Prograis-Relikh & Donaire-Tete WBSS Semi-Finals confirmed for Lafayette
Regis Prograis & Kiryl Relikh and Nonito Donaire & Zolani Tete continue their pursuit for the Ali Trophy on April 27 at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Tickets on sale next Friday.
The sensational doubleheader opens the semi-final stage of the World Boxing Super Series.
American and New Orleans native Regis Prograis (23-0, 19 KOs) faces Belarusian Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs), who is training in Miami, in a semi-final in the 140lb division and American-Philippine Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25 KOs) meets South African Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KOs) in a semi-final in the 118lb edition of the tournament.
“Fighting in Lafayette is a perfect situation for me because it’s halfway between my two homes Houston and New Orleans,” said Prograis, the WBC Diamond Champion. “I can’t wait to come out and put in a historical event.”
The World Boxing Super Series is returning to Louisiana after last years 140lb quarter-finals in New Orleans.
“We are thrilled to bring the Ali Trophy lights to Lafayette kickoff the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “The fans in Lafayette and around the world can look forward to two unbelievable blockbusters with the best production in the game all on one night.
“The WBSS is about the best fighting the best and to serve up Fight of the Year contenders in the quest for the Ali Trophy and the supreme international superstars involved in this doubleheader at the Cajundome on April 27 will deliver just that .”
Fans wanting to buy tickets are encouraged to sign-up to Ticket Alerts to receive emails reminders when tickets go on sale here.
Fans in the U.S. and Canada can watch all the Ali Trophy semi-finals LIVE, exclusively on DAZN.
The road to Lafayette
October 7 in Yokohama, Japan Kiryl Relikh defeated Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky by a unanimous decision, with all judges scoring it 115-113 in favour of ‘Mad Bee’, to reach the semi-final, while tournament No.1 seed Regis Prograis advanced in more dominant fashion on October 27 in New Orleans, also via a unanimous decision, over the UK’s Terry Flanagan. The judges had it 119-108, 118-109, 117-110 for ‘Rougarou’.
“I know Relikh is a tough and strong fighter and I never look over an opponent but I have no doubt in my mind that I will win,” said Prograis. “I’m looking very much to the semi-final and the quest for the Ali Trophy,” said WBA Champion Relikh. “When I fight the fans will get the money’s worth. I predict just like all of my fights a win for me.”
October 13 in Ekaterinburg, Russia Zolani Tete outpointed Russia’s Mikhail Alo-yan with scores of 114-110, 114-111 and 114-111 for the ‘Last Born’, when he booked his place in the semi-final. Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire, a four-division world champion, won his quarter-final on November 3 in Glasgow, Scotland as No.1 seed, Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett, was forced to retire from the fight after four rounds of action due to a lower back injury.
“Tete is a formidable opponent and we have been preparing since the last fight. I’m even more excited with it being in the U.S. and won’t waste the opportunity to show the crowd what we’ve been working on,” said Donaire, WBA titleholder.
“Nonito Donaire is a true champion and has had a lot of success against my fellow countrymen like Moruti Mthalane and Jeffrey Mathebula in the past, but that stops here,” said WBO Champion Tete. “I respect Nonito, but I have a lot of faith in my own boxing ability and I will come out victorious when we fight.”
WBSS Season 2 Semi-Finals:
Last week saw news break that the WBSS Bantamweight semi final bout between "WBA" regular Bantamweight Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) was being eyed for May 18th in Scotland, at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
Just moments ago that story was confirmed, with Sauerland's announcing the contest over Twitter.
The bout will make the show a WBSS double header, with the Light Welterweight bout between Josh Taylor (1-4, 12) and Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12) acting as the main event bout.
The contest will see the winners from both bouts move into the WBSS finals which are to take place later this year.
For Rodriguez the bout will see him return to the UK, where he won the IBF title, whilst Inoue will be fighting in Europe for the first and will be looking to create history as the first Japanese fighter to score a win in a world title bout in Europe. That's something a number have tried, but all have to accomplish.
We are still awaiting to hear about the other Bantamweight semi final, which features Filipino fighter WBA "super" champion Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25) and WBO champion Zolani Tete (28-3, 21), with the winner of that to face the Inoue Vs Rodriguez winner.
The bouts in question are between the WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) as well a bout between the WBA "super" champion Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25) and WBO champion Zolani Tete (28-3, 21).
The bouts have been rumoured to have been signed and sealed, though no dates have been made public. However Fox Sports inside and Ring Magazine writer Mike Coppinger has reported the bouts may form a double header in LA on either April 13th or 27th (as per his tweet above).
The Inoue camp had long pushed for a US venue for his bout, whilst Rodriguez's team were desperate to secure a venue in Puerto Rico, which had seen them try to book their favoured venue for early March. Due to how badly things have progressed the deadline for the venue booking for March has fallen through, leading to the bout now taking place in the US. That matches up with Coppinger's tweet and the murmurs from those involved have suggested "April or May" would also match up with the dates suggested.
There hadn't been much talk from either the Donaire or Tete camp about a specific location or date, but if this is set to be a double header then we'll be able to see the winners go face to face to help build the hype for the final later in the year. A final that hopefully won't need so long to organise.
One of those bouts with an Asian interest is the very anticipated bout between WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12), who will compete in one of the Bantamweight finals. Whilst the other pits WBA "super" champion Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25) against WBO champion Zolani Tete (28-3, 21). Potentially leading to an Inoue Vs Donaire final, in what would be a huge bout for Asian fight fans.
At the moment there is no solid leaks for the bouts, but the rumours are that Inoue Vs Rodriguez will take place in the US, and will be Inoue's second bout on American soil.
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