On This Day: When Taylor and Inoue’s WBSS journeys began | World Boxing Super Series
On This Day: When Taylor and Inoue’s WBSS journeys began

On This Day: When Taylor and Inoue’s WBSS journeys began

20th, July 2020

The WBSS Season II quarter-finals for the tournament’s Super-Lightweight and Bantamweight brackets were set two years ago at a Draft Gala at the Rossiya Theatre in Moscow.

As Muhammad Ali once said, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up”. Both Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue said with conviction from the very beginning that they were in it to win it, and as we all know, they backed it up.

Taylor said on the theatre’s stage: “I’m 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.”

Inoue said: “It is an honour to be able to participate so I’m excited. I’m very confident that I will win this tournament.”

It was Day 1 of a long and spectacular journey for the future winners of the Muhammad Ali Trophy. With all sixteen world-class participants in attendance, the boxers 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.

As the Super-Lightweight tournaments top seed, Regis Prograis had first pick and selected Terry Flanagan as his quarter-final opponent. Leaving Josh Taylor to face Ryan Martin.

Bantamweight No. 1 seed Ryan Burnett selected Nonito Donaire while second seed Naoya Inoue chose Juan Carlo Payano as his quarter-final opponent.


The pairings after the Draft Gala in Moscow on July 20, 2018:


Regis Prograis vs. Terry Flanagan

Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin

Kiryl Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovski

Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit



Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire

Zolani Tete vs. Mikhail Aloyan

Naoya Inoue vs. Juan Carlo Payano

Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Jason Maloney