THE BUSINESS OF BOXING

THE RISE OF WORLD PRO FIGHT LEAGUES

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BOXING AND CANCER-THE CHAMPION INSIDE, A NEW FILM
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THE RISE OF WORLD PRO FIGHT LEAGUES

 

The world is experiencing the infancy of the growth of world professional fighting team leagues.  The idea of team fighting in boxing and martial arts is not a new one.  There were matches of amateur and professional team fighting in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but on a very small scale.  Promoters in professional boxing and karate occasionally matched fighters together from different regions to drum up support for their business.

 

Today, there are two major sports leagues that hope to establish themselves on the world market.  The first is Chuck Norris’ World Combat League (WCL), which is comprised of eight teams all located in the United States.  They are:

 

  •  Oklahoma Destroyers
  •  Texas Dragons
  •  Houston Enforcers
  •  Los Angeles Stars
  •  New York Clash
  •  Philadelphia Fire
  •  Miami Force

 

The World Combat League can be viewed on cable’s Versus Television.

 

The other world fighting league is The International Fight League (IFL), which is currently comprised of eleven teams based in the United States, Canada and Japan.  In 2008, the league will introduce a team from the United Kingdom.  The teams in the IFL are:

 

  •  Anacondas, Los Angeles, California
  •  Tigersharks, Seattle, Washington
  •  Wolfpack,  Portland, Oregon
  • Sabers, Moline, Illinois
  • Pitbulls, New York, New York
  • Dragons, Toronto, Ontario
  • Razorclaws, San Jose, California
  • Scorpions, Tucson Arizona
  • Condors, Orange County, California
  • Lions, Reno, Nevada

 

Boxing also has a fight league called The World Boxing League (WBL).  It was founded in 1997, and had its initial start in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2002. But there is no other information on the league.  They are still in existence, but no fights.  I left messages with the commissioner via phone and I hope to have answers about the WBL soon.  I presume the league may have reorganized.  According to the World Boxing League’s official website the inaugural season is 2007, the season will contain:

 

         Professional Team Boxing

         Patented Scoring Methodology

         Open Scoring

         Team Results and Standings

         Team Uniforms, Logos & Mascots

         Five round bouts

         Smaller rings for increased action

         North American Playoffs

         World Cup

         World Individual Championships

         Fan Entertainment & Interaction

         No Sanctioning Organizations

         WBL (Hybrid League Structure)

         Return to the sport as the “Sweet Science”

         Competitive Matches

         Innovative technology; e.g. Ref Cam & The Punch Meter

 

For more information on The World Boxing League, click on http://www.worldboxingleague.com.

 

Between the three leagues, it seems the IFL has the financial muscle to become a major fight presence immediately. 

 

The IFL was founded January 7, 2006 by real estate developer, Kurt Otto and Wizard Magazine founder, Gareb Shamus, two well-financed devotees of mixed martial arts who were inspired by the tragic HBO documentary, The Smashing Machine, about the life and career of the late mixed martial artist, Mark Kerr.  Otto and Shamus would like to elevate the livelihoods of mixed martial arts fighters, many of them living meagerly, training without steady incomes and only earning small fight purses when they do fight.

 

With the IFL, they intend to create a system not only showcasing mixed martial arts but also provide a business plan that will allow fighters to share more of the profits of the sport.  Instead of paying fighters after the fights, they are given a salary and health benefits to train and fight.  The team concept is also conducive for television, where episodes can be regularly produced the continuing storyline of an ongoing season.

 

The IFL is already a growing financial force in the world of the fighting sports.  Experts in sports and entertainment has speculated that the wealth of its founders, an innovative business plan and its television deal with Fox Sports Net and MyNetworkTV will cause the league to become a dominant force in the fight industry.

 

Currently, the IFL and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has hostilities between them.  The UFC have accused the IFL for illegally using propriety information obtained by hiring UFC executives. The IFL countered claiming the UFC was threatening potential partners to not work with the IFL, in which UFC failed to persuade Fox Sports Net not to work with the IFL.

 

So far the IFL is the only known league to have publicly traded stock.  The MMA fans have a chance to own a piece of the company.

 

If you are interested in owning shares in the IFL, its stock is traded on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB), which is owned by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).  To view their daily stock quote, just visit their website at http://www.ifl.tv.

 

As for the World Combat League, they are privately owned, the sole owner is martial art six time world champion and martial arts media star, Chuck Norris.  The World Combat League is looking for new fighters to fill their future teams.  If you are interested in competing, you can obtain an application on their website at:

 

http://www.worldcombatleague.com/pdf/wcl_fighter_application.pdf

 

In the World Combat League, there are no grappling or ground fighting, the fights are stand up in nature, utilizing techniques of Muay Thai, Boxing, Karate, Kickboxing, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do.

 

There is a six month season, each fighter fight two three minute rounds.  This gives the effect of a fast paced fight. Fighters that are proven to be “fan favorites” will receive lucrative advertising contracts.  Each team will be a “franchise” of the World Combat League.

 

The World Boxing League has not formally announced its start but according to their website it plans to offer their fighters:

 

  • A regular salary
  • No monies taken by promoters, managers, trainers, etc.
  • Incentive based pay, based on performance, i.e.: playoffs, world cup, world individual championships, all star team, etc.
  • Support of a team environment.
  • Steady predictable work
  • Open scoring
  • Health insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Retirement Planning
  • Career Counseling
  • Investment Advice
  • Potential for Endorsements.
  • Safety requirements for all boxers.
  • A patented scoring methodology.

 

Phillip A. Penston III, is the founder, chairman and CEO of the WBL.  He is a founder and author of a patent. Promoter of eleven world title fights, a former NBA Player Agent and a consultant for World Wide Management, KPMG and ProVantage Consulting.

As you can see this is the beginning of a new era for the fighting sports.  There is an opportunity for more players to interact with the sports and produce a well structured salary, which can help the fighter stay in the sport full time without difficulty.

And for the first time, a public offering of stock is offered in a fighting sport, the average Joe can own a fight team thanks to the IFL.

Only time will tell about the new fight leagues, but one thing is certain, there will be more fight leagues in the future to compete with them!

 

AS ALWAYS…

KEEP YOUR GUARD UP AND KEEP ON PUNCHING!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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