By Tom Degun

CK Wu_signs_WSB_franchise_deal_with_ArgentinaMay 17 - Argentina have signed a deal to join the World Series of Boxing (WSB) and they will make their debut in it later this year at the start of season three, when the entire format for the competition will be revised.

The WSB, which is owned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), is the only professional boxing completion in the world that allows fighters to retain their Olympic eligibility and next year it will see revolutionary changes made whereby instead of city franchises, there will be national franchises, such as Argentina.

The announcement of the new South American franchise was made in the country where AIBA President and WSB chairman C K Wu signed an agreement with the Argentinian Boxing Federation President Osvaldo Bisbal (pictured above)

The agreement also establishes the principles of Argentina's involvement in the upcoming AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) programme, which will launch at the end of 2013 and like the WSB, allow fighters to box professionally and retain their Olympic eligibility.

"This is a historic moment for the WSB that arrives for the very first time in South America," said Wu.

"We are delighted to explore this new market and are very grateful to the Argentinean Boxing Federation for its support to our programmes.

"We are convinced that both the WSB and APB have a bright future in this country."

Wu also met with Gerardo Werthein, the President of the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA), who gave his backing to the agreement.

"Only the very best boxers should go to the Olympic Games and the WSB and APB will prepare the world's top boxers for that," said Werthein, who like Wu, is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member.

Wu explained that the WSB would be restructured for season three at a press conference in London earlier this month, where he revealed that Argentina would be one of several new franchises joining the WSB alongside Ukraine, Bulgaria and possibly Great Britain.

AIBA have been keen for Britain to join the WSB since it launched in 2010 and they are currently in negotiations with UK Sport and the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) about the potential franchise, which would also see Britain become involved in the APB.

For the Rio 2016 Olympics, there will be 56 quota places available from APB and 10 quota places available from WSB, making a combined 66 places from the two events.

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