Team Combat League Introduces a New Format to Boxing
They say that boxing is the loneliest sport in the world, but the Team Combat League (TCL) is looking to change that perception. TCL is boxing’s first squad-based format, introducing a team dynamic to the sport. The league consists of six teams representing a state, with each team comprising six boxers in different weight classes. The matches are fought over 18 rounds, with the usual ten-point must system in place for judges. The brains behind this innovative concept is Ahmed Sheikh, a real estate developer and investor who saw an opportunity to revolutionize the sport.
Unlike traditional boxing, where individual fighters compete against each other, Team Combat League brings male and female fighters together and provides a platform for female fighters to showcase their talents. In the sport of boxing, female fighters often struggle to receive fair opportunities and recognition. Sheikh wanted to address this disparity and create a level playing field for all fighters. The idea for the league came to him during the pandemic when he was approached to broker a fight between boxing legends Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Although the fight fell through, Sheikh realized that there was a gap in the market for a team-based format in boxing.
Sheikh explained, “There’s no such thing as a boxing league. There’s no such thing as a team sport when it comes to boxing. So the idea came, it came very quickly we came up with creating a team and a format putting male and female fighters together. Female fighters never usually get a fair shot, that’s how people have always looked at it, so when the idea came to us we pretty much ran with it.”
The inaugural season of the Team Combat League was a resounding success, with NYC Attitude emerging as the champions after defeating the Atlanta Attack in the “Mega Brawl” showpiece event. The league also provided opportunities for boxers who did not make it to the finale fight, as two all-star teams were created for an undercard event. The league covers the costs of accommodation and coaching fees for all the boxers, offering them financial support and a unique opportunity to showcase their skills.
Two prominent fighters who participated in the league’s first season were Hasim Rahman Jr and Michael Hunter. They even faced off against each other over two rounds, adding to the excitement and intensity of the league. Sheikh expressed his enthusiasm for attracting more professional fighters to join in the upcoming seasons, stating, “Hasim Rahman Jr is exactly the type of fighter we want in Team Combat League, someone who has heart, skill, a lot of fight in them, and who’s essentially looking for that next chapter in their career.”
Looking ahead to the future, Sheikh has plans to expand the league by adding up to six more teams for the next season. He aims to bring in new fighters who are passionate about the sport and eager to make a mark in their careers. Sheikh also understands the importance of making the league accessible to fans worldwide, and all the action is streamed for free on TCL’s YouTube channel. Fans can also catch highlights from the league’s debut year to relive the excitement and adrenaline of the fights.
In conclusion, the Team Combat League is revolutionizing the world of boxing with its innovative team-based format. By providing a platform for male and female fighters to compete together, the league aims to promote equality and fairness in the sport. Under the leadership of Ahmed Sheikh, the league has seen tremendous success in its inaugural season, attracting talented fighters and captivating audiences worldwide. As the league looks ahead to its future seasons, it promises to continue pushing boundaries and creating a new era for boxing.