WBSS Champion's Aliases Explained

Three out of five Muhammad Ali Trophy winners have nicknames from the animal world.

September 14th, 2021

Mairis Briedis – The Dear With Nothing To Fear

There is a good explanation as to why a deer appears on most of Mairis Briedis’ merchandise. The name Briedis translates into, deer. The Latvian deer most often comes out as the winner in the battle against its hunters. In September 2020 Briedis became the fifth winner of the Muhammad Ali Trophy after outpointing Yuniel Dorticos in the WBSS Cruiserweight Final.


Naoya Inoue – The Monster Is Loose

Naoya Inoue was nicknamed Monster by his gym owner Hideyuki Ohashi (Mr. Ohashi), a former Japanese boxing hero, he told ESPN: “My gym owner gave me that nickname – ‘kaibutsu’, the monster – when I had my debut match. When he was active in boxing, people used to say he was a genius. When I debuted, someone asked him how genius I was, then he answered that I was beyond that. He told him that I’m a monster.”

“I felt some pressure when I first got that nickname, of course. But it just got comfortable after many years.” 

Monsters are part of Japanese folklore and like Naoya Inoue not really associated with the human realm. They often have supernatural abilities like shapeshifting. Inoue might look like a friendly pop star outside the ring, but inside he is a different kind of animal. Inoue became the fourth to lift the Muhammad Ali Trophy after defeating Nonito Donaire in the Bantamweight Final in November 2019 and stands as one of the most dangerous and most talented fighters on the planet.


Josh Taylor – Severe Weather Warning

Taylor’s nickname ‘The Tartan Tornado’ is a testament to his country and shows how proud he is of his country. Tartan refers to the criss-cross pattern on woolen cloth, which the Scots are famous for wearing as kilts. In addition, Tartan also is a sign of a particular clan since each clan had a unique pattern.

The tornado part of Taylor’s moniker refers to his fighting style. The undefeated, and undisputed super lightweight champion likes to stand and trade and land a barrage of shots at his opponents.

Josh Taylor was hailed as the third winner of the Muhammad Ali Trophy when he defeated Regis Prograis in the Season II Super-Lightweight Final in October 2019.


Callum Smith – The Fifth Turtle

Callum Smith fighting moniker is Mundo but it has nothing to do with the Spanish word for world. Callum has explained the story behind the nickname to Boxing News:

“My dad called me it when I was a kid. I was obsessed with the Turtles, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There’s Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and my dad used to call me Callemundo, saying you’re the fifth turtle. I had a shell backpack and all that. ‘Callemundo’ and I was made up with it. They started to call me Mundo, the ‘Call’ dropped and it’s just stuck.”

Callum Smith turned into the second winner of the Muhammad Trophy in September 2018 after conquering George Groves in the Super-Middleweight Final. Turtle Power!


Aleksandr Usyk – Beware The Cat

Aleksandr Usyk has earned his tag ‘The Cat’ because of his swiftness, agility, and slickness inside the ring. When he won the first WBSS edition, the WBSS Cruiserweight Final in 2018, it happened at the huge 1980 Summer Olympics sports complex, the Olimpiyskiy in Moscow. An abandoned part of the building is actually a popular hangout for many of the city’s stray cats. ‘The Cat’ not only shone in front of a WBSS record crowd of 24,000, but he also did it among a large number of his ‘fellow species’.


Season III:

Women’s super-featherweights will quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy in Season III of the World Boxing Super Series. Announcement on the Season III roster and schedule will be made in due course, in the meantime check the new WBSS webpage and social channels for updates.