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AIBI, BABA in Talks For British Amateurs To Join WSB

The British Amateur Boxing Association has confirmed it is in talks with world governing body AIBA to set up a London-based franchise in the World Series of Boxing.

The global team event kicks off its third season in November and a prospective London team was provisionally included in Sunday's draw, where it was placed in a six-strong Group B.

BABA chairman Derek Mapp said: "We have always been supportive of the ideals that underpin WSB. We recognise its potential to deliver alternative career options for young boxers and are keen to pursue this opportunity."

The move could provide Great Britain's Olympic medal winners with a financial alternative to turning professional, with all WSB boxers, whilst becoming centrally contracted to the organisation, receiving individual offers.

Six Irish boxers have already been drafted for next season's competition, while Olympic silver medallists John Joe Nevin and Ken Egan have previously competed for teams in Paris and Miami respectively.

No British boxers have entered the draft stage yet, and there is no guarantee that they would fight for a prospective London team, as all franchises are run as strictly international entities.

But such a move could produce some relatively lucrative deals for medallists, in particular super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who is yet to declare his plans beyond the end of his existing GB contract in March.

Great Britain have been wary of committing their fighters to the competition in the past, citing schedule concerns in the build-up to London 2012, and the financial implications of launching a franchise.

But officials are aware a WSB team could both convince some top stars to stay amateur and boost hopes of a bigger contingent of qualifiers for Rio 2016, with more qualifying places made available to WSB-contracted boxers.

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