By Tom Degun

WSB_Nov_19November 22 - Ho Kim, chief executive of the World Series of Boxing (WSB), has told insidethegames the new global competition from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) is likely to break even in its second season and start making a profit in the third.

The WSB made its long-awaited official debut at the weekend with six matches being held across three different continents.

The format comprises 12 city-based franchise teams spread across the three regional conferences of Asia, the Americas and Europe with all WSB individual champions securing automatic qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The concept has received millions of pounds in investment but Kim, who is also the executive director of AIBA, said he is looking to recoup all the money in the second season and start making a profit in the third.

"We obviously have a partner, IMG, who own 25 per cent of WSB while AIBA own the other 75 per cent," he said.

"IMG have spent more than $2 million (£1.2 million) in marketing, promotion and other things like that while AIBA have invested $2.5 million (£1.5 million) so far.

"We are investing not just money, we are actually investing our boxers in this programme because we truly believe this must succeed in order to reunite the broader boxing community and connect the sport to its grassroots foundation and the young people.

"Young people in the grassroots will look up to WSB boxers and see them as heroes and role models.

"That will provide a bridge between Olympic boxing and professional boxing for youngsters and that is why we believe the investment is worthwhile."

The WSB has already got off to a good start financially after technology-driven engineering, procurement and construction company Kazakhstan's KazStroyService (KSS) signed an agreement to become presenting sponsor earlier this month.

TopTen will be the official glove supplier for the inaugural season supplying all 12 WSB franchises - which includes 176 boxers - with top quality equipment.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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