The boxing world knew all 16 competitors in the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight and bantamweight tournaments, but now all the first round matches have been revealed.
In a draft gala in Moscow one day before Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev fight in the first-ever WBSS finals with the undisputed cruiserweight title on the line, quarterfinal matches for the two weight classes confirmed for season two were announced. As with the first season of the WBSS, each tournament will be an eight-man, single elimination tournament.
The junior welterweight and bantamweight tournaments will kick off later this year with the semifinals taking place in early 2019 and the finals taking place next summer. Each WBSS fight card will also have two tournament fights instead of the usual one tournament fight per fight card the first season had.
Starting off with the 140-pound tournament, Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor, Kiryl Relikh and Ivan Baranchyk were seeded one through four, respectively. The seedings indicate which boxer gets to pick their unseeded opponent first, meaning Prograis had the first pick.
Before Prograis had his pick, Relikh and Baranchyk had their quarterfinal fights selected for them per the order of the WBA and IBF, respectively, as part of the agreement of allowing them to compete. Relikh would defend his WBA title against mandatory challenger Eduard Troyanovsky and Baranchyk would fight Anthony Yigit for the vacant IBF title, a fight that was ordered before the two agreed to fight in the WBSS.
Below are the quarterfinal matches for the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament:
(2) Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin
(3) Kiryl Relikh (c) vs. Eduard Troyanovsky: WBA Junior Welterweight Title
(4) Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit: Vacant IBF Junior Welterweight Title
The bantamweight tournament features four world champions with WBA “super” champion Ryan Burnett getting the No. 1 seed. Naoya Inoue, Zolani Tete and Emmanuel Rodriguez were seeded No. 2-4, respectively. Below are the quarterfinal matches for the WBSS bantamweight tournament:
(1) Ryan Burnett (c) vs. Nonito Donaire: WBA "Super" Bantamweight Title
(3) Zolani Tete (c) vs. Mikhail Aloyan: WBO Bantamweight Title
(4) Emmanuel Rodriguez (c) vs. Jason Moloney: IBF Bantamweight Title
The second season of the WBSS will have a third tournament at a weight class to be revealed next week.