Boxing entrepreneur Phil Penston and a few of his associates have embarked upon an innovative plan, geared to expand the sport, and at the same time, create added excitement to supplement the many title fights that are arranged.
The Bahamas is a primary focus, according to Penston.
Just as with soccer, basketball, etc., Penston has founded the World Boxing League (WBL). The WBL will have 16-week seasons, catering to six weight divisions. Bouts will be limited to a maximum of five rounds. Each event will have six scheduled matches. The WBL supports annual salaries, health benefits, retirement planning and investment advice. It, in general, proposes the concept of supplementing what promoters are doing, rather than competing with them.
The WBL template includes boxing franchises, with owners and general conditions for competition and related matters.
Penston operates from an office base in Mexico and is working in conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association for the early phase of the WBL. The WBL is a new, different approach to boxing and is presently soliciting partners.
“We are submitting our proposal to the Caribbean Film & Entertainment Committee, under the entertainment division that focuses on sports. The focus (regarding the Caribbean) is to bring major sports to the region and our proposal is to bring professional boxing as our primary sport.
“We believe The Bahamas is critical to the success of the tournament in the Caribbean. At the present, we are finalizing our proposal to stage events in multiple Caribbean islands. The general format is to hold qualifying boxing events in up to eight Caribbean Islands and to (subsequently) form national teams to compete in a tournament, to create eventual Caribbean champions, as well as increase tourism throughout the Caribbean,” said Penston.
The WBL is a far-reaching project indeed, and if successful will be the biggest boost to the sport in decades.
According to the articles of the WBL, reportedly first published in June of 2000, by Raymond Markarian:
“All referees, judges and trainers will be employed by the league and there will be a very simple scoring system that awards five points for a knockout, four points for a technical knockout (TKO), three points for a unanimous decision victory, all the way down to zero for a defeat. The teams with the most accumulated point totals at the end of the season will compete in a play-off, culminating with the crowning of a champion.
“Once a national champion is crowned, the WBL will have the best fighters face off in a worked cup-like tournament to see who the best individual boxers in each league weight class is. The Word Cup participants will be determined by how many points they acquire for their respective teams.”
The WBL looks to be an exciting and interesting model.
Local professional boxing in this country and the sister Caribbean nations could very well use a shot in the arm.
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