World Team Boxing

1974 was a banner year for promoters of new sports leagues.  The American Basketball Association and World Hockey Association were mounting realistic challenges to the established NBA and NHL, and the World Football League's debut was imminent, with its spectacular flameout still a year in the future.  With World Team Tennis taking team competition into a new professional sport, and with the North American Soccer League beginning a new expansion plan which would bring it to 24 teams by 1978, the time seemed right for World Team Boxing.

Early in 1974, Sean Downey, Jr. announced plans for a 48-team, 8-division boxing league to begin the next year--a league whose planned size was ambitious even by today's standards.  Early reports, however, suggested that the league's organizers were aware that their optimism might be excessive, as they were said to be willing to settle for 24 teams if necessary.  WTB chose to compete in 5 weight classes: featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and heavyweight.

By the time the first season opened on January 17, 1975, only four teams were ready to roll--although four others were in the wings, ready to debut in later months.  The first match pitted Portland against Montreal--it was also the last match.  Following quickly on the heels of the Nor'easters' 13-4 victory was the suspension the next day of Portland, Providence, and Boston--all owned by Frank Opie--for alleged financial mismanagement.  The league hung in limbo for about a week before folding for good.  As a result, it may be argued that WTB stands as the only sports league where a winless team--Montreal--won the championship, simply by being the last survivor.

Final WTB Standings

  W L PF PA GB Notes
Portland Nor'easters 1 0 13 4 -- 1
Boston Boxers 0 0 0 0 1/2 1
Providence Pistols 0 0 0 0 1/2 1
Buffalo Rainbows 0 0 0 0 1/2 2
Virgin Islands Carribs 0 0 0 0 1/2 2
New York Pets 0 0 0 0 1/2 3
San Jose Prunes 0 0 0 0 1/2 3
Montreal 76'ers 0 1 4 13 1  

1. Portland, Boston and Providence were suspended on January 17, 1975.
2. Buffalo and Virgin Islands were scheduled to join in February 1975.
3. New York and San Jose were scheduled to join in March 1975.

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