The reserve fighters for the World Boxing Super Series card taking place on May 18 have been revealed.
Paul Butler was announced as the alternate fighter for the WBSS bantamweight semifinal fight between Naoya Inoue and Emmanuel Rodriguez while Apinun Khongsong is the alternate fighter for the junior welterweight matchup between Josh Taylor and Ivan Baranchyk. The announcement means that both fighters will be on standby in case any of the tournament participants are not able to compete in their respective fights.
Butler is a former IBF bantamweight champion who lost his title on the scales in 2018 right before a title defense against Rodriguez. Rodriguez would go on to win a lopsided 12-round decision to become the new IBF champion. Khongsong has won all 15 of his pro bouts since making his debut in 2016 and currently sits in as the No. 1 contender to the IBF junior welterweight title.
The World Boxing Super Series has seen a couple of incidents that has forced tournament organizers to use an alternate. During the super middleweight tournament in season one, Nieky Holzken entered the tournament as a replacement for Juergen Braehmer who was unable to fight Callum Smith in the semifinals. Smith would go on to beat Holzken and then win the tournament last year when he defeated George Groves to win the WBA "Super" title.
The other incident occurred in April for the first semifinal card of the second season of the WBSS. WBA "Super" bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire was supposed to face WBO champion Zolani Tete in New Orleans, but Tete was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a shoulder injury. Tete was replaced by Stephon Young and Young would get knocked out by Donaire on April 27.
The two WBSS fights, both IBF world title bouts, will be streamed on DAZN in the United States with various undercards also being on the DAZN stream.