View Full Version : WSB Offers Amateur Boxers Salary, Shot At Olympics


Heru
07-15-2010, 05:01 PM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP)—Two-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren has been torn between cash and country since a demoralizing defeat at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Turning pro offered the prospects of a lucrative payday.

Just as attractive, though, was attempting to earn a spot for the 2012 London Games, which would make Warren the first three-time Olympian in U.S. boxing history.

Dollars or distinction?

Decisions, decisions.

So when a chance came along to pursue both, Warren jumped on board.

Warren is one of a handful of U.S. boxers who have agreed to participate in the World Series of Boxing (WSB), a newly formed league set to start in November that allows fighters to compete in a modified pro setup and still maintain their Olympic eligibility.

Initiated by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the team-oriented competition featuring five weight divisions is a way to bridge the gap between Olympic boxing and the pro ranks.

This will definitely have a pro feel, too—no headgear will be used, bouts will consist of five 3-minute rounds and scored according to the 10-point “must” system.

Even more, this is a paying gig. Maybe not as much as a pay-per-view title bout, but lucrative nonetheless with salaries ranging from between $25,000 and a ceiling of around $300,000 per year. A fighter can also earn an extra $5,000 per win during the 12-match schedule. There will also be a playoff to crown a winner.

If that wasn’t incentive enough, the five individual weight champions from the inaugural season will earn berths to the Olympics.

“It’s great, because they’re saying boxing is losing a lot of fans,” said Warren, who easily won his opening bout of the USA boxing national championships Tuesday night as the referee stopped the contest 56 seconds into the first round. “Once fans see this, they might step back into boxing. Nobody’s fighting bums—there are a lot of people fighting world champions.”

Warren will be bringing his potent punches to a team based in Los Angeles. There are also squads in Boston, Miami and Mexico City, along with franchises scattered throughout Europe and Asia.

“This is such a win-win situation for everybody,” said Ivan Khodabakhsh, the chief operating officer for the Switzerland-based WSB. “It will inspire athletes to come into boxing.”

As fate would have it, one of Warren’s teammates will be South Korea’s Lee Ok-sung, the boxer who stunned Warren with a 9-8 win in Beijing.

“We can’t fight each other because we’re on the same team,” said Warren, smiling. “But there’s going to be a lot of sparring.”

Other U.S. fighters scheduled to take part in the WSB include 2009 light heavyweight national champion Robert Brant and Olympian Raynell Williams, who will both box for Boston. Sijuola Shabazz (Miami) and Javier Torres (Los Angeles) also will participate.

All but Williams were on hand this week for U.S. nationals, even if this summer’s event is pretty much for bragging rights since it doesn’t go toward selecting the Olympic team.

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” said the 19-year-old Brant, who’s from St. Paul, Minn. “I love the title of being the No. 1 in the nation.”

Warren has been able to boast about being No. 1 in the nation quite a bit— except for last summer.

A three-time national champion, Warren dropped a close decision to Jesus Magdaleno in the semifinals in 2009, prompting Warren to storm out of the ring and proclaim, “I can’t go through this no more.”

Time has healed those feelings of frustration.

“I always learn something from my fights,” said Warren, who’s from Cincinnati.

The lesson from that one?

“Have to do more,” he insisted.

It’s all part of Warren’s evolution as a fighter, a career filled with highs (’07 world champion) and lows (stinging Olympic losses).

Warren was the youngest male Olympian in any sport at the 2004 Athens Games, where the 17-year-old dropped his opening bout.

Then came the heartbreaking loss to Lee in Beijing. Thinking he was up a point, Warren danced around in the waning seconds.

Only he wasn’t up, and broke into tears after the bout.

Warren said the Olympic experiences will serve him well should he make the team for London.

“First time, I needed experience,” Warren said. “Second time, I relied on the judges, left the fight in the ring.

“This time, I’ve got to take over.”

That’s why he’s been intensely training in the gym, adding power to his furious jabs.

He also has a little training buddy, his 2 1/2 -year-old son, Rau’shee Warren Jr., following him around, mimicking his every move. The youngster frequently slips on gloves and saunters over to the punching bag.

“He likes to set up the jab,” Warren said with pride. “It’s in him already.” http://sports.yahoo.com/box/news?slug=ap-uschampionships

Heru
07-15-2010, 05:06 PM
This is great news for amateur boxing. A number of other countries already pay their fighters for different achievements.

$25,000-300,000 and $5,000 per win is nothing to scoff at. When people start actually finding out about this, amateur boxing will overload in talent.

paloalto00
07-15-2010, 05:09 PM
Great news, but then again it might keep a lot of boxers to keep from going pro :/.

Bullrush
07-15-2010, 05:38 PM
those guys will never make it in the pros so it doesnt matter

Heru
07-15-2010, 05:39 PM
Great news, but then again it might keep a lot of boxers to keep from going pro :/.

For how long though?

The first thing that came to mind is that the infusion of talent in amateur boxing will be immense. When people get wind of this, it'll attract a lot of kids to the sport.

Not sure how the format will be, but surely all of the good boxers the amateurs will be filled with won't be able to make it and want to look to use their talent by turning pro. Some of the kids will get tired of the amateurs and would look to turn pro. And a bunch of other scenarios... Keeping them in the AMs is really an after thought IMO.

paloalto00
07-15-2010, 06:37 PM
For how long though?

The first thing that came to mind is that the infusion of talent in amateur boxing will be immense. When people get wind of this, it'll attract a lot of kids to the sport.

Not sure how the format will be, but surely all of the good boxers the amateurs will be filled with won't be able to make it and want to look to use their talent by turning pro. Some of the kids will get tired of the amateurs and would look to turn pro. And a bunch of other scenarios... Keeping them in the AMs is really an after thought IMO.

Here's the problem, 10 must scoring system is pro style, which is way deifferent from ams. Now you might have a fighter bad ass in the 10 must scoring system, but can't hold his own on the Olympic scoring. Also, as a pro it takes a bit to get some fights that actually pay, so if they are making a nice chunk of cash as an amateur; then they might not want to leave

Heru
07-15-2010, 07:44 PM
Here's the problem, 10 must scoring system is pro style, which is way deifferent from ams. Now you might have a fighter bad ass in the 10 must scoring system, but can't hold his own on the Olympic scoring. Also, as a pro it takes a bit to get some fights that actually pay, so if they are making a nice chunk of cash as an amateur; then they might not want to leave

Actually, except for Olympic related tournaments, US amateur fights are fought in the "who won more rounds" format. Which is why the US has been having worse showings in the Olympics.

I know it takes time to make the type of cash they're mentioning in the article, but the infusion of talent will be more than just those that qualify to be on 1 of these teams.

And how long will top amateurs be content with being amateurs?

The same dilemmas are faced in different countries and amateurs eventually want to turn pro (the Arroyo twins of Puerto Rico for 1 were recieving a salary of $4-5K each, yet decided to turn pro instead of waiting for the Olympics). There are too many factors to those decisions. It will be 1 of the drawbacks to this, but all in all it will do much more good than bad for the pro ranks and boxing overall.

Danny Gunz
07-15-2010, 09:03 PM
That is a great idea, if it is advertised well it could help the sport grow a lot. I love good amateur fights.

Trick
07-15-2010, 10:57 PM
Good to see for sure.

Bronsky
07-15-2010, 11:09 PM
Great ****!ng news

actionjackson
07-15-2010, 11:13 PM
My new boxing goal is to be apart of this world series, sign me up!

FM3O
07-16-2010, 12:53 AM
those guys will never make it in the pros so it doesnt matter

What makes you think these guys will never make it in the pros? It will be national level amateur boxers such as Gary Russell Jr. It's not like these are random fighters.

FM3O
07-16-2010, 12:54 AM
I read that article when it was posted earlier today. Does anyone have any idea how you can get invited into that? Do you have to win specific tournaments or what? I didn't see anything in the article, I think thats interesting that they are doing that.

Domey
07-16-2010, 02:12 AM
They are drafting the top amatures in the U.S. and world for this. I know one of the fighters that got drafted and they are getting a pretty nice signing bonus.

Secondly, as was already stated the U.S. fighters are bread for the pro's, not amatures. Granted the U.S. still leads the overall Olympic medal count, we have only medaled 6 times in the past two games, and only two golds since 1996 in Atlanta.

The people fighting in this "tournament" are more or less what we call professional amatures. Most of them have been waiting out for the next Olympic trials and games before they turn pro, and will probably still do so after.

You can find a list of the teams and boxers on the WBS website. Cross reference them with the rankings on the usaboxing website and you will find that these are all top 10 ranked amatures.

While it is another goal for amature boxers, it is not much different then being a successful pro. It will still take tons of work, dedication, and skill to be on these teams.

Bullrush
07-16-2010, 04:34 AM
What makes you think these guys will never make it in the pros? It will be national level amateur boxers such as Gary Russell Jr. It's not like these are random fighters.

well i was talking about their desire and their dedication etc. im sure talent wise these guys could make some splashes in the pros but if you arent dedicated if you dont have the desire to be great you wont do **** in the pro's. these guys just want to make a living by boxing, they could care less about the sport. lets say they are making 5.000 for a fight and they fight 12 times a year. lets say some company offers them 5.500 a month, 12 times a year. these guys would switch and become a garbage man or something just to make a little more money. of course not all of them but i think a lot of them dont really care about boxing if they chose to stay in the amateurs because of how much money theyre getting paid there instead of taking that next step

#1Assassin
07-16-2010, 06:32 AM
well i was talking about their desire and their dedication etc. im sure talent wise these guys could make some splashes in the pros but if you arent dedicated if you dont have the desire to be great you wont do **** in the pro's. these guys just want to make a living by boxing, they could care less about the sport. lets say they are making 5.000 for a fight and they fight 12 times a year. lets say some company offers them 5.500 a month, 12 times a year. these guys would switch and become a garbage man or something just to make a little more money. of course not all of them but i think a lot of them dont really care about boxing if they chose to stay in the amateurs because of how much money theyre getting paid there instead of taking that next step

that makes no sense at all.

someone who stays in the amateurs longer most likely cares more about the sport than someone looking to make quick money in the pros. they would still make alot more turning pro rather than joining this amateur thing.

but they want to make sure they are ready, u often dont get a second chance as a pro. they want to get themselfs that gold medal, partly for the medal alone but also to put themselfs in the best possible position to turn pro.

taking your time rather than rushing forward is the step of someone who really cares about the sport. it takes more dedication to stay amateur when u are doing all the same work for much less profit.

Bullrush
07-16-2010, 06:54 AM
dude im talkin about the guys that dont take the next step because they would rather make money in the amateurs. not about the guys that stay there to hone their skills. it doesnt matter how long they stay in the amateurs if they do it for the right reason. you cant tell me that somebody who makes good money in the amateurs and stays there for as long as possible so he can avoid going to the pros, you cant tell me that this guy is just doing that so he can improve his skills and become a great pro boxer

and the pay isnt all that great unless youre a good pro with a big name. if you start out nobody is going to pay you 10.000 for a fight

#1Assassin
07-16-2010, 07:05 AM
dude im talkin about the guys that dont take the next step because they would rather make money in the amateurs. not about the guys that stay there to hone their skills. it doesnt matter how long they stay in the amateurs if they do it for the right reason. you cant tell me that somebody who makes good money in the amateurs and stays there for as long as possible so he can avoid going to the pros, you cant tell me that this guy is just doing that so he can improve his skills and become a great pro boxer

and the pay isnt all that great unless youre a good pro with a big name. if you start out nobody is going to pay you 10.000 for a fight

if your a world class amateur u have the mindset that u can become a world clas professional aswell. anyone good enough to get invited by the WSB is in his own mind good enough to win a title as a pro, making some decent money in the process.