On October 7th Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] will kick off his WBSS campaign as he takes on American based Dominican fighter Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9). Inoue is the #2 ranked fighter for the tournament with the only man ranked above him being WBA "super" champion Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9).
On Friday it was confirmed that Burnett would begin his own WBSS campaign on November 3rd at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
By it's self that wouldn't be something we'd cover, but Burnett's opponent for that bout will be Filipino legend Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24), a multi-weight world champion and icon of Filipino boxing.
The bout between the two men will be one of two WBSS bouts on the card, along with a Light Welterweight contest between Scottish hopeful Josh Taylor (13-0, 11) and Ryan Martin (22-0, 12).
At the moment the two WBSS bouts are the only two to have been announced for the card.
On the subject of the WBSS shows it's worth noting that the under-card for the Inoue Vs Payano bout has been revealed by Japanese sources. As previously confirmed that card will be a triple header, with the Inoue Vs Payano contest being joined by a Light Welterweight bout between WBA Light Welterweight champion Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19) and Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24), and a Light Flyweight title bout between WBC Light Flyweight title bout between Ken Shiro (13-0, 7) [拳 四朗] and Milan Melindo (37-3, 13)
The WBSS kicked off Season 2 on Friday when it had the long awaited draft, which saw the seeds picking their opponents for both the Light Welterweight and Bantamweight divisions.
Among the fighters involved was WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥], who was the #2 seed. Inoue arrived back in Japan this morning and spoke to the press about the experience and the tournament.
The Japanese star had hoped to face former multi-weight champion Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24), though saw Donaire being selected by the #1 seed Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9). As a result Inoue chose former WBA "Super" champion Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9), who in many ways was the second most distinguished of the none seeds.
Inoue told the press that he had wanted Donaire and that he had expected Burnett to take on Mikhail Aloyan (4-0), but with the option of facing Donaire not available he selected Payano due to his career and aura. Although there was clearly some disappointment Inoue did state that he was excited and and suggested there was no weak fighters in the tournament.
Inoue's promoter also answered questions stating that negotiations for the bouts venue and date were expecting to begin in August, so it would seem like that bout will be Inoue's final contest of 2018, sadly.
Interestingly it will be Inoue's first bout against a southpaw since he destroyed Omar Andres Narvez, in what was arguably the break out win for Inoue as he ripped the WBO Super Flyweight title from the Argentinian veteran. He has said he's not good with southpaws, but the evidence of the Narvaez bout would suggest Inoue is devastating against lefty's.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today the World Boxing Super Series held it'd draft for Season 2, which included the Bantamweight division.
Before the draw took place the fighters were split into seeds and non-seeds. The seeded fighters were:
#1 Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9)
#2 Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥]
#3 Zolani Tete (27-3, 21)
#4 Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12)
The #4 seeded Rodriguez had previously been ordered to face the unranked Jason Moloney (17-0, 14) in a WBO world title mandatory.
The left the remaining 3 seeds to select their opponents from the unranked fighters.
The #1 seed Burnett, the WBA "super" champion, selected former multi-weight champion Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24) putting together a very interesting match up.
The #2 seed, WBA "regular" champion Inoue, selected former WBA "Super" champion Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9) which left IBF champion Tete to face Mikhail Aloyan (4-0).
At the time of writing there is no set date or venues for the bouts, but we do know that the winner of Burnett Vs Donaire will face the winner of Tete's bout with Aloyan and the winner of Inoue's bout with Payano will take on the winner of the Rodriguez Vs Moloney bout.
By the final would see a unified WBA, WBO and IBF champion. Sadly though the WBC title will not up for grabs in the tournament, with that title still currently vacant.
After what feels like months of waiting we are now seeing everything fall into place for the Bantamweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).
Earlier this month we saw the official confirmation that WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] would be part of the tournament, and that came in the wake of announcement confirming Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24) and Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9) would be involved and that fans would get a first round bout between IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12) and mandatory challenger Jason Moloney (17-0, 14).
Since then we saw the final 3 fighters being announced, cofirming the involvement of WBA super champion Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9) and WBO champion Zolani Tete (27-3, 21) along with former amateur stand out Mikhail Aloyan (4-0). And, we've also seen the draw being announced to decide the bouts, with that draw taking place on July 20th in Moscow, Russia. From what we understand the fighters will be at the draw to decide who faces who.
Sadly, unlike the Cruiserweight tournament which finishes this weekend, we will not have any involvement from the WBC champion, with that title currently, and looking likely to remain that way for a little while due to the cancellation of a bout between Petch Sor Chitpattana (46-0, 31) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] and Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11), that was originally pencilled in for June.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!