Earlier this week the WBA's Classifications committee have decided to recognise Japanese star Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] as their "unified champion", following his IBF title victory this past weekend against Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12).
The WBA referred to their own rules to make the decision, citing "C17" which allowed the Committee and President to recognise world champions as a unified champion if they are recognised as "quintessential monarch" by one or more of the other sanctioning bodies. In this case the IBF.
As the unified champion Inoue will have 18 months to make a mandatory defense, not the normal 9, though it's a little unclear as to when that 18 month period actually starts.
As we all know that Inoue's next bout will see him face off against Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) in the WBSS final, later this year. Confusingly, though that's nothing new when we talk about the WBA, the bout will see Inoue unifying his Unified Championship with the WBA Super title of Donaire.
A cynical fan, ahem, would suggest this decision from the WBA allows them to have a regular title fight later in the year, potentially pitting some leading contenders against each other, whilst awaiting for the WBSS final in the fall.
Sauerland: “Is Inoue going to win the Ali Trophy in 10 minutes?! What a Monster!”
Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer wraps up Saturday’s semi-finals and looks forward to the cruiserweight semi-final showdowns on June 15 at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia.
“What a night of boxing it was,” said Sauerland of Saturday’s breathtaking doubleheader at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow. “Taylor is already now a Scottish legend after a terrific performance against another true warrior. This sets up a 50-50 final against Prograis. Both fighters seem very confident of going all the way and it really could go either way.
“Inoue proved again why he is called the Monster, his power is simply from another planet. His total fight time in the tournament is now 5 minutes and 29 seconds, and neither Payano or Rodriguez had ever been dropped before. I mean, is this guy going to win the tournament in 10 minutes?!
“Inoue is clearly a phenomenon, absolutely unbelievable. And it is going to be a sensational final against Nonito Donaire, who produced one of the knockouts of the year in his semi-final and has been looking very comfortable and strong at bantamweight. It is going to be a huge spectacle.”
The WBSS returns on June 15 with an amazing doubleheader at the Arena Riga: Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki and Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti for spots in the cruiserweight final.
“We cannot wait to find our last finalists for the Ali Trophy,” said Sauerland. “But is it impossible to predict winners in these explosive match-ups. The throne in cruiserweight is empty and all four have the potential to be the new king.
“Briedis is obviously excited for the chance at redemption after dropping a majority decision to Usyk in last year’s semi-final, but he is up against a hard-hitting warrior in shape of Glowacki who has promised to bring war to Riga.
“Dorticos and Tabiti have a very entertaining beef right now going on at social media, and they both want to prove they are the best cruiserweight in the world. One thing is certain, we are in for another treat on June 15!”
The WBSS returns on June 15 with a sensational doubleheader at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia: Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki and Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti for spots in the cruiserweight final.
Tickets for the hotly-anticipated semi-final in Riga are on sale from: bilesuserviss.lv
WBSS Season 2 Semi-Finals:
27 April - Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
Earlier today Japanese Youth Light Welterweight title holder Andy Hiraoka (13-0, 9) [平岡アンディ] announced his next bout, revealing that plans had changed.
Originally he was pencilled in for the July 1st Ohashi show, set to be headlined by Japanese Light Welterweight champion Koki Inoue (13-0, 10) [浩樹井上] defending his title against Ryuji Ikeda (14-5-3, 9) [池田竜司]. At the time he has no opponent announced for the show, and seemed to be pencilled in to just stay busy and tick over. Now however he has confirmed he will fight on July 12th against former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo (31-8-1, 18) [近藤 明広], in what is a big step up for the youngster.
Hiraoka is one of the Ohashi Gym's best prospects, and is a talented boxer-puncher who showed real class early in his career, reaching the Rookie of the Year final. In recent he has made his mark on the domestic youth scene but did need a big bout, and this is a big bout, against a world ranked fighter. Kondo is a true veteran, but he is now at the point where is battling for his career following a huge KO loss to Downua Ruawaiking (15-0, 12) [ดาวเหนือ เรือไวกิ้ง], aka Apinun Khongsong, in an IBF eliminator earlier in the year. He can't afford another loss, but will be coming into this bout following his worst career defeat.
At the moment no other bouts have been announced for this show, which will take place at Korakuen Hall, and likely be made available on the A-Sign Boxing channel on youtube following the event.
This coming weekend we'll see Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] make his second defense of the WBO Super Featherweight title, as he takes on American challenger Jamel Herring (19-2, 10).
Today it's been revealed that Ito has changed his gym affiliation in Japan, leaving the Banryu Gym to join the more well established Yokohama Hikari gym.
There's been no reason given for the transfer but the match with Herring will be his first as one of their fighters.
Related - Ito returns to the US to take on Herring!
(Image courtesy of Boxingnews.jp)
Back in April we saw the news of a double header in China featuring WBA "regular" Featherweight title by Can Xu (16-2, 2) [徐灿] defending his title against Shun Kubo (13-1, 9) [久保隼] and former WBO Flyweight champion Sho Kimura (18-2-2, 11) [木村翔] challenging WBA Light Flyweight "regular" champion Carlos Canizales (21-0-1, 17). The card is a really good one, and one of the ones to be excited about this weekend.
Surprisingly the bouts aren't being shown live in Japan, despite two world title bouts featuring Japanese fighters, unless you're a member of WOWOW Members on Demand service. WOWOW's scheduled broadcast is set for 8PM on Monday June 3rd, with a replay a few days later.
Thankfully Chinese TV should have us covered, with CCTV5 showing the bouts live from 21:40 local time, with almost 2 hours set aside for the bouts. It appears that CCTV5 will only be showing the world title bouts, an not the under-card.
As for an online Chinese distributor, it appears that QQ are pencilled in to begin their broadcast from 19:30 local time, which likely would include the under-card bouts, as well as the main event bouts.
Will Xu be successful in first defense as he takes on Kubo?
Canizales and Kimura battle for gold in China!
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