Great Britain’s Rio 2016 Olympic boxing hopefuls have been boosted by the news that a British Lionhearts team will re-enter the World Series of Boxing.
The British Lionhearts debuted in the World Series of Boxing in 2013, reaching the quarter-finals where their journey was ended by Mexico.
However the team missed out last season with the British Amateur Boxing Association opting not to enter.
But the British Lionhearts will take part this season and have been drawn in a group with Ukraine, Russia, Algeria, Mexico, Morocco, China and Cuba, with the first fixture scheduled for January.
The team will consist of members of the GB squad based in Sheffield and six overseas fighters will be added from the draft.
Fighters chosen for the London-based franchise will contest five, three-minute rounds in fixtures. The top-ranked fighters at the end of the competition will reach Rio 2016 and avoid the usual qualifying events.
"We have agreed in principle to enter a British franchise in the 2014-15 World Series Boxing," said the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA).
The Association added: "BABA has a responsibility to do as much as it possibly can to increase opportunities for boxers from Great Britain to qualify for the Olympic Games and given that so many qualification places are available through World Series Boxing, we believe it is in the best interests of our boxers to participate in the forthcoming season."
© Sportsbeat 2014