A new ground breaking tournament designed to reshape the world of international boxing at both the Olympic style and the professional level – the World League of Boxing (WLB) – was unveiled today to the international sporting community, media and all of AIBA’s 195 member federations during an official AIBA dinner in Beijing.

In announcing the WLB, AIBA also introduced its new business/marketing partner in connection with WLB – IMG, the world renowned international sports marketing agency.

WLB will be an annual, franchised based professional boxing league with cities/venues/commercial 3rd parties applying to “own” a franchise and enter its team of boxers into the League. The WLB will feature both team and individual based competitions.

AIBA will, with support from its national federations, help facilitate the participation of the world’s best boxers in the League, and IMG will source and negotiate the franchises, and sell the commercial rights (media, sponsorship, licensing) around the world in consultation with AIBA.

The exact format of the WLB in respect to the number of teams/franchises, the number of boxers per team, the weight categories and all the finer competition rules are currently under development and the final decisions will be released in due course.

In addition, it is AIBA’s intention that boxers that compete in the WLB will be allowed to compete also in future Olympic Games.

AIBA plans to launch the first of WLB in the early part of 2010.

AIBA President Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu praised the new initiative, pointing to its global reach. “The World League of Boxing will revolutionise the sport of boxing like never before providing a universal form of entertainment which will capture the imagination of boxing fans around the world,” he said. “With IMG’s expertise and commitment to developing a highly valued boxing property which will survive for generations, AIBA aims to provide a boxing legacy which will change the sport forever.”

Ian Todd, the President of IMG International, said – “IMG is extremely proud to have been selected by AIBA as its business and marketing partner in connection with the World League of Boxing. With our 40 years of experience in working with some of the world’s leading sports federations we are confident that with our skill sets of producing/selling media rights, procuring sponsorship and negotiating franchise agreements we can build the World League of Boxing into one of the world’s premium annual sporting events with AIBA.”

About the International Boxing Association
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is a non-profit making international organization, which was founded under the name Fédération Internationale de Boxe Amateur (FIBA) in 1920. In 1946 a new start was given with the launch of AIBA to replace the dissolved FIBA and now, more than 60 years later, AIBA, with its 195 member federations, continues to govern the sport of Boxing, working for the benefit of the sport and all its participants, to help Boxing realise its potential within the Olympic Movement and the international sporting arena. For more information please visit www.aiba.org

About IMG
IMG is the world’s premier and most diversified sports, entertainment and media company. We partner with the world’s leading marketers and media networks to help them grow their businesses through our event properties, media production and distribution, talent brands, sponsorship consulting, brand licensing, sponsorship sales and other services. From emerging leadership in areas like digital media, licensing and entertainment programming, to our long-standing strength in sports, fashion and traditional media, IMG is committed to providing business-building solutions. Our partners include many of the world’s most famous brands, media outlets, sports governing bodies, national and local governments, athletes, entertainers, models and fashion designers. For more information please visit www.imgworld.com

Article courtesy of www.aiba.org