India's loss has turned out to be Africa's gain in the World Series of Boxing as Algeria Desert Hawks have replaced Mumbai Fighters in the semi-professional league's second season starting later this month.
"World Series of Boxing (WSB) is delighted to announce its presence on yet another continent with the Algeria Desert Hawks set to bring the excitement of the world's premiere team boxing to Africa," the International Boxing Association said.
Algeria comes in after the TransStadia-owned Mumbai Fighters' called it quits following just one season in the event, which is a 12-team part-professional league with winners in different categories getting direct qualification to the Olympics.
Although the Mumbai Fighters have still not come on records to clarify their position, it is known that the team pulled out due to administrative hurdles and paucity of funds.
"They just got fed up with the system which did not support the team one bit," a boxer who was a part of the team, had said.
With Algeria coming on board, the WSB has representation across the globe. The Americas (Argentina, Mexico and the USA), Europe (Azerbaijan, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Russia and Ukraine) and Asia (Kazakhstan) are already a part of the event.
Algeria Desert Hawks will compete in Group A alongside
Russia, Azerbaijan Baku Fires, Argentina Condors, Hussars Poland and Mexico Guerreros. The draw has handed them a tricky opener, away to Russia on Sunday November 18 to face the last season's finalists.
"After Argentina, Ukraine, Poland and Great Britain, I am extremely pleased to welcome another new Franchise to World Series of Boxing Season III, especially one from a continent that has not yet tasted WSB," stated Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, Chairman of the WSB Board.
"We are excited at joining World Series of Boxing," added Dr Abdellah Bessalem, President of the Algerian Boxing Federation.