By: Ste Rowen
The game changing World Boxing Super Series is returning for a second series and, at a press conference today Kalle Sauerland announced that the second instalment will involve 24 boxers across 3 weight divisions.
One of the 3 weight classes will be bantamweight. WBO and IBF champions, Zolani Tete and Emmanuel Rodriguez, newly crowned at the weekend, also attended the press conference, confirming their places in the upcoming tournament.
In a short statement, South African, Tete said,
‘Thank you to everyone for this opportunity. I’m very honoured…I believe it’s going to be one of the best sellers…People (in South Africa) are very excited. Hopefully their champion will bring all the titles home.’
Rodriguez also spoke briefly, via translator,
‘It’s great to be fighting against two other world champions for all the belts…God willing I’m going to win.’
Kalle also confirmed WBA champion, Ryan Burnett would be part of the tournament and read a prepared statement on Ryan’s behalf,
‘I have always wanted to be a world champion and to unify the titles against the best opposition out there. I feel I have proved this in my last 3 fights, and now the WBSS allows me to continue my dream against the other champions in the division.’
The draw to decide the quarter final schedule will take place in July, with the first bell to kick off the tournament sounding in September.
One of the other weight classes to be introduced to the WBSS will be super lightweight (140lb), with ESPN reporting that WBA titlist, Kiryl Relikh, Eduard Troyanovsky, Ivan Baranchyk, Anthony Yigit and Regis Prograis were five of the names set to fight in the 8-man tournament.
The third and final weight class is currently unknown.
It was also announced at today’s press conference that the dates for the finals of the cruiserweight and super middleweight tournaments, Oleksandr Usyk vs Murat Gassiev & George Groves vs Callum Smith, will be confirmed within the next 10 days. Usyk/Gassiev was set to take place this weekend in Saudi Arabia but had to be postponed due to an injury sustained to WBC & WBO champion, Usyk.
Concerning, the super middleweight final, Sauerland said that they weren’t going to wait around to put the final on,
‘The tournament is bigger than any fighter and that’s just the way it is. As a promoter you have to rule out august, so the final will happen in July.’
Rumours were circulating social media yesterday that Chris Eubank Jr, defeated in the semi-finals by George Groves, would replace the WBA champion in the final. Groves dislocated his shoulder in their September matchup, forcing him to undergo an operation, pushing the original final date back.