By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

May 11 - The finals of the inaugural World Series of Boxing (WSB) will take place in Macau next March, it has been announced.

An agreement to host the team and individual championships of the series was signed between C.K Wu, the President of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), and Haris James, the President of China Television & Property Holdings Ltd (CTP).

The WSB finals will mark the climax of the season, following the regular matches in the three WSB conferences and the play-offs.

The best two teams of each season will compete for the title of the "World Series of Boxing Team Champion".

The finals will be staged on two evenings with a programme of two hours each.

Each team will comprise ten boxers, two in each of the five WSB weight categories.

The best two individual boxers in each of the five WSB weight categories ranked according to their performance in the six matches of the regular season will compete for the title of "World Series of Boxing Individual Champion".

The five title bouts will be held over seven rounds on two consecutive days.

Wu said: "This is a significant agreement which secures the long-term future of the World Series of Boxing.

"It comes just over a week after our first WSB test event here in Baku, which was a great success.

"I am delighted to see things at the WSB moving forward quickly and look forward to watching the teams take shape over the next two months ahead of the draft stage."

The WSB will comprise 12 city-based franchise teams spread across three regional conferences: Asia, the Americas and Europe.

During the regular season, which is due to start in November 2010 and conclude March 2011, teams in each conference will compete against each other over two home and two away legs, a total of 12 matches per team.

Boxing squads will consist of between 10 and 20 boxers, with a cap on the maximum number of national boxers and a requirement to field between three and six non-national boxers according to squad size.

The top team from each conference, plus the best second-placed team, will then go through to the play-off series to compete for a place in the team championship final at a neutral venue.

Separate individual championships will also be held for the best boxers in each of the five weight divisions, 54kg, 61kg, 73kg, 85kg, 91+kg.

The four Asian franchises were signed in January at the AIBA Executive Committee meeting in Xiamen, China.

The teams will be based in Beijing and Delhi and Astana in Kazakhstan, Baku in Azerbaijan,

The first two European franchises are confirmed as Moscow and Milan.

Agreements with Istanbul and Paris are in the pipeline.

CTP, an affiliated company of the owners of the Beijing WSB franchise, have signed an agreement with World Series of Boxing SA, whose headquarters are in Switzerland, to acquire the rights to host the finals in Macau.

In a separate agreement, CTP will acquire the media broadcast rights in relation to the WSB for broadcast and distribution within China, Macau and Hong Kong for the next five years.

The WSB finals will showcase the city of Macau as a world-leading sports and tourist destination and allow the organiser to generate income from ticket sales, merchandising concessions, catering, hospitality and sponsorship packages in relation to the finals.

They will also bring world-class athletes to Macau and allow it to be associated with a new global sporting brand.

Macau hosted Britain's pre-Games training before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

CTP Managing Director – International, Mark  Newham said: "China Television & Property Holdings Ltd. are very honored to have been awarded the rights to host the ‘World Series of Boxing’ Team & Individual Championships in Macau.

"We will endeavour to bring to the world from the cosmopolitan City of Macau a Championships Final Series that is synonymous with the high standard of boxing and Integrity that is associated with the new World Series of Boxing competition."

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