World Series of Boxing brings together franchise teams from around the world to compete in the 10 AIBA-standard weight categories. Developed by AIBA, the International Boxing Association, WSB is the only pro-style team competition where boxers retain their Olympic eligibility. Endorsed by nearly 200 National Federations, it claims to reunite the broader boxing community and connects the sport to its grassroots foundation. WSB promotes a transparent scoring system and brings with it much a needed world-leading governance and commercial guidance to international boxing.
WSB marked a new era in the sport of boxing when in November 2010 it launched its first season. The WSB competition had 12 teams in three continental conferences: the Americas, Asia and Europe. Among the 219 boxers from 49 countries were 18 Olympic and World medalists. For the second season, the 12 teams were split into two World Groups to further enhance the global appeal of the league.
For the first time the world’s top boxers could enjoy training in a team, regular competition against world-class opponents and had the opportunity of earning a regular salary along with a performance based bonus system. Paris United became the first WSB Champions while the five winners at the first WSB Individual Championships were awarded direct qualification to the London 2012 Olympic Games along with their championship belts.
The boxers compete without vests or headguards in five rounds of three minutes each. There are five bouts per match, each of which is scored by the 10-Point-Must-System. In Seasons I & II, the franchises were city-focused, but from Season III the franchises took on a national identity. Each team is also allowed a quota of overseas boxers: a maximum of eight in total and no more than three from same nationality.
Five new franchises in Season III—Algeria Desert Hawks, Argentina Condors, British Lionhearts, Rafako Hussars Poland and Ukraine Otamans—saw WSB host its first-ever events in Africa. Finalists Ukraine Otamans and Astana Arlans Kazakhstan fought down to the wire before the Kazakh side eventually overcame Ukraine in a tense tiebreaker.
In Season IV, the competition entered the Caribbean market for the first time, welcoming one of the world’s greatest boxing nations, Cuba, into the fold with its new franchise the Domadores. The team saw professional-style boxing permitted in Cuba for the first time in 70 years, ultimately reaching the final against Azerbaijan Baku Fires in another final went all the way to a tie-breaker, where the Domadores triumphed in their debut season.
Season V featured the biggest regular-season phase to date, with 552 bouts across 112 matches. The Cuba Domadores again reached the final, only to be defeated by Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, which lifted the trophy for the second time.
Season VI saw the Uzbek Tigers and Turkiye Conquerors franchises join WSB, taking the total number of teams to 16. The new four-group format reflected the biggest expansion of the competition to date, and it was the Tigers who reached the semifinals in their debut campaign. The Cuba Domadores reached the final for a third straight season, and this time came away with the title by beating the British Lionhearts.
Season VII saw 12 teams competing in three regional groups; America, Europe/Africa and Asia, with home and away matches between the group rivals. The Season featured the return of franchises from France, Fighting Roosters and Italy, Italia Thunder, and the stars of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. WSB boxers accounted for 23 Olympic medals at the Games, including six golds. The two most successful franchises met in the final, with the Cuba Domadores defeating Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in a tiebreaker bout to become the first team with to win three WSB titles