Naoya Inoue Agrees To Join WBSS If He Defeats Jamie McDonnell

Although the World Boxing Super Series announced three world champions will take part in an eight-man bantamweight tournament later this year, Kalle Sauerland said another world champion could join the tournament as well.

Sauerland talked with Sky Sports and said if former WBO super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue defeats Jamie McDonnell for the WBA "regular" bantamweight title on May 25, then he's in the tournament. Inoue will be making his bantamweight debut against McDonnell but a win would not only put him in the tournament, but also likely net him the top overall seed in the tournament.

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"It’s great to kick things off with three champions already signed up... McDonnell versus Inoue is a cracking fight and the winner is a natural to go in this tournament. There’s certainly a space in the tournament for the winner and we’re very close with Inoue. We’ve agreed terms with him, so Inoue is agreed," Sauerland said.

Currently, the only boxers announced to fight in the 118-pound tournament are IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez, WBA "super" champion Ryan Burnett and WBO champion Zolani Tete. The rest of the field will be announced in the coming weeks and the tournament is expected to start in September. 

The second season of the World Boxing Super Series will have three different tournaments with the bantamweights being formally announced. A super lightweight tournament is also expected to be announced soon and a third weight class yet to be unveiled. Inoue has held titles at light flyweight and super flyweight and a win over McDonnell, which would be his 16th pro fight, would make him the second-fastest man in boxing history to win world titles in three weight classes.

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