WBSS :: Boxing’s Saviour?

WBSS Cruiserweights provided boxing with a unified champion Oleksandr Usyk.

Boxing fans have watched some pretty good performances from the stars of boxing so far this year. There are some good fights coming up, in particular, the Canelo vs Jacobs Middleweight unification matchup on May 4th. The May 11th Jarrett Hurd vs Julien Williams bout could be interesting.

How about Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz, Gennady Golovkin vs Steve Rolls, Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale, Gary Russell Jr vs Kiko Martinez or Billy Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi? Why are these well paid boxers fighting handpicked, non-competitive fights like these?

Breazeale has earned the Wilder fight right? According to the WBC, he is the best available challenger to the champion. This fight has to happen because of WBC politics. The fact that Wilder is back to non PPV (Showtime) TV speaks volumes. The fight will be shown on Sky Sports (Subscription) TV in the UK.

Kiko Martinez is the best challenger that Gary Russell Jr can find to face? Martinez will turn up and give 100% of himself, he always has and he is good to watch, but he is at the tail-end of a long, hard career which includes 8 defeats. How about Frampton, Magdaleno, Marriaga, or Quigg? Russell Jr is a quality operator and the fans want to see him in competitive fights. Since his only defeat to Lomachenko, the WBC champion has not even tried to be involved in unification fights with Santa Cruz (WBA), Valdez (WBO) or Warrington (IBF).

Steve Rolls against the man still considered by most fans to be the best Middleweight in the world? Really? I had never heard of the Canadian until this fight was announced. GGG has stated that no-one will face him but, the real problem stems from the fact that when DAZN signs up star names in multimillion-dollar deals, they want a return on their investment ASAP, and that means the paying fan gets GGG vs Rolls or Canelo vs Fielding. I mean no disrespect to Rolls, Fielding or any other professional boxer lucky enough to find themselves in this position. It can change their, and their family’s lives, but the people that pay the $19.99 a month subscription fee deserve better.

Fury and Saunders are highly skilled, world-class boxers, both showed that in recent outings against big-name opponents. Wilder vs Fury and Saunders vs Lemieux put both at the very top of their respective divisions. Now they both face 3rd rate opposition, why? This devalues their worth surely?

All this is bad for the sport of boxing.

Wilder vs Breazeale is probably not in the top ten heavyweight fights that the fans would choose.

But, what we have enjoyed in our sport in recent times is the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) where champions face champions, the best against the best, all for the right to hold the Ali trophy aloft and to be revered as the best in their weight division.

Oleksandr Usyk became the first to hold all four titles simultaneously when he won the WBSS Cruiserweight final, beating IBF and WBA champion Murrat Gassiev (26-0-0).

Britain’s Callum Smith won the Super-middleweight tournament with a crushing defeat of fellow Englishman George Groves in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and is now lauded as the world’s best 168lb boxer.

At the moment we have both the Super-lightweight and Bantamweight tournaments going on. With both at the semi-final stage, here are the bouts:

Regis Prograis vs Kiryl Relikh

Ivan Baranchyk vs Josh Taylor

Nonito Donaire vs Zolani Tete

Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez

All of these bouts are top quality offerings that boxing fans will lap up. The finals will be mouth-watering affairs.

The news that UK fans will get to watch these fights on Sky Sports just makes things better and better. Along with Frank Warren’s BoxNation and ITV4 showing Premiere Boxing Champions events live, we are getting more boxing on TV than ever before.

Let’s hope that the promoters and media outlets start giving the fans the sort of fights that the WBSS is managing to do.

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