The quarter-finals for Season II of the World Boxing Super Series were set for the tournament’s Super-Lightweight and Bantamweight brackets at a Draft Gala Friday night at the Rossiya Theatre in Moscow.
With all sixteen participants in attendance, the fighters came face-to-face live on stage, with the seeded fighters picking their quarter-final pairing from the remaining four, except when predetermined by mandatory challenges.
The Draft Gala began with the Ali Trophy’s Super-Lightweight contenders taking to the stage. With number three seed Kiryl Relikh mandated to defend his WBA World title against Eduard Troyanovsky and number four seed Ivan Baranchyk ordered to fight Anthony Yigit for the vacant IBF strap, it was down to the top two seeds Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor to chose from the two remaining unseeded fighters.
As the tournaments top seed, WBC World Champion Regis Prograis had first pick and selected former WBO World Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan as his quarter-final opponent. Leaving hotly-tipped Scottish talent Josh Taylor to face fellow undefeated fighter Ryan Martin.
The drama at the Rossiya Theatre continued with the star-studded bantamweight bracket. A mandatory challenge determined IBF World Champion Emmanuel Rodriguez’s selection with the Puerto Rican set to face Australia’s unbeaten Jason Maloney.
Number one seed Ryan Burnett, who holds the WBA World title, selected ‘The Filipino Flash’, former four-weight world champion, Nonito Donaire. Second seed Naoya Inoue, the WBA ‘Regular’ Champion, chose Juan Carlo Payano as his quarter-final opponent. Meaning WBO World Champion Zolani Tete with begins his quest for the Ali Trophy against Mikhail Aloyan.
“These are sensational match-ups and I would hate to have to pick a winner in any of them,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “Season II of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy is going to be a truly global sporting competition and we can’t wait to get going.”
“We will soon announce our third and final weight class and I can assure that boxing fans will be in for a treat.”
WBC World Championship: Regis Prograis vs. Terry Flanagan
Regis Prograis: “We are fighting for the Ali Trophy and Ali is a legend. He fought the best of the best and I want to fight the best of the best. Flanagan is a former world champion and that’s why I made this decision.”
Terry Flanagan: “You have to fight the best to win the tournament and I am here to win the tournament. I am confident in winning this fight.”
Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin
Josh Taylor: ”I am here to win this tournament so it doesn’t matter who I face in the first round. My boxing brain, speed and power I believe will give me the edge over my opponents in this tournament.”
Ryan Martin: “I am very confident and this is what I have been preparing my whole career for. Josh is clearly one of the best in the division so I’m excited!”
WBA World Championship: Kiryl Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovski
Kiryl Relikh: “I am looking forward to the fight. I want to win this tournament. The winner will become a super-star in the game.”
Eduard Troyanovski: “I am very happy to take part in the tournament and I feel confident in beating Kiryl. I am ready to take his belt.”
IBF World Championship: Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit
Ivan Baranchyk: “I am ready to fight and I will win this belt! I show everyone that I am the best in the division.”
Anthony Yigit: “It’s a great opportunity for me to show everyone what I am going up for. I want to entertain the crowd and I will take this home!“
WBA World Championship: Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire
Ryan Burnett: “He has been an amazing champion and he is a great fighter. I believe Nonito can bring out the best in me.”
Nonito Donaire: “I am very excited. I know that Ryan got what it takes so I am going to be at my best.”
WBO World Championship: Zolani Tete vs. Mikhail Aloyan
Zolani Tete: “I am looking forward to fighting the best fighters and the best fighters are here. I am looking forward to fight Mikhail.”
Mikhail Aloyan: “I am very proud that I have such an opportunity fight the best fighters in this tournament. I feel very confident that I have what it takes.”
WBA ‘Regular’ World Championship: Naoya Inoue vs. Juan Carlo Payano
Naoya Inoue: “It is an honour to be able to participate so I am excited. I am very confident that I will win this tournament.”
Juan Carlo Payano: “I am excited to fight Inoue and I am going for the win!”
IBF World Championship: Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Jason Maloney
Emmanuel Rodriquez: “I am happy for this fight and confident in defending my belt. I will do my best to win the tournament.”
Jason Moloney: “I am very confident that I can beat Emmanuel. He is a very good fighter as everyone in this tournament is. This is my time to shine. I’m ready!”