THE draw for the quarter-finals of the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight and super-lightweight tournaments takes place in Moscow, Russia this evening and should, if the seeding is anything to go by, throw up one or two interesting matchups.
The seeds, announced this afternoon, are as follows:
At super-lightweight, (interim WBC champion) Regis Prograis is at one, Josh Taylor is at two, (WBA champion) Kiryl Relikh is at three, and Ivan Baranchyk is at four. Unseeded are Anthony Yigit, Terry Flanagan, Eduard Troyanovsky and Ryan Martin.
At super-bantamweight, (WBA champion) Ryan Burnett is at one, (WBA regular champion) Naoya Inoue is at two, (WBO champion) Zolani Tete is at three, and (IBF champion) Emmanuel Rodriguez is at four. Unseeded are Jason Moloney, Nonito Donaire, Juan Carlos Payano and Mikhail Aloyan.
Of course, while we wait for the draw, and do so with a great deal of anticipation, many of the quarter-final fights have already been made. Relikh, for example, must fight Troyanovsky, as per the WBA’s mandatory ruling, and Rodriguez must fight Moloney, for the same reason. Yigit and Baranchyk, meanwhile, will contest the IBF super-lightweight title in the quarter-final stage.
Boxing News understands a fight between Ryan Burnett and Nonito Donaire was being discussed for Belfast – meaning a return to Ireland for Donaire following his heroic exploits against Carl Frampton – but reports today suggest it might be Japan’s Inoue, rather than Burnett, who elects for the Filipino in the first round.
We shall soon find out.
A couple of days after posting (and quickly deleting) a picture of Jimmy Savile on social media to rile Anthony Joshua, undefeated American heavyweight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller has been given an opportunity to work with Sky Sports on their heavyweight fight next Saturday (July 28) between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker.
It’s hardly the punishment he deserves for a calamitous attempt to be funny (?), but as a heavyweight with a big mouth, someone invested in the British heavyweight scene, the choice of Miller as a fight night pundit should come as no surprise.
“I am a student of the game and keep a close eye on the heavyweight division,” he told Sky Sports.
“Dillian Whyte versus Joseph Parker is a great, significant match-up.
“I look forward to giving the boxing fans watching Sky Sports a detailed view from my perspective on their physical and mental preparations for this exciting fight. See you ringside!”
We can put the Savile gaffe down to stupidity – Miller, after all, isn’t being paid for his intelligence – but it will be interesting to see what he can offer as a pundit. Moreover, it will be interesting to see what happens when the inevitable happens and he goes nose-to-nose with Dillian Whyte if the Brit gets past Parker and sends him the post-fight cue.
Failing that, I’m sure Anthony Joshua can be found somewhere in the O2 Arena, presumably close to the ring, and we all know ‘Big Baby’ is working on that fight at some point in 2019. As awkward as it is obvious, there’s no doubt those two will again cross paths on Saturday night – completely by chance, of course. Then: “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!” (“Just not right now, Big Baby. I’ve got another fight lined up, and then another one after that. For now, just push me and shout stuff.”)