One of the World Boxing Super Series' top fighters is leaving the global tournament due to financial issues.
Dave McWater, the manager for IBF junior welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk, told ESPN that his fighter is withdrawing from the WBSS over finances, lack of communication between him and tournament officials and the scheduling of the semifinal bouts.
Originally, the semifinals for the three tournaments -- one at bantamweight, junior welterweight and cruiserweight -- were supposed to take place sometime in early 2019 but not a single semifinal fight has a date or venue announced. The tournament was reportedly delayed due to tournament organizers having financial problems, some of which include not paying certain fighters their bonuses on time for their quarterfinal bouts.
Baranchyk won the IBF title last year in New Orleans when he defeated Anthony Yigit. Baranchyk was then paired up with Josh Taylor for the semifinals with the idea that the fight would take place in May.
"We are definitely pulling out. Ivan was supposed to fight [Josh] Taylor in Glasgow [Scotland] in late May. That was what I was hearing, but they haven't spoken to any of us, not me, not [co-promoter] Lou [DiBella]," McWater said.
ESPN reached out to Comosa AG, who organized the tournament, and was sent the following statement:
"We have not received any notice of Ivan Baranchyk pulling out of the tournament. Ivan Baranchyk was paid a very large sum to challenge for a vacant title and the WBSS and its shareholders have invested hugely into its brand. Its contracts are watertight and any failure to meet them will be met with the very hardest of consequences. This applies to all fighters and also to promoters, managers and agents alike."
The other junior welterweight semifinal bout is Regis Prograis vs. Kiryl Relikh for the WBA title. That fight also does not have a fight date or venue announced. Kalle Sauerland tweeted on January 25 that the dates and venues for the semifinal bouts would be announced "next week."
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