The World Series of Boxing (WSB) has announced that a Puerto Rico franchise will compete in its fifth season, taking the number of competing nations in the International Boxing Association (AIBA) sanctioned series to 16.
Puerto Rico Hurricanes become the second WSB franchise from the Caribbean region alongside defending champion and fellow storied boxing nation Cuba.
AIBA president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said: “The arrival of Puerto Rico Hurricanes in WSB is a proof that our league is going from strength to strength gathering the best boxing nations of the world and therefore we are truly proud of this important addition.”
The Hurricanes will make their debut with a home match in San Juan against Poland Hussars before a trip to South America to face Argentina Condors. Azerbaijan Baku Fires, Italia Thunder, Kazakhstan Astana Arlans, USA Knockouts and fellow debut franchise Venezuela Caciques make up the rest of Group B.
Puerto Rican boxers Gerardo Bisbal and Jantony Ortiz Marcano (pictured) competed for Mexico Guerreros last season, while Anthony Chacon turned out for USA Knockouts.
Puerto Rico Hurricanes general manager Miguel Sosa said: “It is a great honour for us to compete in the World Series of Boxing. WSB is one of the most desired competitions in the world, and it will definitely help us improve the level of boxing in Puerto Rico. We have two objectives for our debut season. First of all, as many boxers as possible need to qualify for the Olympic Games and as a team we hope to qualify at least for the season’s playoffs.”
The Hurricanes complete the WSB line-up for season five after the announcement last month that Morocco would enter a team in Group A. Morocco Atlas Lions must face Cuba and Mexico in the round-robin stage along with Russian Boxing Team, Ukraine Otamans, Team Germany, Team of China Dragons and north African neighbours Algeria Desert Hawks.