C K Wu as AIBA President.

King's campaign ended in complete disaster and he was eventually forced to resign from his position at the ABAE.

C K_WuAIBA President CK Wu will be delighted to have a British franchise in the WSB

King was replaced by Mark Abberley, who has managed to help mend the fractured relationship between his organisation and AIBA, which in turn has led to the British franchise that will be run concurrently by the English, Scottish and Welsh boxing associations.

The move is also clearly beneficial to AIBA.

Wu, who is also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member, was hugely impressed with Britain's staging the London 2012 Olympic Games boxing competition and is aware that the UK-based franchise will open up many more marketing and television opportunities for the WSB.

Britain also topped the boxing medal table at London 2012 with three gold medals, a silver and a bronze and AIBA are keen to have the world's top Olympic boxing nation involved in one of their premier competitions.

The BABA are decided on the move largely due to the fact that the WSB will offer ten quota places for the boxing competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

In addition, the WSB will link to the brand new tournament AIBA Pro Boxing (APB), which will launch at the end of 2013 and offer 56 spots for Rio 2016.

It means that by the time Rio 2016 comes around, 66 of the fighters would have qualified for the event via the WSB and APB.

Competing in the two professional-style events is also likely to increase fighters' medal chances in Brazil as AIBA are currently in the process of professionalising the amateur sport so that come Rio 2016, male boxers will be fighting at the Olympics without head guards and scored by judges rather than a computer system.

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