Last week saw news break that the WBSS Bantamweight semi final bout between "WBA" regular Bantamweigt 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.
It's fair to suggest that the second season of the WBSS has been a complete and utter mess. All the success and goodwill of Season 1 has been lost with the fans due to horrendous scheduling issues, financial speculation and what appear to be a lot of political wrangling. What should have been a relatively straight forward tournament to organise at Light Welterweight and Bantamweight has become a total mess, and the added re-running of a Cruiserweight tournament has done little to help matters.
Over the last week there had been a building rumour that the Bantamweight semi-final between Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) was now being eyed for May 18th in Scotland, to double up with the previously announced 140lb semi-final between Josh Taylor (1-4, 12) and Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12). A bout that is already in a world of doubt due to Baranchyk apparently pulling out of the tournament, then being back in, and then being out again. It's been boxing's best impression of the "ye olde English" song Hokey cokey, and we've been waiting for the tournament to "turn around" and just shut up shop recently.
Now "primerahora.com" are reporting that that the bout between Inoue and Rodriguez is set for May 18th in Scotland, with Juan Orengo, manager and promoter of Rodriguez, said to have stated that that's when the bout will be. With the logical conclusion being that the WBSS are holding it as a double head.
Whilst this sounds like exciting news, especially for our British readers who will be able to see Inoue in the flesh, it also continues to show what a mess the WBSS has become this year and a likely sign that the nail may be in the coffin for the long term future of the competition. Something we didn't want to consider given how successful Season 1 had been and how much promise Season 2 had.
On an historical note a win for Inoue in the UK would see history being made by the Japanese fighter, as no Japanese fighter has ever won a world title bout in Europe.
It should also be noted that when Inoue was at the Japanese Boxing Awards yesterday his promoter, Hideyuki Ohashi, seemed to suggest that the bout was going to take place in either "April or May" in the "US or UK". He didn't explicitly confirm the May date in Scotland, though did leave it as a possible. Whilst Orengo seems to be confirming the date.
This bout is expected to be officially announced in the coming days, more than a week after the bout was originally expected to be announced.
WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥] may have waited longer than expected for his fight with IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) to be sorted, but he's not sat quietly and just waited.
Today the "Monster" was honoured at the Japanese Boxing Awards at the Tokyo Dome Hotel with his achievements for 2018. At the awards ceremony he picked up the MVP award the KO award. Great accomplishments for a man who fought for just over 3 minutes in 2018!
Interestingly Inoue's promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, did speak about the bout with Rodriguez. He revealed that it was now being eyed for April or May and could take place in either the US or in the UK and that an announcement was going to be made soon. Sadly when it comes to the WBSS it appears that announcements coming soon is being said far, far too often.
Inoue himself spoke about the bout and said that with the opponent known and only the scheduling of the bout to sort, he can take measures to prepare for Rodriguez.
Inoue is expected to have a training camp in Guam to prepare, later this month.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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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