WSB`s Indian franchise picks up world champ, CWG medallist
Baku (Azerbaijan): Former world champion Abbos Atoyev and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Patrick Gallagher were among the five international pugilists that the World Series of Boxing`s Indian franchise -- Mumbai Fighters -- picked up in a draft order conducted by the sport`s governing body AIBA.
The World Series of Boxing draft was held during the rest day of the ongoing World Championships yesterday, which has already seen 12 WSB boxers qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games through the competition.
It was primarily held for the Mumbai Fighters and the Leipzig Leopards from Germany.
"International Boxing Association (AIBA) President and WSB Chairman, Ching-Kuo Wu, signed a Declaration of Cooperation with Jurgen Kyas from the German Boxing Federation and Marco Schulze, General Manager of the Leipzig Leopards," the AIBA said in a statement.
Fifteen months after the first international draft was held in London, where 87 international boxers were chosen to fill the required quota of non-national squad members, 25 more were again drafted from a list of 67 available athletes representing almost 30 countries from all five continents.
Among the 25 boxers drafted, there were World Champions, Youth Olympic Games Champions, World Youth Champions, World Junior Champions, Continental Champions and many National Champions.
The draft was presided over by Wu in front of the National Federations` representatives and the Mumbai Fighters managed to rope in some of the top names in international boxing.
Atoyev is currently the world number one in the middleweight division. The Uzbek is an old nemesis of India`s Olympic and World Championship bronze-medallist Vijender Singh, having defeated him in the previous World Championships before being beaten in the Asian Games.
But both Atoyev and Vijender were ousted from the ongoing World Championships here after preliminary losses.
Another talented boxer that Mumbai picked was Australia`s Damien Hooper. Hooper beat Dinesh Kumar in the pre-quarters of the ongoing competition before losing by a solitary point in the last-eight stage of the light heavyweight division.
Gallagher was a welterweight gold-medallist at the Delhi CWG last year. But all three of them will compete in the 73kg division in the WSB.
The draft proceeds with a draw between the new franchises to determine the order of picks. The remaining draft order is then based on the previous season`s ranking.
The first round of the draft starts with each franchise having the opportunity to choose a boxer from the `Boxer Draft List`.
Each taking turns, the franchises have a maximum of five minutes to choose an athlete per round. Franchises are allowed to pass their turn.
Once the franchise representative announces the drafted boxer, the next team repeats the process. Surpassing the allocated time means a forfeit of the round.
The draft ends once all franchises have passed their turn twice.